WASHINGTON — Outgoing UN ambassador Nikki Haley quickly dispelled speculation that she might challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, telling reporters Tuesday that she actually plans on stumping for him.
“For all of you that are going to ask about 2020: No, I am not running for 2020,” Haley said during a morning meeting with Trump in the Oval Office. “I look forward to supporting the president in the next election.”
Haley, 46, has long been considered a potential presidential contender.
Her status as a relatively moderate presence in the Trump administration also has fueled rumors that she could run against the president.
In the 2016 race, Haley initially appeared on the campaign trail for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) before offering her support to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) after the Florida Republican dropped out of the presidential race.
She eventually offered a lukewarm endorsement of Trump after he became the nominee, stating that she was not a “fan” of his, but still would vote for him.
Haley surprised Washington Tuesday by announcing that she will be resigning from her current position at the end of the year.
In addition to ruling out a presidential bid, Haley emphasized that she has no other immediate ambitions.
Instead, she said that she is hoping for a break after serving back-to-back as governor of South Carolina and UN ambassador.
“It’s been eight years of intense time and I’m a believer in term limits,” Haley quipped.
She served as governor for six years before joining the Trump administration on Jan. 27, 2017. She was the nation’s second Indian-American governor. Bobby Jindal served as governor of Louisiana between 2008 and 2016.
Haley has become one of the most prominent women in Trump’s cabinet.
The president said he expects to announce a successor in two to three weeks, if not sooner.