February 2, 2024

Nikki Haley Pressured Over Slavery Response Gaffe Ahead of South Carolina Primary

Radio host Charlamagne Tha God queried Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley about her remarks on the history of slavery in an interview on his show Wednesday.

Haley faced substantial criticism from the White House and Republicans during her campaign after she chose not to attribute slavery as the cause of the Civil War at a December town hall event.

At that time, she expressed, "I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run — the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do."

Since then, Haley clarified her stance, acknowledging that she believes slavery sparked the Civil War but emphasizing the "bigger issue" of determining the government's role in individuals' lives.

She further addressed the matter during a press gaggle with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu on Thursday.

Haley explained to Fox News’ James Levinson, "I think everybody thinks that the Civil War was about slavery. It was more, what's the bigger issue of it? You know, we went through 80 years of that, and we know that people were struggling with 'What's the role of government? What's the role of individual freedom?' And the lesson we should take away from the Civil War is, yes, never allow slavery to happen again. But what does that mean for government and the role of individual freedom?"

During the interview with Charlamagne, the host pressed Haley to clarify her original comments on slavery.

She responded, "So the context of that is that I've done over 160 town halls, answering every question, shaking every hand, we don't screen anything."

Haley admitted, "When he asked that question, I made the mistake of thinking he was trying to ask something else," referring to an audience member who inquired about the cause of the Civil War.

She acknowledged the oversight, stating, "Slavery should have been the first thing that came out of my mouth. Growing up in South Carolina, we all knew that the Civil War was about slavery."

In response to Charlamagne's question about feeling "stupid" that night, Haley conceded, "Yeah, it was one of those things because slavery's a given. It was wrong. I should've said it. I agree."

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