Sanford on Haley saying she’ll vote for Trump: ‘Ambition kills off a lot of things’

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) criticized ex-GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s recent announcement that she would vote for former President Trump in November.

“Well, I’d say, in some ways, it’s to be expected,” Sanford responded to the news in an interview on CNN. “And what I mean by that is, ambition kills off a lot of things.”

“And what you have here is somebody obviously wanting to be relevant in 2028,” he added during the “CNN NewsNight” appearance.

The comments came after Haley, who suspended her White House bid in early March, said Wednesday that she would support Trump over President Biden. The former United Nations ambassador had previously declined to endorse the former president, saying it was up to Trump to earn the support of her followers.

Despite clashes with the former president over the campaign trail, Haley signaled her decision was based on her aversion to Biden’s policies.

“As a voter, I put my priorities on a president who’s going to have the backs of our allies and hold our enemies to account, who would secure the border, no more excuses,” she said during remarks at the conservative Hudson Institute, where she serves as the Walter P. Stern chair. “A president who would support capitalism and freedom, a president who understands we need less debt not more debt.”

“Trump has not been perfect on these policies — I’ve made that clear, many, many times. But Biden has been a catastrophe. So, I will be voting for Trump,” Haley added.

Throughout the GOP presidential primary season, Trump went after Haley viciously, giving her the nickname “bird brain” and consistently joking about where her military husband was during her campaign. Michael Haley, who serves in the South Carolina National Guard, was deployed overseas during the early days of the election cycle.

In the interview Wednesday, Sanford told host Abby Phillip that Haley was also looking at what could benefit her political future, saying she is “absolutely putting ambition first.”

“And she’s sort of doing the middle calculation, and the political calculation of ‘What will help me most if I wanna run again?’” Sanford, who has been an outspoken critic of the former president, said.

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) also called out Haley on Wednesday for supporting her former rival, calling the decision “pathetic.”

“Not a surprise but: Pathetic,” he wrote.

Copyright 2024 Nexstar Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.