How Did Nikki Haley Do In The Republican Debate? – If you hadn’t heard of Nikki Haley before Wednesday’s Republican debate, it’s likely you do now.
The former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations was the only female candidate on stage during the Fox News broadcast. It’s something she was quick to highlight herself during an argument between her male competitors. “This is exactly why Margaret Thatcher said, ‘If you want something said, ask a man. If you want something done, ask a woman,’” Haley told the crowd.
A former Governor of South Carolina, Haley has never lost a race for office. Her unbeaten record may be ending given the popularity of former president Donald Trump, but she certainly made an impression in her maiden bid for the Republican nomination.
A Strong Performance by Nikki Haley
Haley’s gender was not the only factor in standing out from her Republican rivals. For a start, she was the only candidate not wearing a red tie under a blue jacket, so visually alone she presented an alternative to her competitors.
She made several strong points, standing on ground her opponents wouldn’t dare touch. She strongly blamed Republican involvement over the economy, stating that “Republicans did this to you too” when discussing the U.S. budget deficit.
In stark contrast to Vivek Ramaswamy, Haley described Trump as the “most disliked politician in America,” forecasting a defeat in 2024 should he become president. She also slammed the youngest candidate in GOP history over his intention to halt spending to Ukraine, accusing him of “choosing a murderer” over an ally.
“You don’t do that to friends. What you do instead is you have the backs of your friends. Ukraine, it’s a front line of defense,” she said in Milwaukee. “Putin has said… once Russia takes Ukraine, Poland and the Baltics are next. That’s a world war. We’re trying to prevent war. Look at what Putin did today. He killed Prigozhin. When I was at the U.N., the Russian ambassador suddenly died. This guy is a murderer. And you are choosing a murderer over a pro-American country.”
Haley immediately stated she was “unapologetically pro-life” on abortion rights.
Still, she insisted that a nationwide ban would not be possible due to the requirement of 60 Senate voters for it to pass. “Let’s treat this like the respectful issue that it is and humanize the situation and stop demonizing the situation,” she concluded.
However, she faced criticism from a surprisingly strong Mike Pence, who, unlike Haley, committed to a federal ban on abortion.
“You’re my friend, but consensus is the opposite of leadership,” Pence said. “When the Supreme Court returned this question to the American people, they didn’t just send it to the states only—it is not a states-only issue. It is a moral issue.”
She fired back, telling Pence to be “honest with the American people.” A pragmatic response, albeit not one which will win many votes.
Nevertheless, while Haley 2024 is an unlikely prospect, she certainly made a strong showing of herself and subsequently laid down the cards for a future presidential nomination.
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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