Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is facing criticism from competitors, strategists and more after failing to mention slavery as a cause of the Civil War during a New Hampshire town hall Wednesday, and for her effort to attribute the question to a “Democrat plant.”
When a voter at the event asked Haley about the cause of the Civil War, Haley said, in part, “I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run, the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do.”
- MAGA PAC, which supports former
President Trump, said, “The issue is her response, not the question. Haley is clearly not ready for primetime.”
Primary competitor and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who faced recent scrutiny for supporting education guidelines that said slaves partially benefited from their enslavement, also said Haley’s not “ready for primetime” and that it’s “not that difficult to identify and acknowledge the role slavery played in the Civil War.”
- Dan McLaughlin, senior writer for National Review, said the voter may have been a plant, “But it was still an easy question & she just ran the red lights like she was on autopilot.”
Haley said in a radio interview after, “Of course the Civil War was about slavery. We know that. That’s the easy part of it. What I was saying was what does it mean to us today? What it means to us today is about freedom.”
Decision Desk HQ/The Hill’s polling index shows Trump with a polling average of 43.7 percent in New Hampshire and Haley second with 26.7 percent. While still 17 points behind, the gap between Trump and Haley has narrowed significantly in recent weeks.