Nikki Haley hosted a town hall at Murphy’s Taproom in Bedford, New Hampshire, on April 26th, continuing her Presidential campaign and her New Hampshire Town Hall series. Haley hosted a town hall here at NHIOP in February after announcing her campaign for President.
Haley began the event with her usual stump speech. She cited her work as a state legislator fighting against an incumbent who had held the seat for two decades. During her time as a state legislator, she fought against pay increases for the legislators and for a record of the votes cast by lawmakers.
Haley then spoke to her record as Governor of South Carolina, explaining how she took a state on an economic downturn and created what many economic pundits declared “the beast in the east.” By the time she left the corner office in South Carolina, the state was building airplanes for Boeing and building more BMWs than any other place in the world. South Carolina also brought in Volvo and Mercedes Benz during the Haley administration. Governor Haley also passed E-Verify laws requiring companies to verify whether their employees were legally in the United States, cracking down on illegal immigration.
After being Governor in South Carolina, Haley was recruited by the Trump administration to be the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. During her tenure as UN Ambassador, Haley oversaw the transition of the embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. She also claims to have “taken the kick me signs off our backs.”
Haley then transitioned away from her resume and began looking at the current situation in this country. She said, “I don’t need to tell you how bad things are. You go to the grocery store and you feel it. You enter your children’s school, you know it. Times are tough.” She talked about the rising debt in this country, adding, “Joe Biden, under his watch, has increased spending by $5 trillion. The average household has lost $7,400 in income.”
However, Haley did not only blame the incumbent President for the increase in spending, saying, “It’s easy to blame Joe, right? We’ve got this whole situation where we are going to raise the debt ceiling. And the fact that they’re even having conversations about raising the debt ceiling is an indictment on Congress. It’s an indictment on every President that we had prior to get us into this situation.”She also took shots at congressional Republicans, citing their role in the passing of the expansion of welfare and the 7000 earmarks that have passed through both houses of Congress with support from both parties.
Haley also highlighted flaws in our education system, pointing out that “70% of 8th graders aren’t proficient in reading. 67% of 8th graders are not proficient in math. No one is talking about how 90% of American children are still on critical race theory where a little girl goes into kindergarten, if she’s white, you’re telling her she’s bad, and if she’s brown or black you’re telling her she’ll never be good enough.”
During the question-answer section of her town hall, the first question was asked by a young girl. She asked, “What does it feel to be like president,” to which Nikki Haley responded, “Well, I don’t know yet, but if you give me a few months, I’ll have you over to the White House and we will figure it out together.”
The next question was from an older gentleman inquiring whether the 50-state one-country idea was still worth it or whether the states should split up and join together based on political affiliation. Haley responded by touting her family’s military service saying, “My brother and husband both fought for this country and the freedom that we have, and they fought because they believed in America. I still believe in America.”
The third and final question of the evening was from a New Hampshire woman who asked, “What are your thoughts on the NRA and guns, all school shootings? I have two children in public school. I would just love to know your stance.” Haley reaffirmed her protection of the second amendment saying, “You can’t go after people’s guns when they’re trying to protect themselves until they’re convinced that the bad guys won’t get their hands on them.” She also repeated the Republican talking point that gun violence is a mental health issue, not a gun issue adding her support for a mental health professional in every school.
Haley is trailing in many public polls with declared candidates, including former President Donald Trump, who will visit campus on May 10th, Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, Former California Gubernatorial Candidate Larry Elder, and Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.