Nikki Haley Fails To Mention Slavery As Cause For Civil War
NEW CONWAY, NH (IANS) – Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley was let off the hook for her comments on the American Civil War sans slavery by the voters in New Hampshire where she has built up a strong lead in her attempts to close the ranks with the Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, who has been slammed with a ruling from Maine that keeps him off the state ballot, the second state after Colorado.
Voters did not care much about her comments on the American Civil War but gave her a rousing reception at New Conway here, almost digging into her now famous tagline on the 2024 campaign trail – “It’s not what I say, it’s what I’ve done”, media reports said.
Haley faced backlash from Republican and Democratic opponents over her response to a town hall question on December 27 night about the cause of the Civil War, in which she failed to mention slavery.
A mere 2 percent of New Hampshire’s population is Black or African American, according to the 2020 US Census.
Haley attempted to walk back her comments during the North Conway event. “Of course, the Civil War was about slavery,” she told the predominantly older white crowd packed into a high school library. “But the lessons of the bigger issue with the Civil War is that let’s not forget what came out of that which is the government’s role, individual liberties, freedom for every single person.”
Town hall attendees told USA TODAY at a Haley event in North Conway that the critical response was a minor blip in her campaign. And the voters across the aisles said that it wasn’t likely to impact their support for her.
Haley had described the cause of the Civil War as government control, “freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do”.
The response from New Hampshire voters, and particularly independents, comes as Haley looks to topple Trump in the presidential primary.
Haley is betting heavily on a coalition of hesitant Trump voters, never-Trump voters, and independents like Blundo in the Granite State to help her close the gap with the former President and potentially catapult her to success in other contests.
With less than five weeks to go until the primary, Haley can’t afford to lose any support, reports pointed out.
One of the major factors that are likely to determine whether Haley’s comments about the Civil War will mark an inflection point for her campaign is her response, veteran GOP strategist Mike Dennehy said.
“It started as a fairly serious misstep, but if she isn’t clear about her position on slavery in the Confederate flag and the Civil War, it will keep coming up and could present a serious challenge,” he said.
NAACP said Haley’s comments “perpetuate a dangerous narrative”.
“To diminish the role of slavery in the Civil War is not only historically inaccurate but also fails to acknowledge the ongoing impact of systemic racism and white supremacy as a result of it,” the tweet said.