Feb 15, 2023

Nikki Haley Announces 2024 White House Bid Transcript

Nikki Haley Announces 2024 White House Bid Transcript
RevBlogTranscriptsNikki Haley Announces 2024 White House Bid Transcript

Former South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announced in a video that she will run for president in 2024, becoming the first major rival to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination. Read the transcript here.

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Speaker 1 (00:00):

A major announcement today from Nikki Haley. The 2024 republican presidential field has its second candidate and its first woman.

Speaker 2 (00:10):

The socialists left sees an opportunity to rewrite history. China and Russia are on the march. They all think we can be bullied, kicked around. You should know this about me, I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels. I’m Nikki Haley and I’m running for president.

Speaker 1 (00:33):

Tomorrow, the former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations holds a kickoff rally in Charleston. Then, two other key early voting states, Iowa and New Hampshire later this week.

Joining us now to share their reporting and their insights, CNN’s Dana Bash, CNN’s Jeremy Diamond, and Tia Mitchell of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

So, Donald Trump has his first declared opponent. He was the only, until today, the only declared candidate for president. The question is, if we roll back the tape pre-Trump, you can make the case for, “Okay, here’s Nikki Haley. She’s interesting. She’s a governor of South Carolina.” In the Post-Trump Republican Party, what’s the lane?

Speaker 3 (01:07):

Well, I was actually in South Carolina pre-Trump, when then Governor Nikki Haley endorsed Marco Rubio, and she stood on the stage with Marco Rubio and Tim Scott and said, “This is what the new Republican Party should look like.” That was before she became Donald Trump’s UN ambassador and kind of went back and forth many times when it comes to supporting or not supporting him. And that was one of the things that was most fascinating about her video. By the way. We could spend an hour talking about it and dissecting it, because it was very intentional, a lot of points she wanted to make.

But when you talk to people who are thinking about running against Donald Trump, which is what it is right now, there seems to be a dividing line between those who are willing to say in an aggressive, full-throated way, “We have to move on beyond this man, Donald Trump,” and those who are kind of dancing around it. And I’m already hearing for some who are in the first camp, saying, “Okay, she talks about the heels, which is a great memorable line. She talks about bullies, which is another memorable line. But neglects to talk about her former boss, who could easily be put in that category.”

Speaker 1 (02:18):

In fact, she kind of lumps him in, not just Donald Trump. She says other Republican presidential candidates have failed a critical test.

Speaker 2 (02:28):

Republicans have lost a popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections. That has to change It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.

Speaker 1 (02:48):

It seemed to me to be a, if you’re for Trump, or DeSantis for that matter, if you’re for a Trumpy candidate, think again. Is that the point she’s trying to make there, to try to shake the Republican primary voter, think again?

Speaker 4 (02:59):

I think she’s saying that, but what is she giving them as a true kind of contrast to Trump or DeSantis? Because she’s still talking about wokeism and the radical left and criticizing the 1619 project. These are all the same type of talking points you’ll hear from a Trump or a DeSantis.

So to Dana’s point, she’s talking around the edges, not really saying the thing. And I don’t know if that’s going to resonate, if she truly wants to present herself as an alternative to these other candidates.

Speaker 1 (03:31):

It’s a great question. Does she run as governor Nikki Haley or Ambassador Nikki Haley, meaning the Trump ambassador, Nikki Haley?

Because just look at the bio card, it’s impressive. She’s 51 years old. She’s trying to make a point, Joe Biden’s 80. Plus, Donald Trump would be 80 or 79 when he runs.51 years old, first generation American, was UN ambassador, first woman South Carolina governor. She served two terms. She led the removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina State House, that, after a horrific shooting at a Black church. Governor Nikki Haley would be an interesting Republican. Trump ambassador, Nikki Haley, where’s the lane?

Speaker 5 (04:02):

And if you look at this video, it’s very clear that she plans on running as Governor Nikki Haley, at least primarily. The entire video focuses on her time as governor, what she was able to do in the state from an economic perspective, how she handled the fallout of that devastating Charleston shooting. I think the only thing we see in that video in terms of a UN ambassador is maybe a picture or a video of her in that role at the United Nations.

But I think the bigger question in terms of how she actually approaches this is we’ve seen too many of these Republicans kind of criticize Trump obliquely, but not actually want to do it directly. And she clearly seems to fall in that lane so far. And when you look at her statements over just the last year, from January 6th, in her insurrection, saying that, “Trump let us down. We shouldn’t have followed him. We shouldn’t follow him again.” To then saying that she would not run if he ran, and that she would support him, to now running herself. It’s not really clear where Nikki Haley actually stands, and that’s going to be something that she has to focus on, is how does she define herself to these Republican primaries.

Speaker 1 (05:05):

And if you’re watching at home, saying, “Why don’t you care about what Trump said about her? Or Pompeo said about her? Or somebody else said about her?” This is her announcement day and we’re going to treat all candidates equally. On their announcement day, we focus on who they are and what they want to do. And then, we’ll have plenty of time for this.

But one of the key points she made here is she talked about it. She talked about being this daughter of immigrants in a state like South Carolina, and she says it has defined her life.

Speaker 2 (05:26):

The railroad tracks divided the town by race. I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants, not Black, not white, I was different. But my mom would always say, “Your job is not to focus on the differences, but the similarities.”

Speaker 1 (05:47):

Again, that part of her biography is compelling. Will she choose or will she try to be all things to all slices of the Republican primary? Because if she’s a general election candidate, her argument and her team argues, “We can get back a lot of those suburban women who just cannot vote for Trump. We can get back independents who are looking for fiscal conservatives,” maybe pro-life on abortion, but don’t want somebody hitting them in the head with it.” Where’s her lane?

Speaker 3 (06:10):

Well, like you were saying, it’s not where she’s going right now, which I guess in a lot of ways is understandable because that’s not the electorate she’s trying to appeal to, it’s Republicans.

The part right after what you played in the video, she talks about the need to not talk about the differences so much and talk about similarities when it comes to race and other parts of America. She has an image of AOC looking angry, and she has another image of an African-American woman. I thought that was absolutely fascinating, because she is a woman of color and she’s trying to show that she’s with the Republicans when it comes to the cultural wars and everything that Ron DeSantis and you name it have been talking about when it comes to trying to exploit the differences on ethnicity and race, as opposed to bringing them together.

Speaker 1 (07:08):

So here’s the question I can’t answer. If you go back to earlier in our days, pre-Trump days, she’s a candidate who’s very good in small group settings, like this. Meaning, she could have great appeal in Iowa. Then, her state, South Carolina, is third in the process. So, you can see it in the old map and calendar. Does that world still exist?

Speaker 4 (07:29):

I don’t know if that world still exists, especially the way she’s presenting herself. She’s not saying the thing head on, even her own questions. She faces questions because her parents are immigrants from far right Republicans. How does she plan on winning a Republican primary talking to the same people that she’s trying to cater to, that might be skeptical already of her?

Speaker 1 (07:50):

That’s a great point. On announcement day, you get to have a video. To win the nomination, you got to stand on a debate stage and hash it out. That’ll be the fascinating part as this campaign plays out.

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