Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is already securing key endorsements.
On Wednesday, House Freedom Caucus member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) has chosen to endorse Haley for president, dealing a disappointing blow to former President Donald Trump.
“We are at a pivotal point in our nation. While the Republican candidates, values, and messages have done very well here in South Carolina, that hasn’t been the case everywhere across our great nation,” Norman said in a tweet on Wednesday.
“It’s time for a reset and a new chapter in national Republican politics, and there’s no better person to help write that new chapter than our former governor and my good friend, Nikki Haley!” Norman said.
Rep. Norman was among the more than 20 hardline Republicans that withheld support from Kevin McCarthy during the contentious battle to elect the newest House Speaker.
Following the tense Speaker battle, Norman was appointed to serve on the influential House Rules Committee, which controls legislation that can go to the House floor.
The South Carolina congressman’s decision to stray from Trump is notable, Norman has been a staunch defender of the former president for years.
According to The Hill, Norman has also been a supporter of former President Trump and voted against certifying the 2020 Electoral College results from Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, 2021. Text messages reported by Talking Points Memo show that Norman texted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021, encouraging Trump to invoke “Marshall [sic] Law” to investigate alleged election fraud.
In comments to Fox News, Norman said that Trump “was exactly who the Republican Party needed at the time” in 2016 because he “reminded us how to fight what we believe,” but that the GOP has since “entered a season of change.”
“We’re at a pivotal juncture, and most of the Republicans I know are now looking for new leadership with a new vision at the top of the ticket. Nikki Haley has that vision, and she’s going to be an outstanding President,” Norman told Fox News.