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Haley says she has ‘one more fellow to catch up to’ as she makes final push ahead of South Carolina primary


GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said at a Fox News town hall on Sunday America needs a president who can serve eight years “fully working, fully disciplined and ready to get the job done” as she cites polling showing 70% of Americans do not want former President Trump or President Biden in office.

Haley’s town hall comes ahead of the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary, where she will face off against Trump.

Despite serving as Trump’s former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, the former South Carolina governor did not hold back on her attempts to convince the people of her state that she would make a better president than Trump.

“I look at where we started, there were 14 candidates in the race,” Haley said. “We’ve defeated a dozen of fellas. I just have one more fellow to catch up to. And through it all, there have been naysayers and that’s okay. I’m used to being an underdog.”

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She said that going into Iowa, she polled at 2% and finished almost second at 20%, then in New Hampshire, she finished at 43% of the vote.

After the New Hampshire results came in, Haley said, Trump had “a temper tantrum,” adding that he was unhinged because he did not know she would get 43% of the vote.

“The night that we got 43% of the vote, President Trump literally became unhinged and went on a temper tantrum,” she said. “And all he did was talk about revenge. And then the next day he said, anybody who who supported me was barred permanently from MAGA.”

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Haley asked the crowd to think about Trump’s threat to bar people from MAGA, saying leading into an election, you try to bring people into your corner and not push them out.

Like many of her speeches, she also pointed to Trump’s push for the Republican National Committee to name him the presumptive nominee after two states voted.

“He pushed the RNC to name him the presumptive nominee, and he got pushback on that,” Haley said. “We don’t anoint kings in this country. We let the people vote.”

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Rather than talk about the American people or issues like the $34 trillion in debt the country is facing, Haley accused Trump of talking about being a victim and getting his revenge.

“Trump never talked about the American people … All he did was talk about himself,” she said.

Haley also took digs at the Republican Party, placing the blame for the country’s $34 trillion debt not just on Biden, but also on Republicans, blaming Trump for putting the country into $8 trillion debt in just four years, and saying that less than 25% of the debt accumulated under Trump happened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The first thing we have to understand is Republicans and Democrats put us into this mess, and we’ve got to call them both out for getting us into this mess,” Haley said. “Whether it was the spending, whether it’s the borrowing, whether it’s all of the things that they’ve done, we are $34 trillion in debt. We’re having to borrow money just to make our interest payments.”

“We’re paying more in interest payments than we are in our defense budget,” she continued. “You know who pays attention to that? Russia, China and Iran. So we’ve got to start pulling out of that. The way we do that is we start with our economy. We claw back $100 billion of unspent COVID dollars that are still sitting out there, instead of 87,000 IRS agents going after middle America. Go after the hundreds of billions of dollars of COVID fraud, one out of every $7 was spent fraudulently. If 8% of our budget is interest, quit borrowing. Cut up the credit cards.”

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The former South Carolina governor also cited recent comments from Trump in which he said any NATO country that does not pull its weight would not be defended by the U.S. and that he would encourage Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade those countries.

“When you look at what Putin has done. We have to remember Russia is not our friend,” Haley said. “If Putin’s mouth is open, he is lying and we need to be aware of that. And I think that’s why it was so damaging when Trump said that he would choose Putin and actually encourage Putin to invade NATO allies instead of standing with our allies that stood with us at 9/11.”

“I will absolutely put the hammer on our NATO countries, that they do have to carry their weight,” she added. “But you do that behind closed doors. You do that and let them know that the United States is not going to carry the burden. But you don’t do it in the eyes of our enemies.”

She recently accused Trump of siding with a “thug” and dictator who arrests political opponents and American journalists and holds them hostage.

“[Putin] has made no bones about the fact that he wants to destroy America,” Haley said on Sunday. “And so the best thing we can do with Russia is let them know we’re on to them, and make sure that they know we’ll hold them to account on anything they do. And that includes hurting our allies.”

Haley also knocked Trump and Biden for their old age, pointing out that both men are around 80-years-old.

“About 70% of Americans right now say they don’t want Biden or Trump in this election,” she said. “The majority of Americans disapprove of Joe Biden. The majority of Americans disapprove of Donald Trump. Both of those men put us trillions of dollars in debt that our kids are never going to forgive us for. And are we really going to put all of our problems and issues in the hands of two 80-year-olds running for president? We need someone who can serve eight years fully working, fully disciplined and ready to get the job done. We can’t go and take the chance of doing this with two 80-year-olds.”




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