Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has applied for Secret Service protection because of increasing threats she has received on the campaign trail, Haley’s team confirmed to Fox News on Monday.
The former two-term South Carolina governor who later served as U.N. ambassador in former President Donald Trump’s administration is Trump’s last remaining major rival for the 2024 GOP nomination.
Haley discussed the request for protection in an interview Monday afternoon with The Wall Street Journal.
“We’ve had multiple issues,” the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador said after a campaign event in Aiken, South Carolina. “It’s not going to stop me from doing what I need to do.”
Haley was asked at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. late last week about increased levels of security at her events.
“When you do something like this, you get threats,” she told reporters. “It’s just the reality.”
Haley mentioned the need to “put a few more bodies around us,” but that it hadn’t affected her campaigning.
“At the end of the day, we’re going to go out there and touch every hand, we’re going to answer every question, we’re going to make sure that we are there and doing everything that we need to,” she added.
Hours after Haley spoke to reporters, a heckler was removed from her campaign event in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
Once a very long shot for the nomination, Haley enjoyed momentum in the polls in the late summer and autumn, thanks in part to well-received performances in the first three GOP presidential primary debates.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race last month, two days ahead of the Jan. 23 New Hampshire primary, making the nomination race a two-candidate showdown between Haley and Trump, who’s the commanding frontrunner as he runs a third straight time for the White House.
Haley captured 43% of the vote in New Hampshire, trailing Trump by 11 points.
The next major contest on the Republican schedule is Haley’s home state, which holds its GOP primary on Feb. 24. The latest public opinion survey indicates the former president has a large double-digit lead over Haley.
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