Trump says he’s ‘glad’ Haley’s running against him: ‘The more the merrier’

President Donald Trump meets with outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Washington. In 2024, the two will go head-to-head for the GOP’s presidential nomination. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Former President Trump said he is “glad” that Nikki Haley is jumping into the Republican primary for the White House in 2024, hours after slamming the former South Carolina governor for previously supporting cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

“I’m glad she’s running,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News. “I want her to follow her heart — even though she made a commitment that she would never run against who she called the greatest president of her lifetime.”

Haley’s presidential bid comes as other figures who were previously considered Trump allies are weighing a challenge against the former president, who announced his campaign right after the 2022 midterm elections.

Trump said the possible opposition isn’t affecting him, saying of the race: “The more the merrier.”

Haley, 51, emphasized the need for the GOP to shift to a new generation of leadership in launching her campaign, calling for mandatory “mental competency” tests for politicians above the age of 75. 

“In the America I see, the permanent politician will finally retire,” Haley said at her launch event in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday. “We’ll have term limits for Congress and mandatory mental competency tests for politicians over 75 years old.”

Not only is she challenging Trump, 76, she could come up against President Biden — who is currently 80, and the oldest sitting president — if she were to win the GOP nomination in 2024.

Trump is antagonizing Haley for comments she made in 2021, in which she said she would not challenge the former president if he chose to run again.

“I would not run if President Trump ran,” Haley said in April 2021. “And I would talk to him about it. That is something that we’ll have a conversation about at some point if that decision is something that has to be made.”

And as other former Trump allies — such as former Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — consider a run, the former president is taking credit for the position they find themselves in.

“I know them all,” he said. “I put them all there.”

Tags 2024 GOP presidential primary Donald Trump Donald Trump Joe Biden medicare Nikki Haley Nikki Haley social security

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