Says she has personally lived the American story and can attest that America is “not a racist countryâ€
Indian American Republican politician Nikki Haley has received withering criticism for her shifting political positions as ambassador to the UN under President Donald Trump increases her support for her former boss.
Looking back at former South Carolina governorâ€™s changing views CNN’s Brianna Keilar noted that all through Republican presidential primary in the 2016 race, Haley had criticized Trump.
â€œThen Trump won. South Carolina, then the Republican presidential nomination. Then the presidency,â€ Keilar said. â€œAnd Haley agreed to become his US Ambassador to the United Nations, a position she served in for two years before leaving for the private sector.â€
Following Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Haley again offered a harsh critique of Trump saying, “His actions since Election Day will be judged harshly by history.â€
She has changed her position on Trump yet again in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, CNN noted.
“He has a strong legacy from his administration,” Haley was quoted as saying of Trump. “He has the ability to get strong people elected, and he has the ability to move the ball, and I hope that he continues to do that. We need him in the Republican Party. I don’t want us to go back to the days before Trump.”
â€œWhat’s changed Haley’s mind (again)? Political reality, mostly,â€ Keilar said. â€œAnd that reality is this: She wants to run for president — whether in 2024 or beyond.”
â€œHaley has learned that there is simply no oxygen in the current iteration of the Republican Party for criticism of Trump,â€ the CNN host said. â€œAnd so, she is forced to mouth these paeans to the Republican Party of Trumpâ€
In a speech at the Ronald Reagan Library in California Tuesday Haley excoriated President Joe Biden’s handling of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, CNN reported.
But she barely mentioned Trump as she charged that the US is engaged in “a clash of civilizations” and “the bad guys think the good guys lack the will to win.”
She attacked Biden’s leadership, saying, “America is in greater danger today than we were just three months ago” and that “Joe Biden thinks retreat is a sign of strength.”
“Make no mistake. Our enemies are not just people with a different view about how best to govern. They are barbaric,” Haley was quoted as saying. “And now they’re done waiting. The fall of Afghanistan has every one of them thinking America’s era has ended and theirs has arrived.”
Pivoting to domestic affairs, Haley said to applause that the “most important mission of our time is to stop our national self-loathing and to regain our courage and renew our convictions.â€
Read: Nikki Haley will support Trump if he runs in 2024 (April 13, 2021)
Haley, according to CNN, argued that Democrats no longer believe in America and offered her take on so-called cancel culture.
Alluding to the Black Lives Matter protests and the debate over systemic racism and the removal of Confederate statues last year, Haley said progressives are denying the “massive progress” that America has made in becoming a more “colorblind” society.
After reading a quote from former President Barack Obama stating that “we are one American family,” Haley said Democrats have abandoned Obama’s “unifying message on race and national identity.”
“Republicans cannot make the same mistake,” she was quoted as saying. “That message was our message first. We must once again take it to the American people.”
Noting her own history as the first female and first minority governor of South Carolina, she said that she has personally lived the American story and can attest that America is “not a racist country.”
She recounted her decision to take down the Confederate battle flag from the South Carolina statehouse grounds in 2015. America, she said, is still setting the standard for progress: “Where we lead, the world follows. When we speak, the world listens. What we are, the world wants.”
Haley, according to CNN also did not take the opportunity at the Ronald Reagan Library for a reset in the post-Trump era. Haley did not allude to the January 6 attack on Tuesday night, instead focusing on where she believes the Republican Party needs to go.
“Now is the time to remind our fellow citizens that America deserves our hard work and our love,” Haley said. “It’s up to us to provide the truth about America. The sooner we lead a new awakening of patriotism, the quicker we’ll stop the decaying belief that our country is systemically racist.”
Ripping into Haley, Keilar recalled her criticism of Trump in the wake of the Jan 6 riots, in which she said his actions “will be judged harshly by history.”
“Shortly after that, Haley softened her criticism,” Keilar noted. “She even tried to go to Mar-a-Lago to kiss the ring, but was reportedly denied. Now she may be right that history will judge Donald Trump harshly, but NIkki Haley will not, because she’s too busy trying to ride his coattails.”