Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Sunday defended her decision to raise a hand in agreement when asked if she would support Donald Trump as the party’s nominee even if he were a convicted felon during the GOP primary debate in Milwaukee last month.
Of the eight candidates on stage, only Trump’s critics, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said they would not support the four-time indicted former president if he was found guilty of a crime would. Trump skipped the debate.
But Haley said her response is consistent with her decision to sign the Republican National Committee’s pledge as a requirement to participate in the debate.
“What you saw was candidates on that stage saying they were going to do exactly what they signed and promised, which is to support the Republican nominee,” Haley told CBS’ Face the Nation.
However, Haley added that she doesn’t expect Americans to vote for someone found guilty of a crime.
“The American people will not vote for a convicted criminal,” Haley said said. “The American people will vote for someone who can win a general election. I have faith in the American people.”
Still, the former South Carolina governor said that, ultimately, any Republican is better than President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Despite his legal woes, Trump has managed to remain the Republican primary’s first choice for president. according to an average of national GOP primary surveys compiled by FiveThirtyEightwhile Haley is fourth with 5.9% of the vote on Saturday.
Trump has been charged with four counts, most recently over his efforts to reverse Biden’s victory in Georgia in the 2020 election.
He was also charged in Manhattan for his role in a hush money program with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, and in two other federal cases for his alleged misappropriation of classified documents and his plan to stay in power after losing the 2020 contest.
Trump pleaded not guilty to all charges.