(LAS VEGAS) — Following a bruising defeat in the Nevada’s Republican primary on Tuesday, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley sought to brush off the fact that she came in second to “none of these candidates” — her third straight loss in the presidential race so far — and said her campaign focus is on other, bigger states.
She also reiterated that she never saw much point in seriously competing against former President Donald Trump in Nevada, which is holding two different nominating contests: the primary she ran in, which didn’t award delegates to earn the GOP nomination, and the party-run caucuses on Thursday, which will.
“We always knew Nevada was a scam,” Haley said on Fox Business on Wednesday. “Trump had it rigged from the very beginning. There are multiple press stories on that. … They wanted us to pay $55,000 to just participate in their caucus. So we didn’t spend a day or $1 there. We weren’t even worried about it.”
Haley’s campaign previously called the caucuses “rigged,” an allegation the Nevada Republican Party has repeatedly denied.
Haley said on Fox Business that her current focus is on South Carolina, Michigan and Super Tuesday, on March 5, when many states will vote simultaneously.
Olivia Perez-Cuba, a spokeswoman for the Haley campaign, released a statement on Tuesday following the former governor’s loss, echoing Haley’s sentiments.
“Even Donald Trump knows that when you play penny slots the house wins,” she said, adding, “We’re full steam ahead in South Carolina and beyond.”
Haley had largely skipped campaigning in Nevada altogether. Instead of being in the state on Tuesday, she attended fundraisers in California, where she is also hosting campaign events throughout the day on Wednesday.
Though she still trails Trump in both polling and delegates, Haley has said it’s early in the primary season — and she’s not going anywhere.
Her campaign schedule reflects that. Following her swing in California this week, she’ll head back to South Carolina, where she’ll hold two campaign events this weekend in the lead-up to the Feb. 24 primary there.
ABC News’ Nicholas Kerr and Soo Rin Kim contributed to this report
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