Nikki Haley Says States Can’t Secede From US, Backtracking Previous Comments

[Screenshot/CNN/"State of The Union"]

Hailey Gomez General Assignment Reporter
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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Sunday on CNN that states do not have the Constitutional right to secede from the United States, backtracking previous comments she made. 

Haley appeared on “State of The Union” to discuss comments she made earlier on a podcast with radio personality Charlamagne tha God which aired Wednesday. CNN host Dana Bash referenced the previous comments, questioning Haley on whether or not she believed states could secede from the U.S.

Haley set the background of the conversation by noting it had more to do with states being upset at the government and emphasized states weren’t discussing seceding from the country. Bash, however, continued to push Haley on the topic, highlighting how the Texas GOP party platform calls for a “voter referendum” on the state’s independence. (RELATED: ‘Let’s Not Argue About Stupid Things’: Bill Maher Tells Chris Sununu That Trump Has Nomination Locked Up)

“You know, I didn’t realize this, but the current Texas Republican Party platform, [as?] added in 2022, does call for a voter referendum on whether Texas should ‘reassert its status as an independent nation.’ So again, because this is such a foundational issue, I want to clarify for voters — you want to be president of the United States. Do you think that any state has a right to secede?” Bash asked.

Haley responded that while she doesn’t believe states have the Constitutional right to secede, she does believe they have the “power to protect themselves.” Haley continued to double down on Texas’ frustration with the federal government, citing issues with the ongoing migrant crisis. (RELATED: Dem Donors, GOP Billionaires, Wall Street Execs — Here’s Who New Filings Show Gave To Nikki Haley’s Super PAC)

“No, according to the Constitution they can’t. What I do think they have the right to do is have the power to protect themselves and do all that. Texas has talked about seceding for a long time, the Constitution doesn’t allow for that,” Haley stated.

“But what I will say is, where’s that coming from? That’s coming from the fact that people don’t think that the government is listening to them. And I’ve been 400 miles on that border, Dana. You see what those ranchers are going through. You see what those people in Eagle Pass are going through. And now you see what’s happening in New York and cities across the country because now every city is Eagle Pass. We’ve got to start getting this under control. Texans are frustrated and rightfully so. Governor Abbott is frustrated and rightfully so. When have you ever seen a president not support a governor when they’re trying to keep their people safe? It’s a real problem.” 

Haley appeared on “The Breakfast Club” podcast when Charlamagne tha God questioned if she would use “force against Texas if they would try to secede from the Union over the border issue.” The GOP candidate had echoed former comments from 2010 the podcaster referenced in which she stated she believed states have the right to secede. 

“If Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that. If that whole state says we don’t want to be part of America anymore. I mean, that’s their decision to make,” Haley stated. “I don’t think government needs to tell people how to live, how to do anything. I mean, I think that we need to let freedom live.”

The GOP candidate continued to note the “reality” was that Texas would not secede, backing the state’s recent moves against the federal government in order to protect its border.

Since the podcast interview, Haley has elaborated on her comments, noting the statements were made more towards Biden and the “illegal immigration crisis” rather than states seceding, according to Fox News.