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Tags: nikki haley | donald trump | 2024 elections | south carolina

Haley Tells S.C. Crowd Trump Always Followed By 'Chaos'

Monday, 27 November 2023 08:40 PM EST

Nikki Haley argued Monday former President Donald Trump causes too much chaos to be successful in a second White House term, reiterating her argument about the GOP front-runner at a large town hall in her home state of South Carolina.

The former governor and United Nations ambassador in the Trump administration drew the largest crowd of her primary campaign as she tries to close the gap with Trump just weeks before the Iowa caucuses kick off the Republican nominating calendar.

Haley invoked her former boss saying as she has before that she believes Trump was "the right president at the right time" but that the time is now right for a new generation in U.S. leadership.

"I agree with a lot of his policies, but the truth is, rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him," Haley said. "We have too much division in this country, and too many threats around the world to be sitting in chaos once again."

About 2,500 people attended the event at a satellite campus of the University of South Carolina in Bluffton, along the state's southern coast. Half that number watched her event from video screens outside the venue after it reached capacity. Hours ahead of Monday's start time, the line for attendees wrapped around the venue, which the campaign said had to be changed from its original location because of demand.

Her staff has cast her campaign as being on a rising trajectory and pointed to growing crowds in recent weeks as she gets new attention from voters and donors looking for a Trump alternative.

Haley remains among a pack of candidates competing for a distant second place with Trump, who has led the GOP field since kicking off his third presidential campaign last year. Later this week, Haley will head back to New Hampshire, where she has stumped heavily. Multimillionaire entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has more than a dozen events scheduled this week in Iowa. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will campaign across South Carolina on Friday.

Haley often notes her ousting of a 30-year state incumbent in the South Carolina House, then beating three initially better-known candidates to become the first woman to serve as South Carolina's governor.

The question of how Haley could close the gap with Trump was on the minds of some who gathered to hear her Monday.

Vincent Francescangeli, who lives on Hilton Head Island, said he is leaning toward supporting Haley but is taking a wait-and-see approach as the election's first votes draw closer, noting that Trump is still on his list of candidates whom he might support.

"The world was a safer place when Trump was in office," Francescangeli said. "But Trump's got a lot of baggage, and you've got to ask yourself — is Trump really electable? I don't know."

Haley hit the usual points of her campaign speech on Monday, drawing applause and cheers following calls to term limit members of Congress, subject politicians to mental competency tests and end trade relations with China "until they stop murdering Americans with fentanyl."

Haley invoked her former boss saying, as she has before, that she believes Trump was "the right president at the right time" but argued the time is right for a new generation in U.S. leadership.

"I agree with a lot of his policies, but the truth is, rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him," Haley said. "We have too much division in this country, and too many threats around the world to be sitting in chaos once again."

Haley riffed on Trump's recent appearance in her home state at Saturday's football rivalry matchup between the University of South Carolina and her alma mater, Clemson University. Trump was a guest of Gov. Henry McMaster, Haley's successor and an alumnus of South Carolina, which lost to Clemson.

"How did it work out for the Gamecocks having Trump show up?" Haley said. "Not so lucky for the Gamecocks, just sayin' — go Tigers."

Asked why he came out to see Haley, Francescangeli said he had been impressed by her performance in the GOP presidential debates, the sole woman on the stage.

"She didn't come across weak," Francescangeli said, referencing her debate performances. "She came across to me like a powerhouse. She stood up to those guys. These guys are trying to beat her up. She kicked right back. I was impressed."

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Politics
Nikki Haley argued Monday former President Donald Trump causes too much chaos to be successful in a second White House term, reiterating her argument about the GOP front-runner at a large town hall in her home state of South Carolina.
nikki haley, donald trump, 2024 elections, south carolina
719
2023-40-27
Monday, 27 November 2023 08:40 PM
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