Haley Defends Her Outlook on Racism in America: ‘We’ve Had Enough’

Nikki Haley fired back at MSNBC host Joy Reid’s declaration that her race played a role in her third-place finish at the Iowa caucuses. The Republican said that Reid must live “in a different America” and that “America has never been a racist country.”

Unspoken racism

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While hosting live coverage of the Iowa caucuses, MSNBC’s Joy Reid speculated that racism within the Republican Party would prevent Haley from gaining sufficient support. “It’s the elephant in the room,” Reid stated. “She’s still a brown lady that’s got to try to win in a party that is deeply anti-immigrant and which accepts the notion [that] you can say immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country.”

Racism against Ramaswamy

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Reid also implied that Ramaswamy may also suffer at the hands of voters’ racial discrimination. The host asserted that “white evangelical Christians of a certain mindset” believe “that they own this country, that immigrants, that Brown people, that Hindus like Vivek Ramaswamy and his wife, are illegitimate Americans. They are less legitimate Americans than they are.”

Trump’s landslide victory

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Trump emerged victorious at the Iowa caucuses, securing over 50% of the vote. DeSantis trailed in a distant second place with 21.2%, while Haley came in a reasonably close third place with 19.1%. Vivek Ramaswamy, who received just 7.7% of the vote, ultimately decided to withdraw from the race and endorse Trump.

Different Americas

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Speaking to Brian Kilmeade on “Fox & Friends,” Haley addressed Reid’s comments about her race. “Joy Reid lives in a different America than I do,” she said. “I mean, yes, I’m a brown girl that grew up in a small rural town in South Carolina who became the first female minority governor in history, who became a U.N. ambassador and who is now running for president. If that’s not the American dream, I don’t know what is.”

Haley determined to succeed

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Determined to prove Reid and her other critics wrong, Haley continued, “You can sit there and give me all the reasons why you think I can’t do this. I will continue to defy everybody on why we can do this, and we will get it done.”

America ‘not a racist country’

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When Kilmeade asked whether Haley believed she was part of a racist party, the Republican was adamant that this was not the case. “No, we’re not a racist country,” she asserted. “We’ve never been a racist country.”

Haley’s contradiction

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However, Haley then appeared to contradict herself with her own experiences of racism. “I know, I faced racism when I was growing up,” she said. “But I can tell you today is a lot better than it was then.”

Haley faces backlash

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Haley’s comment that the U.S. has “never been a racist country” drew significant criticism, especially in light of the fact that it was made the day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday celebrating MLK’s fight to end racism in America.

Differences divide us

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The Republican went on to argue that focusing on differences only creates more division. “Our goal is to lift up everybody—not go and divide people on race, or gender, or party, or anything else,” Haley said. “We’ve had enough of that in America. That’s why I’m so passionate about doing this.”

‘Work hard’ and ‘do anything’

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“I don’t want my kids growing up sitting there thinking that they’re disadvantaged because of a color or a gender. I want them to know that if they work hard, they can do and be anything they want to be in America.”

Haley still thinks she can win

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While Haley did not achieve the result she had hoped for at the Iowa caucuses, she seemed optimistic about her future campaigning. “This is the process. This is what I love—it’s a marathon. It’s not a sprint,” said the Republican. “But we couldn’t be more excited about the energy we have on the ground here in New Hampshire. And the sendoff that Iowa gave us… we’re happy.”

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