Steve Bannon, ex-aide to former President Trump, said Monday that he anticipated a big fight over whether GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley should be the former president’s pick for vice president in the general election.
But, Bannon advised strongly against Trump, who remains the GOP front-runner in the race, choosing the former South Carolina governor to be his running mate.
“One of the fights we’re going to have, a big fight, it will take place in the spring, will be, they’re going to try to force Nikki on the ticket,” Bannon said in remarks on an episode of the “Human Events with Jack Posobiec” podcast, first highlighted by Mediaite.
“They’ll say Trump needs a woman, Nikki on the ticket. She balances things,” he continued. “And she can bring together that 15 percent of Never Trumpers in the Republican Party. We’re going to have to have that fight.”
Bannon warned, however, that he thinks Haley would be a detriment to a hypothetical second Trump term in the White House.
“If Nikki Haley is in this administration, in any capacity, it will fail. Well, she’s a viper. She’s a viper,” he argued. “And once she gets in there, she’ll try to run it as Prime Minister. She’ll try to be Dick Cheney… To Trump [she] will be just like Dick Cheney to Bush. That’s what she’ll try to do.”
Haley’s recent bump in the polls has triggered speculation about her potential candidacy as vice president. In Decision Desk HQ’s recent national polling average, Trump still led GOP primary polls with 63.1 percent and Haley followed in second place with 10.8 percent, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis close behind with 10.6 percent.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy also suggested in recent weeks that he would advise the former president to pick Haley as his running mate, based on what the polls say about her popularity with voters who are less inclined to support Trump’s second term in office.
Bannon also predicted recently that the former president would select a woman for his ticket, but his list of possible candidates did not include Haley.
In his Monday remarks, the former Trump aide outlined what he saw as new ideological divisions going into the 2024 primary season.
“Forget Republican or Democrat,” Bannon said. “If you’re thinking in those terms, you’re thinking of old politics.”
“This is populist nationalism versus elite globalism. And if you see Republicans that are not in our camp, they’re by and large, elite globalists, the Mitt Romneys of the world,” he added. “The people in the Senate, Kevin McCarthy…neoliberal Nikki [Haley].”
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