‘Never Nikki’: Rand Paul Bashes Haley’s Presidential Bid Days Before Iowa Caucus

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul weighed in on the GOP presidential primary on Friday, announcing in a series of social media posts that he is strongly against former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s White House bid just days ahead of the Jan. 15 Iowa caucus.

While Paul said he isn’t ready to make an endorsement yet, he is interested in the campaigns of former President Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr., he wrote on X. The senator then emphasized in a video and several statements that he is “Never Nikki,” taking shots at her foreign policy position, background and more, in addition to launching a website against her campaign.

“I don’t think any informed or knowledgable Libertarian or conservative should support Nikki Haley,” Paul said in the video. “I’ve seen her attitude towards our interventions overseas, I’ve seen her involvement with the military industrial complex — $8 million being paid to become part of a team. But I’ve also seen her indicate that she thinks you should be registered to use the internet, that people posting ideas anonymously.” (RELATED: Rand Paul Comes Out Swinging Against Lindsey Graham Over Ukraine Aid)

“I think she fails to understand that our Republic was founded upon people like Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, Madison, John Jay and others, who posted routinely for fear of the government, they posted routinely anonymously. And I think her failure to really understand that or to think that you need to register through the government somehow for the internet is something that should disqualify her in the minds of all Libertarian-leaning conservatives,” Paul added.

Paul took aim at Haley for supporting continued aid to Ukraine, accusing her of being part of the “forever-war crowd” among other criticisms of her foreign policy and time as U.N. ambassador. The senator also slammed Haley for suggesting individuals should be registered by name to use social media, and that platforms should ban anonymous accounts.

The senator put out a video on X Thursday teasing a potential announcement regarding the Republican presidential race, leading some to speculate that he might be making an endorsement.

Paul supported both of Trump’s presidential bids after making a run for the White House himself in 2016. The senator has been serving in the upper chamber since 2011, where he has handily won each term by double digit margins.

The senator launched his attacks just three days before Iowans take their pick, where Haley is currently polling in second behind only Trump with 17.2% support, followed closely by DeSantis at 15.2%, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) average.

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 7: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to reporters in the Senate subway on his way to a vote at the U.S. Capitol September 7, 2023 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Senate is considering several nomination votes today. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 7: Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks to reporters in the Senate subway on his way to a vote at the U.S. Capitol September 7, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The former ambassador is also in second place in New Hampshire and South Carolina, where voters will head to the polls on Jan. 23 and Feb. 24, respectively. Haley is polling closest to Trump in New Hampshire, where she has the endorsement of Gov. Chris Sununu, and could increase her support before primary day now that former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has dropped out of the race.

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