Republican Nikki Haley, former Governor of South Carolina and U.S. Ambassador under the U.N. with former President Donald Trump’s administration announced her run for President in the 2024 election in a video she released on Tuesday, February 14th.
What was in the video?
The brief video opened with Haley describing her background as the daughter of Indian immigrants who grew up in South Carolina divided by race and differences yet remaining optimistic; Haley said her mother always reminded her children that they were blessed to be living in America.
She then explains that Democrat Socialists claim that America’s history and policies are racist and evil - a claim she quickly refutes. Haley explains that she’s seen evil elsewhere - in genocide in China and citizen murders in Iran for challenging their government - and the United States is not like that.
The former Governor adds that she has seen evil before in America, though, through mass shootings. On days like those, Haley says the way to break through that evil was to turn toward God, something the U.S. must continue to do - part of one of her policies on her campaign site to “keep the faith.”
She then turns to the election, and precisely, the failures of Republicans and other politicians in the past and how she will be different, emphasizing the age difference between her 51 years as compared to President Joe Biden’s 80 and former President Trump’s 76. Haley criticizes President Joe Biden’s record, calling it “abysmal.” She also notes that Republicans have lost the popular vote for several years.
As the video closes, she emphasizes the need to rediscover financial responsibility and strengthen the border, topics that Republican politicians have on the front lines. She finishes by saying that she will not let other countries and its politicians bully the U.S. and is not afraid to fight back, pointing out that she can “[hurt] them more wearing heels.” Haley is a fighter, as reflected by her campaign slogan, “Stand for America,” and her insistence on the brightness of a future with the next generation.
Haley’s run thus far: critics and supporters
Since announcing her run, Haley has received an endorsement from Ralph Norman, a representative from South Carolina, who claims she has the same bold energy as Trump. Norman said that the U.S. needed Trump and Haley would bring that back. Haley has supported and criticized Trump’s actions but tends to go back and forth on those issues. One instance of this was Trump’s demand for a change in the results of the 2020 Presidential election: Haley denounced Trump for that action yet later supported other politicians who also challenged those results.
Another unique endorsement came from Cindy Warmier, whose son died after returning from custody in North Korea. Warmier said Haley “changed her life” after Haley supported Warmier’s family with texts and emails while they fought back against the injustice in North Korea.
Unfortunately for Haley, her launch wasn’t met with much more support, as a recent poll of registered Republican voters found that only 4% favored her. The same survey found that former President Trump was currently in the lead with 43% of the support. Other Republicans expected to run for the ticket include South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, and Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
Haley has also received a lot of backlash on Twitter since releasing her video, both from everyday folks and more notable figures.
Whoopi Goldberg on The View expressed frustration that the former Governor was only now realizing that the United States is not perfect and added that Haley is not saying anything new. Goldberg even said that Haley used to know right from wrong but now has lost her sanity. Haley reposted the video clip on her Twitter account with the caption, “Here we go again with Whoopi. The thought of me running for President makes the liberals’ heads explode. I wonder why? 😉 #AmericaIsNotARacistCountry.” The tweet currently has 1.1 million views and over 10,000 likes.
The hashtag #AmericaIsNotARacistCountry was then flooded with tweets from many angered Americans, particularly racial minorities. Her critics said she was blatantly ignoring the very discrimination she pointed out in her video that she experienced in her announcement video. Additionally, they accused her of pretending to be white, noting that her original full name was Nimrata Nikki Randhawa.
What does Nikki Haley stand for?
Some of Haley’s previous work as a former Governor and Ambassador includes successfully campaigning for the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the Stop Our Communist China Petition. She also ordered the Confederate flag removed from the Capitol grounds after a white supremacist shot 9 Black people worshiping in a church in 2015.
Additionally, Haley gave the Republican response to Barack Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address. She most notably said that the U.S. needs to fix its broken immigration system and stop letting in illegal immigrants.
She has also come out as pro-life and supports Israel in its ongoing conflict with Palestine. Further, she did not support legislation in South Carolina that would force transgender people to use the restroom according to the gender they were assigned at birth.
On her campaign site, Haley has a section for domestic issues and another for international matters. In the domestic issue section, Haley promises to “help every American achieve the American Dream through the protection of their security, interests, and values,” stating that Americans’ prosperity is being threatened by higher taxes, government healthcare, and “job-destroying regulations.” In the international section, she denounces the threats the U.S. faces from Islamic terrorism, influences spreading from Communist China, nuclear weapons from North Korea, Russia meddling in America’s elections, and illegal drug trafficking in Central and South America.
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To conclude, as the first female and first Indian-American Governor in South Carolina, Nikki Haley hopes to bring that to the 2024 election - as she would be the first female and Indian-American to win a GOP nomination and the first to be President as well. Haley has received a range of reactions to her running thus far, but it seems as though she will proceed with the persistent optimism that she brought to each of her previous rallies, shouting, “It’s a great day in South Carolina!”
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