‘Not Ready For Primetime’: DeSantis Criticizes Nikki Haley’s Response To Civil War Question

[Screenshot/DeSantis War Room]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized primary opponent Nikki Haley over her response to a question about the cause of the Civil War.

Haley told a questioner at a campaign event on Wednesday that the Civil War was the result of a dispute over “how [the] government was going to run.” She received intense backlash for failing to mention slavery.

DeSantis described the former South Carolina governor’s response as an “incomprehensible word salad” that badly mispepresented American history.

“You know, I noticed that Nikki Haley has had some problems with some basic American history,” DeSantis told reporters Thursday. “You know, she was asked a very simple question and responded with just a really incomprehensible word salad … and now is taking different positions and this.”

“I just think that this shows this is not a candidate that’s ready for primetime,” he continued. “She’s gotten a pretty free ride from a lot of the corporate press. The minute that she faces any type of scrutiny, she tends to cave, and I think that that’s what you saw yesterday. [It’s] not that difficult to identify and acknowledge the role slavery played in the Civil War, and yet that seemed to be something that was really difficult and I don’t even know what she was saying if you listen to that answer. I know she’s trying to clean it up, I know she’s tried to blame a Democrat plant.

“Look, I mean, you’re gonna be asked a lot of questions,” he added. “You’re gonna be asked a lot of tough questions, that’s just the nature of this business and I think she showed time and time again, when the lights get hot, that she wilts under pressure and that was a good example last night.”

During a Thursday appearance on a New Hampshire radio show, Haley said she tried to explain what the causes of the Civil War mean “to us” in 21st-century America. She then accused the town hall attendee who asked the question of being a “Democrat plant.” (RELATED: MSNBC Guest Somehow Finds A Way To Blame Trump For Nikki Haley’s Slavery Comments) 

“Why are they hitting me?” Haley said. “See this for what it is … They want to run against Trump. In town halls, I answer every question, and they are planting questions there … It was definitely a Democrat plant. When I asked him, he didn’t want to answer. He didn’t give reporters his name.”

DeSantis told reporters Thursday that slavery absolutely played a major role in causing the Civil War and credited the Republican Party with abolishing slavery.

“Of course, you have the issue of slavery, you had the states that were concerned about Lincoln interfering and potentially eliminating it, and they viewed it as a states rights issue, not as a federal issue, and they were concerned that you have this Republican president who may come in and get rid of the institution of slavery” DeSantis said, according to footage posted by CBS political reporter Aaron Navarro. “It’s interesting, because the Republican Party was founded to put a stop to the growth of slavery in this country and the abolition of slavery to this day remains the party’s top achievement.”

Haley is currently polling at 24.8 percent in New Hampshire, trailing only former President Donald Trump, who sits at 46.3 percent, according to RealClearPolitics. DeSantis is polling in fourth place at 9.5 percent, behind former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.