Trump Vows To Crush Haley As Republican Race Heads South


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP

Charleston, United States: Donald Trump and Nikki Haley go head-to-head Saturday in South Carolina's Republican primary, with the ex-president expected to trounce his former charge in her home state as he closes in on the nomination.

Haley was a popular governor of the Palmetto State for six years before becoming Trump's UN ambassador in 2017, but her old boss is backed by the party establishment and nearly two-thirds of voters in opinion polling.

The candidates largely swapped only glancing blows in the early nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire in January, but the rhetorical artillery fire has intensified since the primary narrowed into a two-horse race.

"Tomorrow you will cast one of the most important votes of your entire life and -- honestly -- we're not very worried about tomorrow," a nonchalant Trump told an election-eve rally in the city of Rock Hill.

Seeking to demonstrate that he was already looking beyond Haley, he vowed to show President Joe Biden and the Democrats "that we are coming like a freight train in November," when the general election will be held.

South Carolinians do not have to indicate party allegiance when they register to vote, and are allowed to have their say in either the Democratic or the Republican primary.

Haley -- a more traditional conservative who espouses limited government and a muscular foreign policy -- will rely on votes from moderates, although the tactic did little for her as she lost to Trump in each of the first four nominating contests.

Voters interviewed by AFP in South Carolina capital Columbia on Thursday were complimentary about both candidates, although one voter felt Haley wasn't ready for the highest office and another criticized Trump for being "divisive."

"He'll go after people that don't agree with him. Being a Christian, I don't feel good about that," said financial advisor and Haley voter David Gilliam, 55.

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