Fresh off of an official presidential campaign launch, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley swiped at rivals on the left and right Thursday in New Hampshire, including Republican rival Ron DeSantis over culture wars and Joe Biden over China’s spy balloon program.
At an Exeter, N.H., town hall, Haley said the “best way” for the GOP to win in 2024 “is to put a badass woman in the White House.”
Haley is the first major Republican to challenge Trump for the party’s nomination.
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She is also headed to Iowa this month, home to the traditional first-in-the-nation caucuses, giving her a head start on talking to to the state’s Republican voters, officials and activists.
Here’s how Haley appealed to voters in New Hampshire:
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Haley says DeSantis’ ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill didn’t go ‘far enough’
Haley tapped into modern GOP culture wars and said Florida’s controversial education bill, which restricted discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools, didn’t go “far enough” in her first town hall event in Exeter, New Hampshire on Thursday.
“Basically what it said was you shouldn’t be able to talk about gender before third grade,” said Haley, without mentioning Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed the bill into law, by name. “I’m sorry, I don’t think that goes far enough.”
Haley’s comment on the bill offers a preview of the potential bitter primary fight to come, as DeSantis is speculated to launch his own presidential bid in the near future.
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Haley calls Chinese spy balloon a ‘massive national embarrassment’
Haley criticized President Joe Biden over the Chinese spy balloon that was shot down in early February.
“The idea that Americans will look to the sky and see a Chinese spy balloon flying over us is nothing more than a massive national embarrassment,” Haley said to raucous applause from attendees.
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“The number one threat we have is China,” continued Haley, to more applause and cheers from the audience.
Haley touches on foreign policy, pledges continued aid to Ukraine
Haley touched upon her credentials as the U.S.’s former ambassador to the United Nations and pledged the U.S. government’s support for Ukraine at a time when Republicans are growing increasingly divided over whether to continue aid for Ukraine.
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“This war with Ukraine, it’s not a war about Ukraine. This is a war on freedom,” Haley said, responding to a question from an attendee. “And it’s a war we have to win.”
But Haley noted her support has stipulations, saying “that does not mean we send troops. It does not mean we write white checks,” instead calling for continued military support and making sure Ukraine has “the equipment and the ammunition to win that for themselves.”
Story Credit: usatoday.com