Nikki Haley roasted by child branding her the ‘new John Kerry’ after Civil War flub

‘You’re basically the new John Kerry–if you remember John Kerry from 2004,’ the fourth grader said

Kelly Rissman
Friday 29 December 2023 18:03 GMT
Nikki Haley attempts to clarify her position on the Civil War

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley was accused by a child of flip-flopping on her views about former president Donald Trump — and then was likened to the 2004 Democratic nominee John Kerry.

The nine-year-old named Adam began by telling the former UN ambassador at a New Hampshire town hall on 27 December: “Chris Christie thinks that you’re a flip-flopper on the Donald Trump issue. And honestly, I agree with him.” The crowd then erupted in laughter.

“You’re basically the new John Kerry – if you remember John Kerry from 2004,” the kid added, sparking more laughs from the audience. Mr Kerry, who lost the presidency to George W Bush, was accused of changing his position on a number of topics, including the Iraq War. He now serves as the US’s first Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

The fourth grader then asked: “How can you change your opinion like that in just eight years, and will you pardon Donald Trump?”

Ms Haley replied that politics is “about distraction.” She said that while pro-Trumpers are saying she doesn’t “love him enough” and anti-Trumpers say she doesn’t “hate him enough,” Mr Trump’s former UN ambassador said she is just “telling you the truth like I see it. It’s not personal for me.”

She reiterated that she believes Mr Trump was the “right president at the right time” and said she agrees with some of his policies, but clarified that she doesn’t think he’s the right candidate for 2024.

Ms Haley then dug into Mr Christie as “being obsessed with Trump.”

She continued, “He sleeps, eats, and breathes it every day. I’m thinking bigger than that,” Ms Haley said. “If we do that, we’re no different than Trump. That’s what we’re trying to get away from – is the idea that we obsess about a person. This is about a country. We’re better than that. We’re bigger than that.”

She added, “I told my truth just like you told your truth, except I am no John Kerry.” The audience broke into a loud applause.

Ms Haley also addressed Adam’s second question — announcing she would pardon Mr Trump if she were elected and if he were convicted.

“A leader needs to think about what’s in the best interest of the country,” she explained. “What’s in the best interest of the country is not to have an 80-year-old man sitting in jail, that continues to divide our country.”

The former South Carolina governor has been facing intense scrutiny for other comments she made at the campaign event regarding the cause of the Civil War — since she didn’t mention slavery.

She has since tried to rectify her initial remarks. During a radio interview the following day, on 28 December, Ms Haley said “Of course the Civil War was about slavery….What I was saying was what does it mean to us today? What it means to us today is about freedom. That’s what that was all about.”

The former UN ambassador also accused the person who asked the question of being a “Democrat plant.”

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