Presidential hopeful Nikki Haley By. WSJ/GETTY IMAGES
In an online presentation that lasted about 20 minutes, RNC presidential primary candidate Nikki Haley spoke to guests of the VI Republican Party about why she, and not Donald Trump, should be their choice for November’s presidential election.
Telling listeners that “I’ve always spoken in hard truths, and I’m going to do that with you today,” Ms. Haley placed blame on her fellow Republicans for the inflationary environment the country finds itself in today. She identified as culprits the over $2.2 trillion stimulus bill signed into law by President Trump in 2020, which according to Ms. Haley was “passed with no accountability,” as well as “that expanded welfare that’s now left us with 80 million Americans on Medicaid, 42 million Americans on food stamps.”
Once they regained control of the levers of power, “did Republicans try and make it right?” Ms. Haley asked. “No, they doubled down and opened up pet projects and earmarks for the first time in 10 years.” She decried the reported 7,000 earmarked projects that were executed last year, among them $7 million towards the renovation of a Colorado courthouse, and $30 million in funding for the University of Vermont, and promised to curb what she portrayed as rampant federal spending if Republicans, and the country in November, decide to put “an accountant in the White House.”
Her message of fiscal prudence included plans to recall “the $100 billion of unspent Covid dollars that are still out there.” IRS agents would be tasked with tracking down “the hundreds of billions of dollars of Covid fraud,” and she promised to “veto any spending bill that doesn’t take us back to pre-Covid levels.” Under a Nikki Haley administration, vast swathes of the federal government’s apparatus would be dismantled, with responsibility devolved to the states. “Think education, think welfare, think health care, think mental health, if all of those came down to the states or territories – and without strings – what a difference we can make.”
The primary candidate also vowed to abolish federal taxes on fossil fuels, as well as cutting personal taxes “on the middle class,”, and shrinking the number of tax brackets. Small business tax cuts would be made permanent, Ms. Haley promised. “Small business have always been the heartbeat of our economy, we need to start acting like it.”
In the education sector, Ms. Haley called for full transparency in classrooms, school choice for parents, encouraging vocational programs integrating into high school programming, and the banning of transgender children from participating in sports programs not meant for their biological sex.
A national e-verify program “that requires every business to prove that the people they hire are in this country legally” was at the top of Ms. Haley’s agenda for solving illegal immigration, followed by an aim to “defund sanctuary cities once and for all,” and to deploy 25,000 Border Patrol and ICE agents on the ground.
Her plans for veterans included access to telehealth and allowing hospital and doctor choice. She decried the condition of homelessness, which afflicts approximately 35,000 veterans, and expressed major concern over the alarming rate of self-harm and suicide among those who have served the country in its military. “We can’t just love our men and women when they’re gone, we’ve got to love them when they come back home too,” Ms. Haley asserted, recounting the difficult transition her husband Michael endured following his return from deployment to Afghanistan.
Energy dominance by increased production and sales of fossil fuels and nuclear plants is Nikki Haley’s vision, as she vowed to “get the EPA out of the way right now” and resume the building of major oil pipelines including Keystone.
Meanwhile, she called for term limits and age-based competency tests for members of Congress, an institution she likened to the “most privileged nursing home in the country.”
Her foreign policy strategy included military support for both Ukraine and Israel, calling the latter country “the tip of the spear when it comes to defeating terrorism.” She repeated her controversial assessment of the relationship between the two countries, stating once again that “it has never been that Israel needs America. It has always been that America needs Israel,” stating that supporting both countries would only consume 5% of the national defense budget. She linked both Ukraine’s and Israel’s success to America’s national security, but did not address the claims that Israel is prosecuting its aggression against Palestinians with genocidal intent and effect.
Despite the conflagrations in these two countries, Ms. Haley identified China as “the number one national security threat,” claiming that Chinese agents have “already infiltrated our country” in preparation for a future war. She warned of the buying up of large swathes of land across the U.S. by Chinese entities, some near sensitive military bases. She also accused China of funneling “millions of dollars into our universities, spreading Chinese propaganda [and] stealing our research.” She claimed that the Chinese balloon which was shot down off the coast of South Carolina last year had “picked up all of our surveillance and sent it to China” — an assertion contradicted by an assessment from Pentagon officials.
Ms. Haley ended her remarks by making the case for her electability, saying that the country could not afford the turmoil a second Donal Trump presidency would bring. “I supported and voted for Donald Trump both times,” she told listeners. “I was proud to serve in his administration, I agree with a lot of his policies. But rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him,” she asserted. “Y’all know I’m right. Chaos follows him,” Ms. Haley doubled down, painting the re-election of Mr. Trump as an existential threat to America. “We can’t have a country in disarray and a world on fire and go to four more years of chaos, we will not survive it.”
Pointing to recent polling results from the Wall Street Journal, Ms. Haley made the case that her double-digit lead over incumbent Joe Biden in a hypothetical presidential election matchup made her the obvious choice over Mr. Trump – in the poll, Haley beats Biden by 17 points, compared with Trump’s 4-point margin. “If we win by 17 points that’s bigger than the presidency,” she told listeners. “That’s governorships. That’s House, that’s Senate, that’s all the way down to the school board.” Such a win, Ms. Haley said, would be a strong mandate to implement the policies she spent the earlier portion of her address outlining, “but in order to have that it’s going to take a lot of courage,” she admonished. Urging listening to canvass support for her campaign, she warned “don’t complain about what happens in the general election if you don’t play in this primary – it matters.”
This year, the Republican caucus will be held on February 8, where four delegates will be chosen to represent the territorial party in the Republican National Convention.