Nikki Haley campaigns in SoCal, says she's staying in race against Trump

Thursday, February 8, 2024
Nikki Haley campaigns in Costa Mesa
The morning after a rough showing in the Nevada Republican primary, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley campaigned at a tavern in Costa Mesa.

COSTA MESA, Calif. (KABC) -- The morning after a rough showing in the Nevada Republican primary in which former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley lost to the "none of these candidates" option, Haley made an appearance at the Wild Goose Tavern in Costa Mesa.

The California primary is less than a month away and although Haley trails in the polls to former President Donald Trump and hasn't won a state yet, she told the crowd she's not going anywhere.

"He says the RNC needs to name him the presumptive nominee. We don't do coronations in America," Haley said. "We have 47 other states and territories that need to vote and they have the right to do that."

"And then he has a court case that he loses. Whether it was him talking about revenge after the New Hampshire election and throwing that temper tantrum on stage that he did. Or whether it was him talking about being a victim after that court case. What bothers me the most is that he never talked about the American people."

Haley made the case that head-to-head with President Joe Biden in the polls, she does better than Trump. Haley will also fundraise while in Orange County and was greeted by Trump supporters in Costa Mesa, protesting her visit and her refusal to leave the race.

WATCH: Nikki Haley holds rally in Hollywood, vows to stay in race

Nikki Haley's presidential campaign stopped in Southern California, where she vowed to stay in the race.

"While they are loud and chaotic, that is every reason we have to get motivated. Someone asked me why I was running and I said you know, my parents came here 50 years ago to an America that was strong and proud and full of opportunities. I want them to know that country again," said Haley.

Mitch and Lori Junkins, who live in Newport Beach, say they like Haley because of her foreign policy experience. Lori Junkins voted for Trump in 2016, but has reservations this time around.

"I would have to say between the two candidates I would probably vote for her over Trump," said Lori Junkins.

"I think I still need to think about that," said Mitch Junkins.

"I think just like Nikki said, chaos follows him. I don't like to see that. I don't like his behavior. I'm not saying he wouldn't make good choices being president, but I just don't like the way he behaves," said Lori Junkins.

Haley then held a rally in Hollywood in front of a few hundred supporters at the American Legion Post 43.

"I'm not going anywhere. I'm in this for the long haul," Haley said to cheers.

She did not mention the embarrassing Nevada outcome, where she lost the state's symbolic Republican presidential primary contest to "None of these candidates," despite being the only major candidate on the ballot.

Haley has vowed to stay in the race through Super Tuesday March 5, but the South Carolina primary is Feb. 24 and if Haley loses her home state to Trump, some believe that would be a devastating blow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.