Haley slams Trump for Senate losses, calls out GOP lawmakers for courting him

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley blamed former President Trump Friday for recent Republican losses in critical electoral races, including those for seats in the Senate, while expressing hope the GOP’s new leader in the upper chamber is focused on setting a tone rather than courting Trump. 

‘You’re seeing the wave of what Congress thinks they need to do to win,’ Haley told reporters during a briefing at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood.

Haley was likely referencing Trump’s dominance over the House and Senate relative to endorsements and influence. 

But Haley suggested lawmakers who cater to the former president are misguided because Republicans have lost pivotal matchups since his presidency. 

‘All of these losses happened after Donald Trump became president in 2016,’ she said, noting gubernatorial, federal and statewide losses in Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia. 

Haley claimed the only reason Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R-Va., was elected in 2021 was because ‘he distanced himself’ from Trump. 

Youngkin’s political team declined to comment to Fox News Digital. 

‘It’s not an accurate statement,’ according to Zack Roday, a former Youngkin adviser and partner at Ascent Media.

‘Glenn Youngkin won because he built a movement and coalition of Republicans, independents and even Democrats who wanted a new direction for Virginia.’ 

Despite the losses, Haley claimed members of the House and Senate are now ‘falling all over themselves to show that they’re more Trump than everybody else.’ 

Haley weighed in on what the next Senate Republican leader should bring to the table after Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s surprise announcement Wednesday that he’s stepping down. She didn’t suggest any specific senators for the role but explained she wants a leader focused on the people and ‘not rewarding people for peacocking on TV.’

‘I want to see somebody inspirational. I want to see somebody that says, ‘You know what, we can do things differently,” Haley said. ‘My hope is that we will. But we’ll have to see.’

Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt told Fox News Digital the campaign’s focus is now on Biden and the general election.

‘Republican voters have delivered resounding wins for President Trump in every single primary contest, and this race is over,’ she said. 

So far, only Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has announced a bid for the leadership position in the Republican conference. But several other senators are rumored to be considering their own bids for the coveted role. Senators John Barrasso, R-Wyo.; John Thune, R-S.D.; Rick Scott, R-Fla.; Steve Daines, R-Mont.; and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., have all also been suggested as potential successors to McConnell. 

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