(DCWatchdog.com) – Kayleigh McEnany, once a close aide and confidant of former President Donald Trump, called on Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis to enter the 2024 presidential race even though Trump is running.
McEnany served as Trump’s White House Press Secretary from April 2020 until the end of his presidential term in January 2021 and was a press secretary and policy advisor for his 2020 presidential campaign.
In comments this week, she also praised Nikki Haley for joining the race for the 2024 presidential nomination of the Republican Party early on.
Haley, a former South Carolina governor and former US ambassador to the UN under Trump, became the second bidder for the nomination after the former president made his candidacy official in November 2022.
Former Trump aide McEnany insisted that Florida’s Governor DeSantis would also benefit if he did what Haley had done, namely, enter the presidential contest sooner rather than later. She was confident that would be a better strategy than waiting for other candidates to announce their bids.
“[Haley] being the only person against President Trump at this moment, she got a lot of media attention, we’ll be talking about this now and for days to come, versus the stream of others who will come in after her — likely Pompeo, Pence — all of the others as we await for potentially the biggest name to come in which is Ron DeSantis,” McEnany said.
“I do think, when you look at Nikki Haley’s polling, she was at about 1%, now she’s at 3%, she was the hottest name in Republican politics in 2011 to 2015,” she added, as cited by The Daily Caller.
The former high-profile Trump aide insisted that Haley’s case had now shown “how hard it is to regenerate that attention almost a decade later.”
“This is the case … polling at about 3%, for Governor Ron DeSantis to get in now. People say, ‘Will he get in, will he wait?’ — How can you wait when you are currently the hottest governor in Republican politics?” McEnany added.
A new public opinion poll by Reuters and Ipsos announced this week showed that 43% of registered GOP voters prefer former President Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, remained second in the survey results, with 31% of Republican voters supporting his potential candidacy. Nikki Haley was favored by only 4% of the respondents.
The poll was conducted among 1,465 registered Republicans between February 6 – 13 and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
The 2024 campaign of Donald Trump, who has already nicknamed DeSantis “Ron DeSanctimonious,” has attacked Haley by reminding her previous remarks, including expressing admiration for Democrat Hillary Clinton and vowing not to run for president if Trump did.