(ConservativeSense.com) – Nikki Haley attracted criticism from Democrats and Republicans when she refused to mention slavery as a cause of the US Civil War. Asked at a rally in New Hampshire what caused the war, Haley replied that it was about the role of government and established the United States as a nation of capitalism and freedom. The questioner asked why she hadn’t mentioned slavery, but she replied, “What do you want me to say about slavery?” followed quickly by, “Next question.”
Most people consider slavery to be at the heart of America’s internal conflict, with southern states seeking to expand the practice and northern states opposing it.
Haley’s remarks prompted fierce debate online, with high-profile figures issuing stern condemnations. Fellow GOP candidate Chris Christie accused her of being afraid to offend “constituents in some other parts of the country.” President Biden tweeted a clip of the New Hampshire event with the caption, “It was about slavery.”
As Governor of South Carolina, Haley had a mixed record regarding the Confederacy and once defended the flag as a symbol of “service, sacrifice, and heritage.” In 2010, she insisted it was not racist but part of Southern tradition.
Following a backlash, she wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post and defended her position. She acknowledged that many people see the Confederate flag as a symbol of racism, but added that not everyone views it that way. “That’s hard for non-Southerners to understand, but it’s a fact,” she wrote.
Governor Haley appeared to change her mind, however, following the racist murder of nine people at a church in Charleston in 2015, and subsequently supported removing the Confederate symbol from public buildings. In the wake of the latest scandal in New Hampshire, Haley’s spokesperson said her “groundbreaking leadership on removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina Capitol grounds is well known.”
Nikki Haley’s popularity rose toward the end of 2023, and in the Granite State, she ended the year polling just 4% behind Donald Trump.
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