Nikki Haley Says Americans 'Are Not Going to Vote for a Convicted Criminal' for President

Haley's remark came weeks after she said she would support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee for president even if he was a convicted felon

<p>AP Photo/Morry Gash(2)</p> Nikki Haley (left), Donald Trump

AP Photo/Morry Gash(2)

Nikki Haley (left), Donald Trump

While Nikki Haley has said she would support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee, even if he is convicted of a crime prior to the 2024 election, she doesn't expect the American people to follow suit.

Speaking on CBS' Face the Nation Sunday, the former South Carolina governor and a Republican candidate for president said she doesn't think Americans will vote for a convicted criminal.

"The American people are not going to vote for a convicted criminal. The American people are going to vote for someone who can win a general election," Haley, 51, said. "I have faith in the American people. They know what they need to do."

Related: Nikki Haley Slams Donald Trump in GOP Debate: ‘Most Disliked Politician in America’

During last month's GOP debate in Milwaukee — which Trump did not attend — Haley was among the candidates who said they would support the former president as the Republican nominee even if he were convicted of a crime prior to the election.

Speaking on Face the Nation, Haley defended that decision, saying, “What you saw were candidates on that stage said that they would do exactly what they signed and pledged to do which is support the Republican nominee."

Now on the heels of his four historic indictments, there is the possibility that Trump could be convicted of a crime ahead of the election.

Still, his support has not waned among voters in his party, with polls showing the former president sitting about 40 points ahead of the next closest Republican candidate, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Related: Chris Christie Says Trump Won't Win 2024 General Election: 'Loser, Loser, Loser, Loser'

Even as Trump is leading in GOP primary polls, he remains broadly unpopular with the national public.

Haley was one of the few Republican candidates at the first 2024 GOP debate to criticize Trump, calling him "the most disliked politician in America."

“It is time for a new generational conservative leader," Haley said during the debate, which aired on Fox News. "We have to look at the fact that three-quarters of Americans don't want a rematch between Trump and Biden. And we have to face the fact that Trump is the most disliked politician in America. We can't win a general election that way."

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Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Trump from January 2017 until her resignation in December 2018.

Since leaving his administration, she has both embraced and pushed back against Trump, at one point calling his rhetoric "so unnecessary" and at another saying he "tells the world what it needs to hear."

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