Former United Nations ambassador and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley took a strong stance against President Joe Biden’s recent speech at a historic South Carolina church, calling it “offensive.”
In a town hall on Fox News in Des Moines, Iowa, Haley expressed her disapproval of Biden’s decision to deliver what she deemed a “political speech” at the church where nine Black parishioners were tragically slain in a 2015 racist attack.
Haley criticizes Biden’s speech and past comments at town hall
Haley strongly disapproved of President Biden’s speech during the town hall, emphasizing that it was inappropriate for him to deliver a political address at the church.
She criticized Biden for his past associations with segregationists and for making comments she viewed as racially insensitive throughout his career.
“I don’t need someone who palled around with segregationists in the ’70s and has said racist comments all the way through his career lecturing me or anyone in South Carolina about what it means to have racism, slavery, or anything related to the Civil War,” Haley remarked during the town hall.
Biden’s speech at Mother Emanuel Church
President Biden was in Nikki Haley’s home state of South Carolina on the day of the speech, but he did not directly reference her or any other GOP opponents.
He delivered his address at Mother Emanuel, a historic AME church in Charleston, where the tragic 2015 shooting occurred.
During the shooting, nine Black parishioners were killed by a white gunman as they participated in a Wednesday night Bible study.
Nikki Haley, who was the governor of South Carolina at the time of the 2015 shooting, gained national attention for her response to the tragedy.
Haley addresses Confederate flag removal, counters Biden’s racial remarks
She signed legislation removing the Confederate battle flag from the Statehouse grounds.
However, she has faced criticism for not explicitly attributing slavery as the root cause of the Civil War when questioned about it during her campaign.
In response to Biden’s speech, Haley’s campaign issued a timeline titled “Biden’s Racial Comments and Actions.”
This timeline highlighted various comments attributed to Biden that were characterized as racially insensitive, including references to himself as “a token Black” in the Senate in 1974 and statements in 1981 that George Wallace was “right about some things.”
Nikki Haley continues competitive race for GOP nomination
The timeline also included a 2007 comment in which Biden referred to then-Senator Barack Obama as “the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.”
Nikki Haley’s town hall occurred just a week before Iowa’s kickoff caucuses, marking the start of the 2024 nominating cycle.
She is currently in a competitive race for second place behind GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.
Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have been exchanging criticisms as they vie for the position of the top alternative to Trump.
Haley accuses DeSantis of dishonesty amid heated GOP nomination race
During her town hall, Haley repeatedly accused Ron DeSantis of “lying because he’s losing” and accused Trump’s allies of intentionally misconstruing her statements.
The competition for the GOP nomination remains intense, with candidates like Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis striving to establish their distinct positions within the party.
As the 2024 nominating cycle progresses, the race for the Republican presidential nomination is expected to intensify, with candidates vying for the opportunity to represent the party in the November election.