Nikki Haley says another Trump presidency would bring chaos

Nikki Haley at her event in Adel. Credit: CSPAN

By Nikoel Hytrek

January 15, 2024

In her last event before the Iowa Caucuses, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said the United States can’t afford to elect former President Donald Trump a second time.

“President Trump was the right president at the right time,” Haley said on Sunday. “I agree with a lot of his policies, but—rightly or wrongly—chaos follows him. You know I’m right. Chaos follows and we can’t be a country in disarray and have a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos.”

The world on fire includes migrants at the US Southern border and the wars in Europe and the Middle East, according to her.

On Saturday, a Des Moines Register poll showed Nikki Haley polling second behind Trump among likely caucus-goers. The gap is still wide, though, with 20% of respondents supporting her and 48% supporting Trump. Gov. Ron DeSantis got 16%, and no other candidates received double-digits.

“You don’t fix Democrat [Sic] chaos with Republican chaos,” Haley continued, to cheers. “And what should send a chill up everyone’s spine? A President Kamala Harris. That’s why November matters.”

Haley also pointed to polling numbers that show her beating Biden by double-digits in a head-to-head contest. She said that would mean a mandate for every one of her policy priorities.

Earlier in the speech, Haley talked about those priorities, which are the same policies she normally talks about on the trail. She didn’t mention abortion, an issue Republicans have consistently lost on in elections since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.

For the economy, Haley said she would do things such as get rid of the taxes on gas and diesel and make small business tax cuts permanent the way corporate tax cuts are.

For education, she said she would prioritize parents’ rights to choose where their children go to school and how they’re educated, which usually means supporting school vouchers. Haley also said she would make it a priority to ban trans girls from playing girls’ sports.

To handle immigration, Haley said she would reimplement the Remain in Mexico policy, which required migrants to stay in Mexico while waiting for hearings in the US. It has been the subject of many legal battles. She also supports deporting migrants who are waiting for their immigration court hearings, rather than letting them live in the community.

“We will defund sanctuary cities once and for all. No more safe havens,” she said.

On national security, Haley touted supporting both Ukraine and Israel and making America “energy dominant” by speeding up oil permits, pursuing nuclear power, allowing oil pipelines “starting with the Keystone pipeline,” exporting more liquefied natural gas, and using the Renewable Fuel Standard to support biofuels.

Haley said she knows America is divided, and the only way to bring it back together is to look to a new generation.

“Republicans have lost the last seven out of eight popular votes for president. That is nothing to be proud of. We should want to win the majority of Americans,” Haley said. “But the only way we’re going to win the majority of Americans is if we elect a new generational leader, and leave the negativity and the baggage behind and move forward with the solutions of the future.”

  • Nikoel Hytrek

    Nikoel Hytrek is Iowa Starting Line’s longest-serving reporter. She covers LGBTQ issues, abortion rights and all topics of interest to Iowans. Her biggest goal is to help connect the dots between policy and people’s real lives. If you have story ideas or tips, send them over to [email protected].


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