EXCLUSIVE: The lone House Republican endorsing former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley for president is insisting he’s with the White House hopeful until the end, however the contentious race concludes.
“I’ve had a lot of calls to abandon her — switch. Look, I’ll be with her as long as she stays there,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., told Fox News Digital Friday. “I don’t care that I’m just one. … I don’t care if the whole caucus says we ought to end it right now and get out. I’m just not gonna do that.”
Norman, a member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, came out for Haley early in the race and has remained her only supporter in Congress. A handful of lawmakers had supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis before he dropped out, but the vast majority — more than 120 House Republicans — have so far backed former President Donald Trump.
Speaking with Fox News Digital days after Trump’s victory in the New Hampshire primary, Norman insisted the race was far from over. He noted it started with a field of more than a dozen candidates and is now down to two.
Conservative Rep. Ralph Norman, left, is the only member of Congress backing Nikki Haley for president. (Getty Images)
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Republican presidential hopeful and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks after results came in for the New Hampshire primaries during a watch party in Concord, N.H., Jan. 23, 2024. (Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)
“Look what she’s done. Name me one candidate in this race that started out with 2%, no money, and look at where she is now. She’s taken every challenge,” Norman said. “And I will say this, being 25 years younger than President Trump, it’s gonna take work night and day to unwind the devastation this president has done.”
He criticized fellow Republicans who have pressured Haley to drop out, including Republican National Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel. He said McDaniel was “out of line” calling for unity behind Trump.
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“That’s not her role,” Norman said. “How is competition bad? What’s the rush?”
He also took a veiled shot at a fellow member of the South Carolina congressional delegation, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., who dropped out of the running for president and endorsed Trump.
Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., and members of the House Freedom Caucus hold a news conference to oppose the debt limit deal outside the U.S. Capitol May 30, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“It surprised me with Tim Scott, particularly with not even calling her. But it is what it is,” Norman said.
But unlike other Republicans who have been attacked by Trump and his allies for not falling in line fast enough — including fellow Freedom Caucus members — Norman has stayed out of the line of fire.
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Norman pointed out he’s never criticized Trump and supported his actions in office. He also revealed that he called the ex-president before making his endorsement last February.
“When I supported Nikki Haley, I had the respect of Donald Trump to call him, and I told him what I was gonna do, and I decided I was going to do it,” he said.
Donald Trump (Sean Rayford/Getty Images)
He added that Haley is eligible for eight years, versus Trump, who could only serve one more term.
“I know what she did South Carolina,” Norman said. “I know what she can do to the country, and she can give us eight years.”
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Norman did, however, push back on Trump declaring that Haley’s donors are “permanently barred from the MAGA camp.”
“I think he’s making a mistake, saying that anybody that gives to Nikki is gonna be excluded from MAGA,” Norman said. “I think he’s gonna need all the votes that it takes, as well as Nikki, any candidate. It’s gonna take a lot to beat whoever the Democratic nominee is, so I find it interesting that he’s doing that. But he’s smart. He can do his own campaign.”
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