Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has confirmed that she will officially announce her plans to run for the Republican nomination for president. That’s expected to take place in Charleston, South Carolina, February 15.
In April of 2016 when questioned about the possibility of South Carolina passing a bill to block restroom access for transgender individuals, Haley condemned the bill, saying it was completely unnecessary.
“I don’t believe it’s necessary. There’s not one instance that I’m aware of when we look at our situation we’re hearing of anybody’s religious liberties being violated. And we’re not hearing any citizens that are being violated in terms of freedoms. Like it or not, South Carolina is doing really well when it comes to respect and when it comes to kindness and when it comes to acceptance. Faithful to apply it’s not, I beg to differ. While other states are having this battle this is not a battle that we’ve seen as needed in South Carolina, Haley said and it’s not something that we see the citizens are asking for in South Carolina.”
Keeping in mind the state of mind of the Republican Party in April 2016, as opposed to February 2024 may show us an unwelcome impact on Haley’s attitude towards the LGBTQ community if she expects to capture support from the party’s far right evangelical base.
Haley has a confusing political past. Earlier in her career, even though she was a confirmed Republican, she was a resolute Trump critic. As with most Republican party members, it doesn’t take long to go from critic to ring kisser.
Trump, who has already announced he will be running for president again, appears to be gearing up his expected volley of verbal assaults on anyone who would oppose him in the Republican Party battle for the nomination. Haley has already experienced some of Trump’s standard rhetoric.
Haley was born Nimrata Randhawa, the daughter of Punjabi Indian immigrants who came to the United States and opened what became a successful gift and clothing business called Exotica International.
After serving two terms as governor in South Carolina, Haley later became the US Ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration. Appointed in January 2017, she surprisingly stepped down from the position in December 2018, raising eyebrows about her deteriorating relationship with Trump.
While she made no comments on the matter, she did later criticize Trump for his words in response to the January 6, 2021 capitol riot, along with other significant actions and statements made while he was in office.
“He was wrong with his words in Charlottesville,” said Haley. “I told him so at the time. He was wrong with his words [during the capitol riot]. And it wasn’t just his words. His actions and since election day will be judged harshly by history.”
During an interview with Politico magazine in February 2021, she said that she was disgusted by the way Trump behaved towards former vice president Mike Pence during the capital riot, and went a decisive step further, announcing that the possibility of the former president running for office again in the future was something that wouldn’t happen.
“We need to acknowledge that he let us down,” she told Politico. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have and we shouldn’t have followed him and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t ever let that happen again.”
While the possibility of Nikki Haley as a potential president of the United States may lead to less partisanship and the possibility of accomplishing more for the country than previous Republicans who held the office, it remains to be seen whether or not she can actually capture the nomination.
According to the most recent polls, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is leading the race for the Republican nomination for president, Trump is coming in at second place and Haley following behind and third with just four percent of Republican support. It is still very early in the game, however, and much can happen between now and the Republican primary.