Former Ambassador Nikki Haley is under scrutiny from her GOP adversaries and some Iowans following a comment made during a speech in New Hampshire, suggesting that Iowa "starts" the election process, and New Hampshire will "correct it."
While campaigning in Milford, New Hampshire, Haley assured the audience that they had an opportunity to get the process right and expressed her trust in them, stating, "You know Iowa starts it. You know that you correct it."
Haley faces backlash from caucus-goers after telling NH voters to 'correct' Iowa caucus https://t.co/2eTQGKdjy0
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 5, 2024
This remark drew criticism from certain Iowa caucus-goers, particularly those leaning toward Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Mark Putney from Fayette County, Iowa, expressed his displeasure, stating, "Nikki Haley's comments are an insult to Iowans like myself who take pride in being the first-in-the-nation caucus," according to Fox News.
Brenda Sandburg of Benton County, Iowa, noted that Haley seemed out of touch with rural America, stating, "Nikki Haley has shown herself to be completely out of touch with rural America, and she has no business being President of the United States."
Other Iowans echoed these sentiments, expressing offense at Haley's comments and rejecting the notion that Iowans needed correction.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the issue, criticizing Haley's remarks as disrespectful to Iowans and suggesting she was making excuses for her performance.
DeSantis questioned Haley's accomplishments in South Carolina and characterized her as a candidate backed by liberal donors.
In response to the criticism, the Haley campaign downplayed the comment, labeling it a "lighthearted joke" and pointing to support from Iowa caucus-goers who were unfazed.
Some supporters argued that opponents were desperate and attempting to undermine Haley's rising popularity in the polls.
As of now, Haley is polling at 16.1% in Iowa, ranking third behind former President Trump and DeSantis. The Iowa Caucus is approximately two weeks away, scheduled for Jan. 15.