Nikki Haley Fumes Over Nevada Primary Loss, Says Trump ‘Rigged’ the Election

Nikki Haley Fumes Over Nevada Primary Loss, Says Trump ‘Rigged’ the Election

There are plenty of things you can call “rigged” in Nevada.

Slot machines, for instance. Video poker. Roulette. The state is known for being the first in the nation to legalize gambling, after all — and if there’s one rule of gambling, it’s that games are “rigged” so that the house inevitably wins. There’s a reason casinos look like Roman palaces and not lean-to shanties in Karachi.

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley and her supporters say they found two other things that were “rigged” in Nevada this week.

The first was the state caucuses, which award delegates toward the party’s nomination. The Las Vegas Review-Journal found plenty of Haley’s supporters who thought those, scheduled for Thursday, were “rigged” toward the Republican front-runner, former President Donald Trump.

That’s why Haley decided to take part in the symbolic state-mandated primary on Tuesday, which Trump did not. It wouldn’t award delegates, but at least it wouldn’t be “rigged,” right?

Well, then she lost to … absolutely nobody. So it became “rigged.”

This is a complicated sequence of events, so let me do a quick recap.

In 2021, Democratic legislators passed a bill that mandated the state hold a primary instead of a caucus, which is how the state previously awarded delegates. One might assume that this had something to do with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ overperformance in caucuses as opposed to primaries during the 2020 cycle; his 26-point win over Joe Biden in the third-in-the-nation Nevada caucuses led many to believe Sanders’ nomination was inevitable — before he got destroyed in the South Carolina primary and then in Super Tuesday results, of course.

However, the GOP announced it was retaining the caucuses for the purpose of awarding delegates, citing problems with the vote-by-mail process.

Haley opted out of the caucuses and instead focused on the primary in Nevada, with the Review-Journal finding plenty of her supporters who said they felt “the process has been rigged for Trump.”

“It feels like the guys that were complaining about an election being stolen are stealing an election,” said Thomas Kramer, described as a “lifelong Republican.”

So, in the symbolic-but-state-mandated primary, it was Haley vs. a box that said “none of these candidates” — no write-ins allowed. Guess who won?

Ouch. So now, naturally, the primary was “rigged,” too.

“We always knew Nevada was a scam. Trump had it rigged from the very beginning,” Haley said during an appearance Wednesday on Fox Business.

“Our focus is on South Carolina, going into Michigan, going into Super Tuesday,” the former U.N. ambassador said. “Those are the places that we’re worried about. We’re not focused on Nevada. We never were.”

She reiterated those remarks in an interview with KTTV-TV in Los Angeles, elaborating on why she thought it was rigged.

“Nevada is such a scam. They were supposed to have a primary. Trump rigged it so that the GOP chairman, who’s been indicted, would go and create a caucus,” Haley said.

“We knew months ago that we weren’t going to spend a day or a dollar in Nevada because it wasn’t worth it,” she said. “And so we didn’t even count Nevada. That wasn’t anything we were looking at. We knew that it was rigged from the start. Our focus is on South Carolina, Michigan, Super Tuesday.”

As former Fox News producer Kyle Becker noted, this certainly sounded like the prattling of “an election denier.”

There are several problems with this, the first being that Trump had basically told his supporters the primary was more than meaningless, as well.

“Your primary vote doesn’t mean anything. It’s your caucus vote,” the former president said during an appearance in Las Vegas in January, according to The Hill.

Thus, there wasn’t a need to spend a dime. Trump had already told his supporters not to bother with the primary. Don’t even bother licking the stamp on the mail-in ballot; it’s not worth your time. Local media had billed it as a referendum on Haley’s support in the state amid what her supporters thought was a “rigged” process.

And the results of the referendum? Nevada Republicans preferred “nobody” to Nikki Haley. Even Reuters — a wire service that tilts well to the left and where one imagines a blown-up photograph of Trump’s visage is used as a newsroom dartboard — called the result a “mortifying defeat” for the former South Carolina governor.

“A spokesperson for Haley, Olivia Perez-Cubas, downplayed Haley’s loss, arguing that the process favored Trump,” Reuters noted.

“Even Donald Trump knows that when you play penny slots, the house wins. We didn’t bother to play a game rigged for Trump,” Perez-Cubas told Reuters.

The caucuses were rigged, so she went to the primary. She lost to “none of these candidates” in the primary, so the primary was rigged and it’s on to other states — where, rest assured, adverse results will also be treated as examples of the game being “rigged.”

At this point, Haley’s campaign song might as well be “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” the cheery song the condemned prisoner played by Eric Idle sings as he’s being crucified at the end of “Monty Python’s The Life of Brian.” Every possible bit of horrid news is met with a smile and a promise that next time around, things will be better. She can never just take the L.

Her third place in Iowa? Great!

Losing by 11 points in New Hampshire? Hey, her “sweet state of South Carolina” was coming up!

Forgoing the “rigged” caucuses and losing in the primary to literally nobody? Well, that was “rigged,” too!

To paraphrase the Monty Python tune: “Always look on the bright side of electoral death / Even as your campaign draws its terminal breath.”

They can sing the song all they like, but Donald Trump remains unbeaten thus far in the primaries, and the prospects for a turnaround anytime soon are about as good as your odds of consistently beating the slot machines in Vegas.

That’s not because the game is “rigged,” however. It’s because Haley’s campaign has run up against reality, and reality — like Trump — remains unbeaten.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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