Biden Publicly Criticizes Nikki Haley for Refusing to Mention Slavery When Asked About the Civil War

Nikki Haley, former South Carolina Governor and UN Ambassador, is facing criticism for her refusal to mention slavery when questioned about the cause of the Civil War at a recent town hall event in New Hampshire. The incident drew swift condemnation, including from President Joe Biden.

Dodging questions

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During the event, a man later named as Patrick, asked the politician what she thought caused the Civil War. Haley initially joked about the question’s difficulty, saying, “Well, don’t come with an easy question.”

An evasive response

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Haley then turned the question around on the man, who responded that he wasn’t the one currently running for president. In her eventual answer, Haley told the crowd, “I mean, I think it always comes down to the role of government.” She attributed the cause of the conflict to a lack of capitalism, freedoms, and individual rights, failing to mention slavery.

Moving on

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The crowd member, unsatisfied with her response, highlighted the absence of the word ‘slavery’ in her answer, stating that he was ‘astonished’ that she hadn’t mentioned it. “What do you want me to say about slavery? Next question,” Haley responded.

Biden’s response

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After a video of the incident was posted on X, formerly Twitter, Haley has been widely criticized. President Biden himself reshared the video with a short, condemning caption, “It was about slavery.”

Criticism abounds

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One of Haley’s rival candidates, Ron DeSantis, also aired his disapproval. His campaign shared the video online with the caption, “Yikes.” The Florida Governor later went on to tell reporters in Iowa that, “This shows this is not a candidate that’s ready for primetime.”

Backlash continues

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Further criticism comes from Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In a statement to CBS, Harrison said, “This isn’t hard, condemning slavery is the baseline for anyone who wants to be President of the United States, but Nikki Haley and the rest of the MAGA GOP are choking on their words trying to rewrite history.”

Not a surprise

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Christale Spain, chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party, also shared to X, “This is vile, but unsurprising from Nikki Haley. The same person who refused to take down the Confederate Flag until the tragedy in Charleston, and tried to justify a Confederate History Month. She’s just as MAGA as Trump.”

Repeating history

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Haley, as a former state governor for South Carolina — the first state to secede during the Civil War — has been asked about the matter before. Back in 2010, she once again failed to mention slavery, stating that the war was about the fight for “tradition versus change.”

Quick clarification

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This time around, however, Haley was quick to backtrack. Speaking to Pulse of New Hampshire, the politician said, “Of course the Civil War was about slavery. We know that. That’s the easy part of it. What I was saying was what does it mean to us today? What it means to us today is about freedom. That’s what that was all about.”


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In the same radio chat, Haley insisted that the man who had questioned her had been planted by the Democrats, accusing the Biden campaign of attempting to destroy her campaign by sending people in to sabotage her.

Haley’s political standing

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The incident comes after a recent increase in Haley’s New Hampshire polling, wherein she has been gaining ground on Donald Trump, trailing just points behind him in the state. Her increase in popularity was supported by Governor Chris Sununu, who formally endorsed her in December.


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