Newsom on Haley staying in race despite loss to Trump: ‘I’m applauding every single day’

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) came to the defense of Nikki Haley on Sunday, calling on her not to drop out because of her attacks on former President Trump.

“I don’t know why Democrats would want her out of the race. She’s one of our better surrogates,” Newsom said in an NBC “Meet the Press” interview with Kristen Welker on Sunday. “I mean, she’s defining the opposition of Trump incredibly effectively.”

He said there’s no shot Haley can win the GOP nomination, adding that it’s “beyond me” why she wants to stay in, but that she is helping Democrats just by pointing out Trump’s flaws.

“She’s making points I’m applauding every single day about his temperament, his capacity, his unraveling in real time,” he said. “And so I think she’s been incredibly effective, so I hope she stays in, personally.”

Haley faces a steep challenge to get near the GOP nomination after a difficult South Carolina primary loss on Saturday night. Haley stacked hopes on her home state’s primary but fell 21 points short of Trump.

Despite the loss, Haley committed to staying in the race until at least Super Tuesday on March 5.

“I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for president,” Haley said Saturday.

“I’m a woman of my word,” she added. “I’m not giving up this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden.”

In his victory speech, Trump all but brushed off Haley’s primary challenge, moving his focus squarely to a likely general election rematch against President Biden.

“We’re going to be up here on November 5, and we’re going to look at Joe Biden, and we’re gonna look him right in the eye,” Trump told his supporters. “He’s destroying our country and we’re gonna say ‘Joe, you’re fired. Get out. Get out, Joe. You’re fired.’”

Newsom, a top Biden surrogate, made clear that the campaign knows it must also focus all its energy on Trump as well.

“Trump clearly is the nominee. The Biden administration understands that,” he said. “The campaign understands that. We understand it at some national level, or gubernatorial level. And that’s who we’re up against.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.