Former President Donald Trump soared to another victory during Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire, prompting another wave of Republican endorsements as party officials attempted to signal an end to the nominating contest.
Sens. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) both said it was time for the Republican Party to unite behind Trump as its candidate, even though just two states had voted for him so far.
His one serious challenger, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, didn’t seem bothered by her second-place showing, which was better than some early polls had predicted. She cast the results as a political victory and vowed to stay in the race, a decision that prompted fury from Trump’s own celebration event that night.
“New Hampshire is the first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation,” she told her supporters on Tuesday night. “This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go. And the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina.”
But Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, threw her full weight behind Trump on Fox News later that night, all but calling for Haley to drop out of the race.
“I’m looking at the map and the path going forward, and I don’t see it for Nikki Haley,” McDaniel said. “I think she’s run a great campaign. But I do think there is a message that’s coming out from the voters, which is very clear. We need to unite around our eventual nominee, which is going to be Donald Trump.”
Trump appeared livid that Haley planned to continue on Tuesday evening, saying his competitor had a “very bad night” and vowing to win “easily” in South Carolina, where she once served as governor. At one point, he remarked that fellow South Carolinian Tim Scott, one of the state’s Republican senators, must “really hate” Haley to want to back Trump.
“I just love you,” Scott replied.
Scott was one of two former GOP primary candidates with Trump in New Hampshire to celebrate his victory.
“What we saw tonight is America First defeating America last,” businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who ended his own campaign earlier this month, said after Trump invited him onstage. “If you want America last, you can go to Joe Biden. You know who delivered a double-digit victory tonight — is this man, Donald J. Trump.
“What we see right now with [Haley] continuing in the race is the ugly underbelly of American politics,” he added. “I say the general election begins tonight and this man will win it in a landslide.”
Even President Joe Biden appeared to see an end to the Republican race nearing on Tuesday night.
“It is now clear that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee,” he said in a statement. “And my message to the country is the stakes could not be higher.”
The Stakes Have Never Been Higher