COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was requested Wednesday by a New Hampshire voter in regards to the cause for the Civil Warfare, and he or she didn’t point out slavery in her response — main the voter to say he was “astonished” by her omission.

Requested throughout a city corridor in Berlin, New Hampshire, what she believed had precipitated the conflict — the primary photographs of which have been fired in her dwelling state of South Carolina — Haley talked in regards to the function of presidency, replying that it concerned “the freedoms of what individuals might and could not do.”

She then turned the query again to the person who had requested it, who replied that he was not the one working for president and wished as an alternative to know her reply.

After Haley went right into a lengthier rationalization in regards to the function of presidency, particular person freedom and capitalism, the questioner appeared to admonish Haley, saying, “Within the 12 months 2023, it’s astonishing to me that you just reply that query with out mentioning the phrase slavery.”

“What would you like me to say about slavery?” Haley retorted, earlier than abruptly transferring on to the following query.

Haley, who served six years as South Carolina’s governor, has been competing for a distant second place to Donald Trump for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. She has steadily mentioned throughout her marketing campaign that she would compete within the first three states earlier than returning “to the candy state of South Carolina, and we’ll end it” within the Feb. 24 primary.

Haley’s marketing campaign didn’t instantly return a message looking for touch upon her response. The marketing campaign of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one other of Haley’s GOP foes, recirculated video of the alternate on social media, including the remark, “Yikes.”

Points surrounding the origins of the Civil Warfare and its heritage are nonetheless a lot of the material of Haley’s dwelling state, and he or she has been pressed on the conflict’s origins earlier than. As she ran for governor in 2010, Haley, in an interview with a now-defunct activist group then referred to as The Palmetto Patriots, described the conflict as between two disparate sides combating for “custom” and “change” and mentioned the Accomplice flag was “not one thing that’s racist.”

Throughout that very same marketing campaign, she dismissed the necessity for the flag to return down from the Statehouse grounds, portraying her Democratic rival’s push for its removing as a determined political stunt.

5 years later, Haley urged lawmakers to take away the flag from its perch close to a Accomplice soldier monument following a mass taking pictures by which a white gunman killed eight Black church members who have been attending Bible research. On the time, Haley mentioned the flag had been “hijacked” by the shooter from those that noticed the flag as symbolizing “sacrifice and heritage.”

South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession — the 1860 proclamation by the state authorities outlining its causes for seceding from the Union — mentions slavery in its opening sentence and factors to the “rising hostility on the a part of the non-slaveholding States to the establishment of slavery” as a cause for the state eradicating itself from the Union.

On Wednesday night time, Christale Spain — elected this 12 months as the primary Black lady to chair South Carolina’s Democratic Get together — mentioned Haley’s response was “vile, however unsurprising.”

“The identical one who refused to take down the Accomplice Flag till the tragedy in Charleston, and tried to justify a Accomplice Historical past Month,” Spain mentioned in a publish on X, of Haley. “She’s simply as MAGA as Trump,” Spain added, referring to Trump’s ”Make America Nice Once more” slogan.

Jaime Harrison, present chairman of the Democratic Nationwide Committee and South Carolina’s occasion chairman throughout a part of Haley’s tenure as governor, mentioned her response was “not gorgeous should you have been a Black resident in SC when she was Governor.”

“Identical one who mentioned the accomplice flag was about custom & heritage and as a minority lady she was the fitting particular person to defend protecting it on state home grounds,” Harrison posted Wednesday night time on X. “Some might have forgotten however I haven’t. Time to take off the rose coloured Nikki Haley glasses of us.”


Meg Kinnard may be reached at

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