Nikki Haley slammed for not mentioning slavery as cause of Civil War

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Thursday morning that “of course” she knows the Civil War was about slavery, walking back a controversial answer she gave when asked about the cause of the conflict.

On Wednesday, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador was answering questions from voters during a town hall in Berlin, N.H., when a man asked her about “the cause of the United States Civil War.”

Haley, who didn’t mention slavery in her answer, appeared to blame the war on government overreach. The voter called her out, saying her answer was “astonishing.”

On Thursday, about 12 hours after the interaction — and a massive backlash that followed —Haley attempted to clarify her comments in an interview with radio host Jack Heath on “Good Morning New Hampshire.”

The presidential hopeful told Heath she knew slavery was a cause of the Civil War. She also accused Democrats of “sending plants” to her events and claimed the person who asked the question was a Democratic voter.

“I mean, of course the Civil War was about slavery,” she said. “But what’s the lesson in all of that? That we need to make sure that every person has freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do and be anything they want to be without anyone or government getting in the way,” she continued. “Yes, I know it was about slavery. I’m from the South; of course I know it’s about slavery.”

When answering the question on Wednesday, Haley said she thought “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 then asked the man what he thought the answer would be.

“I’m not running for president,” the man replied, saying he would like to hear her answer.

Haley, who recently made headlines for gaining ground on former Pres. Donald Trump in the Granite State, then went into a lengthier explanation, telling the questioner she thinks “it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are.”

“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. 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. They don’t need to be a part of your life. They need to make sure that you have freedom,” she said.

“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,” she added.

Haley’s answer stunned the voter, who replied, “In the year 2023, it’s astonishing to me that you answer that question without mentioning the word slavery.”

“What do you want me to say about slavery?” she asked him.

“You answered my question. Thank you,” he responded.

A clip of the interaction was quickly shared on social media and used as political fire by both Democrats and Republicans.

“Yikes,” the DeSantis War Room, a campaign account for Florida governor and fellow GOP hopeful Ron DeSantis, wrote in one of several messages shared on X.

“It was about slavery,” Pres Joe Biden wrote on the platform Wednesday night.

With News Wire Services

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Nikki Haley slammed for not mentioning slavery as cause of Civil War

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