Haley: ‘Don’t complain’ about general election if you don’t pick me

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By Amie Rivers

January 11, 2024

Nikki Haley tried a last-ditch appeal to Republican caucus voters during a campaign appearance in Cedar Rapids Thursday just before a blizzard warning went into effect across Iowa.

The Republican candidate for President recently polled at around 20% of likely GOP caucusgoers in Iowa—a distant second place behind former President Donald Trump’s 54%, but ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 13%

Haley, who days earlier had seemed to shift focus to New Hampshire after polls gave her a 28% second-place showing there, put the onus on voters to show up for Monday’s Iowa Caucus.

“Don’t complain about what happens in the general election if you don’t play,” she told the crowd. “Monday matters. Your voice matters. I trust you.”

Haley: 'Don't complain' about general election if you don't pick me

Haley spoke to a crowd of a few dozen that mostly had not seen her before, according to her own in-person poll.

Haley: 'Don't complain' about general election if you don't pick me

Perhaps because of that, Haley mostly stuck to her campaign talking points.

“Our country is in disarray,” Haley told the crowd who had gathered at the Olympic Theater. “You feel it in the grocery store, you feel it at the gas station, you feel it in your mortgage payment and your insurance payment. Everything that we have to pay has gone up.

“I wish I could tell you that (President Joe) Biden did that to us,” she added, as attendees shifted in silence. “Republicans did that to us, too. And we’ve gotta start getting that back on track, and that’s why we have to have an accountant in the White House.” (Haley holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from Clemson University.)

Haley did not mention price-gouging by companies as a potential reason for higher prices, which Biden rebuked corporate firms for last month.

Haley also noted her support for Israel and Ukraine, improving healthcare for military veterans, and her polling in a head-to-head matchup with Biden, all as reasons to support her over Trump or DeSantis.

But she acknowledged the upcoming forecast showing low temperatures down to -15 degrees on Caucus Day Monday might disrupt turnout.

“I don’t know what that [temperature] is. I can’t even comprehend that,” Haley said. “But we’ll be out there.”

Haley: 'Don't complain' about general election if you don't pick me

  • Amie Rivers

    Amie Rivers is Starting Line's community editor, labor reporter and newsletter snarker-in-chief. Previously, she was an award-winning journalist at the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier; now, she very much enjoys making TikToks and memes. Send all story tips and pet photos to [email protected] and sign up for our newsletter here.


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