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Tags: nikki haley | civil war | slavery | government | presidential race | joe biden | ron desantis

Nikki Haley Fails to Cite Slavery as Civil War Cause

By    |   Thursday, 28 December 2023 09:23 AM EST

GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, during a New Hampshire town hall, declined to cite slavery as a cause of the Civil War, telling a voter that the war between the states took place because of the "role of government."

"I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run — the freedoms and what people could and couldn't do," Haley said Wednesday, reports NBC News. "I think it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are. And I will always stand by the fact that I think government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people. It was never meant to be all things to all people."

Haley, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and governor of South Carolina, added that "government doesn't need to tell you how to live your life."

"They don't need to tell you what you can and can't do," she said. "They don't need to be a part of your life. They need to make sure that you have freedom."

Haley further commented to the voter that "We need to have capitalism. We need to have economic freedom. We need to make sure that we do all things so that individuals have the liberties so that they can have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do or be anything they want to be without government getting in the way."

But when the voter told her that he thought it was "astonishing" that Haley didn't use the word "slavery" in her response, she replied, "What do you want me to say about slavery?" and moved on to another question.

James Grossman, executive director of the American Historical Association, told The Washington Post that Haley's answer reflected the Southern states' argument about their rights being infringed, she did not mention they also wanted to protect slavery, even though scholars agree that the slavery dispute was the central reason for the war.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday night also called attention to Haley's comments, writing on X that "It was about slavery."

The issue of race has historically been controversial for Haley.

She signed legislation removing the Confederate flag from the State House grounds after a white supremacist killed nine people at a historically Black church in Charleston in 2015.

However, in 2010 said she would not remove the flag and that she was the "perfect person" to deal with an NAACP boycott of the state because "as a minority female, I'm going to talk to them and I'm going to go and let them know that every state has different conditions and every state has certain things that they hold as part of their heritage."

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' presidential campaign Wednesday night shared the Haley video on X and said she "inexplicably does not mention slavery in her response."

But DeSantis has also faced criticism over his approach to race, including calling for slavery education standards that taught "how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit." He said his comments had been misconstrued.

Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, during a New Hampshire town hall, declined to cite slavery as a cause of the Civil War, telling a voter that the war between the states took place because of the "role of government."
nikki haley, civil war, slavery, government, presidential race, joe biden, ron desantis
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2023-23-28
Thursday, 28 December 2023 09:23 AM
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