Shortly after Nikki Haley announced her campaign for president on Tuesday, footage was released showing the Republican former South Carolina governor saying states have the right to secede from the union.
Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announced Tuesday in a video that she will run for president in 2024, becoming the first major rival to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.
“The Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again. It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose,” Haley, who is expected to deliver remarks Wednesday in Charleston at a campaign launch event, said in the video.
Haley served as US ambassador to the United Nations under Trump. The former president, who announced his bid last year, recently appeared to bless her entrance into the race, telling reporters that she had called to tell him she was considering a campaign launch and that he had said, “You should do it.”
Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, opened the video talking about how she felt “different” growing up in Bamberg, South Carolina.
“The railroad tracks divided the town by race. I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Not Black, not White. I was different. But my mom would always say your job is not to focus on the differences but the similarities. And my parents reminded me and my siblings every day how blessed we were to live in America,” Haley said.
If successful in the primary, Haley would be the first woman and the first Asian American nominated by the Republican Party for president.
Haley, 51, is the first in a long line of Republicans who are expected to launch 2024 campaigns in the coming months. Among them are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
President Joe Biden has said he intends to seek reelection in 2024, stalling any jostling for the Democratic nomination.
Haley has regularly boasted about her track record of defying political expectations, saying, “I’ve never lost an election, and I’m not going to start now.”
If elected, Haley would be the nation’s first female president and the first U.S. president of Indian descent.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley grew up enduring racist taunts in a small South Carolina town and has long referenced that impact on her personal and political arc.
In the three-and-a-half minute video, Haley referenced that past, saying she grew up “not Black, not white — I was different.”
Despite that, Haley insisted that America is not a racist country: “Nothing could be further from the truth.” Playing in the background of her video were images of media reports related to The New York Times Magazine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “1619 Project” — which centered the country’s history around slavery.
Haley never mentions Trump by name in the video, instead saying “the Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again,” Haley leans into a call for “a new generation of leadership,” which has become the refrain of her messaging leading up to the launch.
She was an accountant when she launched her first bid for public office, defeating the longest-serving member of the South Carolina House in 2004. Three terms later and with little statewide recognition, Haley mounted a long-shot campaign for governor against a large field of experienced politicians.
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