Nikki Haley hit from all sides after omitting ‘slavery’ from Civil War response

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is catching heat from both sides of the political aisle after she declined to mention slavery as the reason for sparking the U.S. Civil War.

A voter asked the former U.N. ambassador during a New Hampshire town hall on Wednesday what was “the cause” of the war, to which she joked, “Well, don’t come with an easy question or anything.”

“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,” she continued.

Haley in Iowa

Nikki Haley speaks during a town hall event in Agency, Iowa, on Dec. 19, 2023. (Christian Monterrosa/AFP via Getty Images)

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“I mean, I think it all comes down to the role of government,” she added. “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.”

The voter responded that he was shocked she didn’t mention the word “slavery.”

“What do you want me to say about slavery?” Haley asked. “Next question.”

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a town hall, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, in Nevada, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Haley’s response sparked backlash from the White House to the campaign trail.

“It was about slavery,” President Biden posted on X with a clip of Haley’s comments.

Bryan Griffin, the press secretary for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign, wrote: “On today’s scoreboard, Donald Trump complained about his treatment in the movie Home Alone 2, Nikki Haley stepped in a giant mess of her own making, and @RonDeSantis dismantled the far-left Miami Dade school union. Take your pick!”

“Not stunning if you were a Black resident in SC when she was Governor,” wrote DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison. “Same person who said the confederate flag was about tradition & heritage and as a minority woman she was the right person to defend keeping it on state house grounds. Some may have forgotten but I haven’t. Time to take off the rose colored Nikki Haley glasses folks.”

Haley clarified her remarks in a New Hampshire radio interview Thursday morning.

“Yes, we know the Civil War was about slavery. But more than that, what’s the lesson in all this? That freedom matters. And individual rights and liberties matter for all people. That’s the blessing of America. That was a stain on America when we had slavery. But what we want is never relive it. Never let anyone take those freedoms away again.”

Haley’s campaign pointed to her most recent comments when reached by Fox News Digital.

Haley in Manchester, New Hampshire

Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall after receiving an endorsement from Gov. Chris Sununu, Dec. 12, 2023, in Manchester, New Hampshire. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

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Nikki Haley hit from all sides after omitting ‘slavery’ from Civil War response

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