Nikki Haley says GOP becoming ‘playpen’ for Trump

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Presidential candidate Nikki Haley is warning the Republican Party that it is becoming former President Donald Trump’s “playpen.”

Haley made the comments while speaking in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on the campaign trail following a brutal defeat in her home state of South Carolina. 

“Look at what’s happening at the RNC. The idea that they would be choosing a chair and a director before a primary is over is a massive control move by Donald Trump,” Haley warned. 

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel will formally resign her position after the Super Tuesday primaries on March 5.

The announcement comes weeks after Trump revealed his recommendations for changes within the RNC earlier this month. He proposed that North Carolina GOP chair Michael Whatley take over as chairman, while his daughter-in-law Lara Trump and campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita also receive leadership positions.

“The idea that there is a resolution out there in the RNC saying ‘Donald Trump can’t use [the RNC] for his legal slush fund’ – and he’s upset that that was proposed – tells you everything you need to know,” Haley continued. 

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Lara Trump told reporters earlier this month that “every single penny” would go to the campaign effort if she were appointed. 

“Every single penny will go to the No. 1 and the only job of the RNC – that is electing Donald J. Trump as president of the United States and saving this country,” she added.

“The idea that those now moving into the RNC are saying the RNC is only going to be about Donald Trump – you can hang up House, you can hang up Senate and the rest of the ticket,” Haley told the crowd at Grand Rapids. “Donald Trump is now turning the Republican Party into his own playpen.”

Nearly 800 delegates are up for grabs on Super Tuesday, with over 150 at stake over the following two weeks. Among the states holding contests on Super Tuesday are delegate-rich California and Texas, while other big states like Florida, Illinois and Ohio will hold winner-take-all primaries on March 19. Polling in many of those states indicates Trump holds large leads over Haley.

The Trump campaign predicted in its memo that the former president would secure the nomination on March 19, even under a “most generous model” for Haley.

“Let’s see if it happens,” Haley quickly responded when asked by Fox News what she would do if Trump clinches the nomination next month.

Fox News Digital’s Paul Steinhauser and Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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