It was reported on Thursday that Nikki Haley would serve as the keynote speaker for the Republican Party of Iowa’s Lincoln Dinner later this year. Haley, considered a likely 2024 presidential candidate, has been heavily criticized by Tucker Carlson and was one of the most vocal critics of President Donald J. Trump following Jan. 6.
Haley has been slammed over and over by conservatives in the media for various reasons for years. It is much, much more than her strong criticisms of President Donald J. Trump, but for the purposes of this article, that is what I am going to focus on.
It was in February of 2016 that Haley said Trump represents “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.”
She had taken an earlier swipe at Trump in 2016 when she warned against following “the siren call of the angriest voices.”
“We must resist that temptation,” she said. “No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”
She also said Trump is “everything I taught my children not to do in kindergarten.” She vowed not to stop until “we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK.”
Not a ton changed as of October of 2016 when Haley said she was “not a fan” of Trump but would still vote for him.
Despite all of that, and more, Haley served in President Trump’s cabinet as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Haley, though, really revved up her criticisms of Trump earlier in 2021 after the Jan. 6 rally in Washington D.C.
She recounted her conversations with President Trump following the Charlottesville incident and said this about Jan. 6:
“Fast forward, I’m watching the television the morning of the 6th and I see Don Junior get up there,” she said. “And then I hear the president get up there and go off on Pence. I literally was so triggered, I had to turn it off. I mean, Jon [Lerner] texted me something and I said, ‘I can’t. I can’t watch it. I can’t watch it,’ because I felt the same thing. Somebody is going to hear that, and bad things will happen.
“When I tell you I’m angry, it’s an understatement. Mike has been nothing but loyal to that man. He’s been nothing but a good friend of that man. … I am so disappointed in the fact that [despite] the loyalty and friendship he had with Mike Pence, that he would do that to him. Like, I’m disgusted by it.”
Haley was given a few chances to backtrack or say other things, but she was pretty consistent in the interview.
“I think (Trump’s) going to find himself further and further isolated,” Haley said. “I think his business is suffering at this point. I think he’s lost any sort of political viability he was going to have. I think he’s lost his social media, which meant the world to him. I mean, I think he’s lost the things that really could have kept him moving.”
And, she added…
“He’s not going to run for federal office again,” Haley said.
“I don’t think he’s going to be in the picture,” she said, matter-of-factly. “I don’t think he can. He’s fallen so far.”
She kept going…
“We need to acknowledge he let us down,” she said. “He went down a path he shouldn’t have, and we shouldn’t have followed him, and we shouldn’t have listened to him. And we can’t let that ever happen again.”
Here are two additional snippets from the piece:
“At the time, I didn’t think that was dangerous,” Haley said. “I didn’t think that there was anything to fear about him. There was nothing to fear about him when I worked for him. I mean, he may have been brash. He may have been blunt. But he was someone who cared about the country. … I still stand by that. I don’t think we should ever apologize for the policies that we fought for and the things that we did during his four years. Since the election—” she stopped herself. “I mean, I’m deeply disturbed by what’s happened to him.”
Haley repeated these sentiments over the course of a two-hour conversation: “Never did I think he would spiral out like this. … I don’t feel like I know who he is anymore. … The person that I worked with is not the person that I have watched since the election.”
I won’t even get into her suggestion that the GOP embrace inclusion…
“This Republican Party is a home for anyone, because we stand for the principles that matter to everyone. This is not the time to abandon those principles. It is the time to proclaim them, proudly, from the suburbs to the cities to the farms all across the country,” she said.
Look, I’ve said it over and over, I was not a big Trump guy in 2015-2016. There is no Trump loyalty or purist test someone needs to pass — but there should be some sort of intellectual honesty and consistency standard.
What I came to understand about President Trump is he was willing to give up so much to serve his country. He put himself and his entire family through hell and back — and for what? For what personal gain? He could’ve had just about anything he wanted without the presidency.
I still have reservations about his position on the LGBTQ issues, but even there his policies seemed to be more conservative than his rhetoric.
Nonetheless, I always felt in my gut and in my heart that if it weren’t popular or financially beneficial for the leaders within the Iowa GOP to back Trump, they would knife him the first chance they got.
And on Jan. 6, when not one single Republican from Iowa objected to the election results, that was the time.
Yet Republican Party of Iowa leaders would have you believe they are with Trump through thick and thin. They’re part of the MAGA movement.
But actions speak louder than words.
Nikki Haley was one of the most critical opponents of President Trump at a time when many in the nation believe a presidential election was being stolen.
She criticized Trump so heavily that he refused to even meet with her sometime later.
Now, Haley has obviously seen the poll numbers and realizes Trump is still wildly popular with the GOP base and pledged not to run for President should Trump seek another term in 2024.
But the damage has been done. The veil has been removed.
We no longer have to wonder how Nikki Haley feels about President Trump and those who supported him…
“I talked to this woman this morning, and she said, ‘You know that the people that stormed the Capitol, there were a lot of Antifa. And what they did was if they took their MAGA hat and turned it backwards, that was their signal that they were Antifa.’ This was an educated, smart, longtime Republican woman. … We’ve got a lot of work to do. They’ve been lied to by everybody.”
And the fact that she is headlining the Republican Party of Iowa’s largest fundraiser of the year should let us know where RPI stands as well.