Former United Nations Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley made her case for limited government and a new generation of leadership during the official launch of her campaign to be the 2024 GOP presidential nominee.
Haley teased a presidential announcement for months, gradually backing away from her pledge not to run if former President Donald Trump mounted a third bid. The Charleston Post and Courier first reported she would kick off her campaign Feb. 15, and she released a launch video Tuesday declaring her bid. Haley’s speech Wednesday took direct aim at President Joe Biden and vaguely called out Trump’s campaign.
Haley highlighted her economic record as governor, noting the creation of 85,000 jobs and $21.5 billion in investments during her time in Charleston. She has been outspoken against some quarters of the GOP that support increased government regulation and involvement in the economy. She blasted “hyphenated capitalism” on the right in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, and in a 2020 conversation with John Walters at the Hudson Institute.
“We cut taxes, created thousands of jobs and revitalized our economy. Business journals started calling South Carolina the Beast of the Southeast – which I loved!” she said.
In contrast, Haley noted, “From Joe Biden on down, our leaders put too much trust in big government and too little trust in the American people. They have us spiraling toward socialism, with a new trillion-dollar spending bill every few months, and a national debt over 30 trillion dollars,” Haley said at The Shed in the Charleston Visitor Center. (RELATED: ‘Renewal Of American Pride’: Here’s How Nikki Haley Plans To Stand Out From The GOP Primary Pack)
Haley tied her criticism of central planning in America to her opposition to authoritarian regimes at the UN. The U.S. was frequently the only dissenting vote on resolutions criticizing Israel, and left the body’s Human Rights Council due to its “chronic anti-Israel bias” during her tenure in Turtle Bay.
“I told the world that America would have the backs of our allies, and for those who did not have our backs, we were taking names. The dictators, murderers and thieves at the UN didn’t know what hit them,” she said.
Republican South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman endorsed Haley on Wednesday morning, providing a major boon to her campaign. Haley and Norman entered the South Carolina state legislature together in 2005, and Norman endorsed Haley for governor in 2010.
“We are at a pivotal point in our nation. While the Republican candidates, values, and messages have done very well here in South Carolina, that hasn’t been the case everywhere across our great nation,” the Freedom Caucus member tweeted, in an apparent nod to GOP under-performance in the last three election cycles. “It’s time for a reset and a new chapter in national Republican politics, and there’s no better person to help write that new chapter than our former governor and my good friend, Nikki Haley!”
It’s time for a reset and a new chapter in national Republican politics, and there’s no better person to help write that new chapter than our former governor and my good friend, Nikki Haley! 🇺🇸
— Ralph Norman (@RalphNorman) February 15, 2023
Haley, who endorsed 62 candidates in 2021 and 2022 through her Stand for America PAC, also acknowledged GOP electoral failures during the Trump era.
“We’ve lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections. Our cause is right, but we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. Well, that ends today. If you’re tired of losing, then put your trust in a new generation,” she concluded.