Nikki Haley is setting herself up as the moderate Republican candidate for President, less extreme than Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and less unhinged than Donald Trump.
Unfortunately for her, video is forever, and her prior cringe-worthy takes on slavery, the Confederate flag, and other issues of racism and equality are going viral anew in the wake of her announcement.
One problem with a pretense of being ‘moderate’ is that a candidate quickly alienates voters across the political spectrum.
In Haley’s case, her decision to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina State House (after Dylann Roof connected it directly to his decision to murder a group of Black worshippers) offends a chunk of the MAGA base.
However, it’s her weak, watered-down response that pushes away voters on the anti-racist spectrum.
A series of resurfaced clips below show how, in 2010, she responded during an interview by the Sons of Confederate Veterans, including the mildest demurral after a rambling speech suggesting that the nation would be better off if emancipation had never happened.
“That probably is why the country is in the terrible condition it’s in today,” the off-camera speaker says, going on to frame emancipation as an unconstitutional “invasion” of the south.
Frowning, Haley nods along throughout — finally offering a vague response about God and freedom.
“Well, and I think that for me, you know, what I continue to remember is that, you know, we also know that our creator endowed the rights of everyone having, you know, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. So when I look at it that way, I look at that’s still what needs to be what guides everybody, that we try to keep those three things intact.”
It’s a bland fence-straddle unlikely to endear her to any voter, but it’s familiar to anyone who has listened to her try to take two sides on matters of racism and equality throughout her political career.
For instance, in 2019, she tried to both-sides the Confederate flag issue, declaring that it used to represent “service, sacrifice and heritage,” until racists “hijacked” it, according to the New York Times.
Watch the newly-resurfaced clips below.
(Part 2/2) This was Nikki Haley’s timid response to 2 minutes of neo-Confederate revisionist history. pic.twitter.com/SAM60CXTAK
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) February 15, 2023