Politico does a piece on the maybe jockeying between Republican Vice President Pence and former South Carolina and US/UN Amb. Nikki Haley…
Pence has been a stand by your man Trump supporter, as he has two be, and Haley has sometimes criticised Trump’s actions ….
The two claim to to have no problems with each other, but Republicans seem to feel that they are setting themselves up for when Donald Trump leaves the stage….
The recent divisions have been fueled partly by the rumors that Haley could replace Pence on the ticket and the fact she took so long to address them. Some top Pence aides said they think Haley or an ally was behind the Wall Street Journal op-ed, which a representative for the former ambassador denied.
The White House has pushed back against the idea that Pence will get booted. Trump privately told Pence he was irritated by the Wall Street Journal article, and last weekend the president told reporters he was “very happy” with the vice president and “wouldn’t be thinking about” removing him from the ticket.
Erick Erickson, a prominent conservative commentator who is close to Pence and Haley, said the former ambassador was wise to shoot down the VP speculation. The rumors had intensified so much that two governors had recently reached out to him to ask whether Pence was about to be canned, Erickson said.
“I do think there are people in Trump-world who question her loyalty now,” he said. “And so making sure they see her as loyal is a good thing and getting out there and defending the vice president about rumors that are circulating behind the scenes isn’t a bad thing for her to do.”
Pence’s inner circle is convinced Haley is laying the groundwork for a future presidential bid. Since departing the administration late last year, she’s crisscrossed the country raising money for down-ballot candidates and conservative groups. Haley has also formed “Stand for America,” a political advocacy organization.
The group allows Haley to cultivate major donors and establish the kind of national fundraising network she would need to mount a national campaign. Among those working for the group is Mark Harris, an operative who worked on a pro-Marco Rubio super PAC during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Some Haley skeptics said they’re watching to see whether she uses the organization to help candidates in next year’s races, or saves its resources for later. David McIntosh, the president of the anti-tax Club for Growth, said potential future Republican presidential candidates will be judged based on what they do to help the party in 2020.
“I know where Pence comes out on it, that’s exactly what he’s doing. I would hope — and Haley’s a smart politician so I think she would get it — that that’s her key task right now as well,” said McIntosh, a longtime Pence ally….