Top 1 Magazine

Top One Magazine

Meet The Only Member of Congress Who’s Backing Nikki Haley

Norman contrasted his stance with other unnamed Republicans who backed Trump simply because they were scared the former president would make a mean comment or back a primary challenge against them if they opposed him.

But the South Carolina Republican looked askance at the idea that Trump was particularly prone to holding grudges. He reflected on when Trump lobbied him when he was one of the remaining holdouts who refused to back McCarthy as speaker throughout the course of repeated ballots in January 2023. “He called me and he said, ‘You’re doing the wrong thing.’ I said ‘Mr. President, look, I’m doing the right thing. And if you look at somebody who wanted to censure you, that was wrong of Kevin.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I know.’”

In Norman’s view, Trump “doesn’t hold grudges. He and Kevin are still buddies to this day. And he could have blown up with me. But he didn’t.”

There was a caveat, however — that Trump does and should hold grudges for his legal issues. “The Biden administration has weaponized every part of this government,” Norman reasoned.

While Norman’s loyalty and his transparency have apparently helped him pull off this difficult balancing act, there’s another reason Trump world has been complacent about Norman’s single act of heresy. One plugged-in Trump world operative noted that the former U.N. ambassador was viewed differently than former Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, another primary rival until he left the race in January.

“DeSantis wasn’t just trying to defeat Trump and displace him as the Republican nominee,” the operative said. “He was attempting to displace him as the leader of the America First movement.”

There may be limits to how long Norman remains unscathed for his support of Haley. Recent polling suggests that Haley is running far behind Trump in her and Norman’s home state, but if that should change, or if she continues to sharpen her attacks on Trump, Norman could quickly find himself caught in the crossfire.

“What’s true today isn’t necessarily true tomorrow,” said the Trump operative. “The longer Nikki stays in the race, even if she’s just an annoying little gnat, which is basically what she is, that could change real quick.”

Norman said he has not spoken to Trump since backing Haley, but indicated he would call the former president regardless of the result when the primary was over. “I’ll call him either way. … I’ll call him to tell him if he wins. I’m 100 percent behind him.”

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