Haley should really stop talking about this if she wants to save her 2024 run.
Nikki Haley, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is once again facing criticism, this time for her response to questions about the cause of the Civil War during a recent CNN town hall in Des Moines, Iowa. Fellow GOP candidate Chris Christie had previously criticized Haley for initially omitting slavery in her response to the same question. Haley defended herself, asserting that she was not unwilling to offend and explained that growing up in South Carolina, where she learned about slavery in early grades, she should have mentioned it from the start.
Haley’s response drew criticism from rival Ron DeSantis’s campaign and sparked discussions among pundits and political observers. The DeSantis War Room account on social media highlighted her comments, and “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin cautioned against using the “I have Black friends” defense when addressing racism concerns.
In a subsequent joint interview with NBC News and The Des Moines Register, Haley reiterated that she had experienced racism firsthand as part of the only Indian family in her small Southern town. She emphasized that having Black friends was a source of pride for her and spoke about the challenges she faced growing up in the Deep South.
These comments come in the wake of a series of attempts by Haley to clarify her stance on the cause of the Civil War, starting with remarks made in December during a town hall in Berlin, N.H. Initially downplaying the role of slavery, she later acknowledged in a radio interview that the Civil War was indeed about slavery but emphasized its contemporary significance in terms of freedom.
These recent controversies arise at a crucial juncture for Haley, as she gains momentum in New Hampshire polls just a week before the Iowa GOP caucus. However, former President Trump maintains a lead over both DeSantis and Haley in both early-state and national polling.