Haley to headline Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner, fueling 2024 speculation

Haley to headline Iowa GOP's Lincoln Dinner, fueling 2024 speculation
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Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyNoem to travel to South Carolina for early voting event Poll: Trump leads 2024 GOP primary trailed by Pence, DeSantis Trump is a complication for Republican hopes in Virginia MORE will headline the Iowa Republican Party’s most prominent gathering of the year, a move that’s likely to fuel speculation about a potential 2024 presidential bid. 

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations will head to the first-in-the-nation caucus state in June to host the Iowa GOP’s annual Lincoln Dinner, the party announced on Thursday. The dinner is a major fundraising event for the state party and one with a history of drawing Republican presidential hopefuls. 

“I am thrilled that Ambassador Haley accepted our invitation,” Iowa GOP chair Jeff Kaufmann said in a statement. “Getting Iowans fired up to take back the Senate and the House in 2022 is our number one priority right now and we are proud to have Ambassador Haley in this fight with us. What we see coming from the Democrat Party is all about consolidating power, and it's going to take a grassroots movement to defeat them.”

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Haley, a former governor of South Carolina who served as former President TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Biden flexes presidential muscle on campaign trail with Virginia's McAuliffe Has Trump beaten the system? MORE’s envoy to the U.N. for nearly two years, is among a vast group of Republicans believed to be eyeing a 2024 White House bid. 

But she’s also found herself in a difficult position within the GOP in recent months after she delivered a scathing criticism of Trump in an interview with Politico earlier this year. 

In that interview, she hammered the former president for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and predicted that his power within the Republican Party would quickly diminish in his post-presidential life.

But Trump remains the most influential Republican in the country and continues to command the support of a loyal base of conservative voters, many of whom expect GOP politicians to remain loyal to the former president.

Haley has since softened her tone on Trump, even telling reporters earlier this month that she would not run for president in 2024 should Trump mount another bid for the White House, something he has floated repeatedly since leaving office. 

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She also said that she would support Trump should he seek a political comeback in 2024.

Regardless, Haley’s expected appearance at the Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner on June 24 is likely to fuel chatter of a potential presidential run.

The annual event tends to draw the attendance of Republican presidential contenders, both current and prospective, and hosting the event is seen as a way of raising a potential candidate’s political profile among key Iowa Republicans and donors.