June 20, 2024

Nikki Haley slammed for not mentioning ‘slavery’ as cause of the Civil War in ‘word salad’ answer during town hall

“What do you want me to say about slavery? Next question,” Haley shot back.

Nikki Haley slammed for not mentioning ‘slavery’ as cause of the Civil War in ‘word salad’ answer during town hall

Democrats and supporters of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday after she refused to name slavery as the primary cause of the Civil War.

Democrats and supporters of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday after she refused to name slavery as the primary cause of the Civil War. 

Haley, 51, made the apparent gaffe during a town hall event in Berlin, NH, after a voter asked the former United Nations ambassador to identify the cause of the deadliest war in American history. 

The White House hopeful appeared caught off guard by the question and failed to mention the antebellum South’s “peculiar institution” in her response. 

“I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run,” Haley said. “The freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.” 

“I think it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are,” Haley went on. “And I will always stand by the fact that I think government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people.”

She continued her long-winded answer by going off on a tangent on capitalism and First Amendment rights.

Nikki Haley was asked by a voter in New Hampshire about the cause of the Civil War, and failed to name slavery. Kaitlan Collins/X

“It was never meant to be all things to all people,” the Republican presidential contender continued. “Government doesn’t need to tell you how to live your life. They don’t need to tell you what you can and can’t do. They don’t need to be a part of your life. They need to make sure that you have freedom.

“We need to have capitalism. We need to have economic freedom. We need to make sure that we do all things so that individuals have the liberties so that they can have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do or be anything they want to be without government getting in the way.”

The individual who posed the question to the candidate responded that it was “astonishing” to hear her answer “without mentioning the word slavery.” 

Nikki Haley said “the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run.”Kaitlan Collins/X

“What do you want me to say about slavery? Next question,” Haley shot back. 

President Biden’s X account shared a video of Haley’s town hall moment and tweeted, “It was about slavery.”  

Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison tweeted that Haley’s answer was “not stunning if you were a Black resident in [South Carolina] when she was Governor.”

“Same person who said the confederate flag was about tradition & heritage and as a minority woman she was the right person to defend keeping it on state house grounds. Some may have forgotten but I haven’t. Time to take off the rose colored Nikki Haley glasses folks,” he added.   

“Sorry, [Haley]. The Civil War was about slavery. Period,” Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), who is running for the Democratic nomination for president, tweeted.

Christina Pushaw, DeSantis’ rapid response coordinator, mocked Haley’s convoluted answer, describing it as “word-salad regarding the Civil War.” 

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Ron DeSantis slams Nikki Haley for her ‘incomprehensible word salad’ about the cause of the Civil War: Florida governor says she’s ‘not ready for primetime’ and it’s ‘not that difficult’ to ‘acknowledge the role slavery played’

DeSantis slams Haley for ‘incomprehensible word salad’ about Civil War

Ron DeSantis went in for the kill on Thursday, slamming rival Nikki Haley for her Civil War gaffe and saying it showed she was simply not ready for primetime.

Ron DeSantis went in for the kill on Thursday, slamming rival Nikki Haley for her Civil War gaffe and saying it showed she was simply not ready for primetime.

The Florida governor said his rival for the 2024 Republican nomination was wilting under the pressure and had a weak grasp of basic American history if she did not know that slavery was a key factor in the Civil War.

‘I just think that this shows this is not a candidate that’s ready for primetime,’ he told reporters in Iowa.

‘And she’s gotten a pretty free ride from a lot of corporate press. The minute that she faces any type of scrutiny she tends to cave.’

It came after Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, was forced into damage limitation mode for not mentioning slavery when asked about the causes of the Civil War. 

Issues surrounding the origins of the Civil War and its heritage are still much of the fabric of Haley’s home state, and she has been pressed on the war’s origins before.

As she ran for governor in 2010, Haley, in an interview with a now-defunct activist group then known as The Palmetto Patriots, described the war as between two disparate sides fighting for ‘tradition’ and ‘change’ and said the Confederate flag was ‘not something that is racist.’

During that same campaign, she dismissed the need for the flag to come down from the Statehouse grounds, portraying her Democratic rival’s push for its removal as a desperate political stunt.

Five years later, Haley urged lawmakers to remove the flag from its perch near a Confederate soldier monument following a mass shooting in which a white gunman killed eight Black church members who were attending Bible study. 

At the time, Haley said the flag had been ‘hijacked’ by the shooter from those who saw the flag as symbolizing ‘sacrifice and heritage.’

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