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    Nikki Haley Says She Will Not Drop Out After the South Carolina Primary

    Days away from a heated Republican primary on her home turf, Nikki Haley on Tuesday pushed back against skeptics who have long urged her to drop out of the race, saying that while other members of her party had given into a “herd mentality” and fallen in line behind former President Donald J. Trump, she would not.

    “I feel no need to kiss the ring,” she said in a major speech in Greenville, S.C., pledging to continue her pursuit of the nomination past Saturday’s primary in South Carolina, her home state. “And I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him.”

    Ms. Haley also contended that many of the same Republican politicians “who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him” and were “too afraid” to speak up, despite knowing he had been “a disaster” for the party. She argued that Americans deserved a choice and not a “Soviet-style election,” which she described as only one candidate drawing 99 percent of the vote.

    “We don’t anoint kings in this country,” she said. “We have elections. And Donald Trump, of all people, should know we don’t rig elections.”

    The remarks were her sharpest yet against Mr. Trump and the way he has remade the Republican Party in his image. After taking a calibrated approach toward Mr. Trump for much of the race, Ms. Haley has assumed a more combative stance as she has become his last major rival.

    But Ms. Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a United Nations ambassador under Mr. Trump, is trailing her former boss in her home state by double digits. The national outlook for her campaign does not look much brighter.

    In a memo emailed to his supporters Tuesday, Mr. Trump, who for months fueled lies that the 2020 presidential election had been stolen from him, suggested that Ms. Haley was “like any wailing loser hellbent on an alternative reality” and that she had been “rejected by those who know her the best” in South Carolina. The memo also contended she had no path to the nomination, pointing to her string of losses so far.

    Mr. Trump was expected to make his own appearance on Tuesday in Greenville for a Fox News town-hall-style event later in the day.

    With questions about when she will leave the race continuing to dog her campaign, Ms. Haley keeps reiterating her promise to stay in through Super Tuesday, on March 5, regardless of the outcome on Saturday. Some of her closest allies have not ruled out the possibility that she could stay in longer.

    Her campaign has continued to collect funds from top-dollar donors and to announce elected officials, business leaders and prominent community members who are helping lead their efforts across the country, including in Alaska, California, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington.

    On Tuesday, she echoed a forceful response to her detractors that she has incorporated into her stump speech in recent days, suggesting a majority of Americans did not want to see a rematch between Mr. Trump and President Biden.

    “Trump and Biden are two old men who are only getting older,” she said. “Nearly 60 percent of Americans say Trump and Biden are both too old to be president — because they are.”

    She contended Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump had both “replaced normalcy with chaos.”

    “The truth is, Americans already know what Joe Biden and Donald Trump will do,” she said. “But we’re just as concerned with who they are. They’re dividers at a time when America desperately, urgently, needs a uniter.”

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