Haley later praised Trump’s approach to foreign policy, saying she “saw firsthand as an ambassador to the United Nations that Donald Trump put America first,” and told a humorous story of Trump’s decision to appoint North Korean leader Kim Jong- Un to be called “Little Rocket Man”. to say it shows how the former president “had a way to get people”.
The remarks mark a pause for the former Trump cabinet member, who wavered in her stance on Trump as she tests the president’s waters after his defeat. The early struggle to calibrate her position on Trump has kept Haley between those in the GOP who want to leave Trump and those who want to hold on to him.
It began the day after the siege of the Capitol when Haley gave a speech to Republican National Committee officials saying that the actions of the then president after the 2020 elections “will be harshly judged by history.”
The former ambassador went further in an interview published a few weeks later by POLITICO Magazine, saying that Trump has “lost all kind of political viability” and she doesn’t think he would be “in the picture” any longer. He’s fallen so far. “
The statements enraged those around Trump who viewed them as an act of disloyalty and part of an attempt to distance themselves from the former president. In February, Trump turned down a request from Haley to meet at his Mar-a-Lago resort.
Since then, Haley has grown warmer on Trump. In April, she said she would forego a 2024 presidential nomination and support Trump if he should run.
Haley’s 30-minute speech before the 500-person GOP dinner in Iowa comes as she goes on a three-day swing across the state. Former South Carolina Governor holds fundraising drives for Governor Kim Reynolds and two members of the state’s Congressional Delegation, Rep. Randy Feenstra and Mariannette Miller-Meeks, all of whom are up for re-election next year. She also holds events with former State House Speaker Linda Upmeyer and the Story County GOP.
The trip is Haley’s first to Iowa this year and comes as several other potential Republican presidential candidates emerge in the state. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton is leading an event in Sioux City later this month, and former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem are all expected to attend the Family Leader Summit next month occur at a gathering that will attract evangelicals from across the state. Two other potential candidates for 2024, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Florida Senator Rick Scott visited the state earlier this year.
During the speech, Haley addressed the cultural issues that are currently enlivening the conservative base. She railed against teaching in schools that systemic racism was rooted in society, and accused the Democrats of being a “strong weapon”.[ing] Big Tech, Big Business and Big Government to silence anyone who doesn’t stick to the liberal line ”and criticized the opposing party for supporting“ riots and lawlessness ”.
Haley also previewed how she can stand out in a 2024 presidential contest: as a Republican from all backgrounds. The former ambassador called herself “the proud daughter of Indian immigrants” and said that she grew up “a brown girl in a black and white world”.
“Take it from me, the first female minority governor of South Carolina,” Haley said. “I said it at the Republican National Convention last year, and I will keep saying it, America is not a racist country. It’s just the opposite. America has done more to ensure justice and equal opportunities than any other country in history. “
Haley, who did not explicitly speak of a 2024 presidential run, also spoke out on a sensitive issue for Iowan: whether the state should retain its status as the first in the nation.
After her speech, Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann took the stage to ask Haley if she supported keeping Iowa at the top of the presidential nomination calendar. Haley said it was “okay” to keep Iowa first as long as her home state, South Carolina, retained its status as the first southern state to hold its nomination contest.
“You mess with us,” she joked, “and we’ll mess with you.”