U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley is beginning to set herself apart from President Donald Trump to gear up for a possible presidential run, said CNN senior political analyst John Avlon.
“You hear a very clear rebuke to the president’s rhetoric, an attempt for her to define her own role in the Republican Party, to be a counterweight to the president and possibly setting up a future presidential run,” Avlon said on CNN’s “New Day” Friday.
“She is developing her own center of gravity in the Republican Party and she … has chosen not to be a sycophant to the president’s worst instincts,” he said. “And that is a source of great strength for her and she doubled down on it last night.”
Haley announced her resignation from the Trump administration as U.N. ambassador on Oct. 9, but will stay on until the end of the year.
“New Day” host John Berman played a soundbite of Haley from her appearance at the Alfred E. Smith dinner Thursday and highlighted her comments where she cautioned against calling American political opponents “evil.”
“In America our political opponents are not evil — that, from outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley,” Berman said.
“The president of the United States, whom she still works for within the last few weeks, has called his political opponents evil,” he continued. “And I quote, he’s talking about the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation. He says it was a disgraceful situation brought on by people that are evil. So what message is Nikki Haley sending?”
“She’s telling the truth,” former Clinton White House press secretary Joe Lockhart said on “New Day.”
“It is rare now. She’s actually telling the truth and it seems to be weighty, but she is doing something they should have been doing all along,” Lockhart added.