Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) endorsed former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) for president on Wednesday, her first endorsement from the South Carolina congressional delegation.
“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.
Norman is a member of the hard-line conservative House Freedom Caucus and was one of the 20 House Republicans withholding support from Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker in order to secure concessions on spending and rules to empower rank-and-file members. Norman pushed for the House to pass a plan to balance the federal budget.
After the Speaker vote, McCarthy appointed Norman and two other hard-line conservative lawmakers to the House Rules Committee, which controls legislation that can go to the House floor.
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.
Norman and Haley both served in the South Carolina State House starting in 2005, and he was an early supporter of her run for governor.
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.
Haley is set to hold a presidential announcement event in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday. She is the second person to jump into what is expected to become a crowded GOP presidential primary.
Other South Carolina congressional lawmakers have praised Haley as she entered the presidential race, but stopped short of an official endorsement.
“She has performed at the highest level in every elected and appointed position she has held,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a tweet on Tuesday.
“I think it’s exciting. She is more than qualified for the job. She’s got experience on the global scale,” Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) told CNN on Tuesday. Haley endorsed Mace in her 2022 primary as Trump endorsed a GOP challenger.
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott (R) is also considered to be a potential presidential candidate, and will attend a presidential forum alongside Haley in South Carolina next month.