For a brief moment, it looked as if Nikki Haley was going to be a true threat to Donald Trump. She was rising in the polls, besting even popular figure Ron DeSantis.
But in recent weeks, her campaign has struggled significantly. She was heavily criticized for comments that appeared to go against Americans’ First Amendment rights.
More recently, during a Q&A, she was asked about the origins of the Civil War. Her response oddly focused on the role of government. She criticized the government that wanted to dictate individuals’ freedoms. But she left out something even grade school children know.
During her minute-long answer about the Civil War, Haley neglects to mention slavery as the main cause of the conflict. It appears she was heavily critical of “big government.” But given the context, it sounded almost as if she was defending the slave states who seceded and criticized President Lincoln and the North.
This odd answer to what appeared to be a simple question did not go over well for many people. And now, both Republicans and Democrats are hitting back.
From Fox News:
The voter responded that he was shocked she didn’t mention the word “slavery.”
“What do you want me to say about slavery?” Haley asked. “Next question.”
Haley’s response sparked a backlash from the White House to the campaign trail.
President Biden’s X account jumped on the backlash by stating the Civil War was about slavery. Most historical books, and records from the era, prove that slavery was the chief issue leading to the Civil War.
Haley seemed defensive when the voter asked about slavery. She dismissed his remark and demanded another question. She tried to clarify her remarks later, acknowledging the war “was about slavery.” She then went on to say “But more than that…” and continued talking about “individual rights” and liberties.
Most Americans do not equate the Civil War with the fight for individual liberties. The war erupted after Southern states broke from the Union to protect slavery. President Lincoln fought to bring them back.
Haley’s insistence that the war was about something that it wasn’t will only upset and confuse many voters.
UPDATE: Nikki Haley responded the next day to criticism.
From The Washington Post:
“Of course the Civil War was about slavery. We know that. That’s the easy part of it,” the Republican presidential candidate said on “The Pulse of NH,” a local radio show.
“I want to nip it in the bud. Yes, we know the Civil War was about slavery. But more than that, what’s the lesson in all this?” she said in her radio interview. “That freedom matters. And individual rights and liberties matter for all people. That’s the blessing of America…
Haley on Thursday also accused the man who asked her the question of being a Democratic plant. The audience member declined to share his name or party affiliation with reporters.
“We see these guys when they come in. We know what they’re doing,” Haley said.
What do you think of Nikki’s response? Was it fair, or was she trying to justify her initial answer? And what about her accusation of the man who asked the question? Is her response appropriate for a presidential candidate?
- Candidate Nikki Haley refused to say the Civil War was about slavery.
- She claimed it was about big government taking away Americans’ “individual rights.”
- Republicans criticized her response; Joe Biden’s X account even corrected her.