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Nikki Haley denies calling to raise retirement age seconds before admitting she did

Ms Haley previously said, ‘65 is way too low and we need to increase that’

Kelly Rissman
Tuesday 09 January 2024 17:26 GMT
Nikki Haley says 'I had black friends growing up' as she defends comments on slavery

At a Fox News town hall, 2024 Republican hopeful Nikki Haley defended herself against claims that she called to increase the retirement age — before backtracking.

On Monday, Fox News host Bret Baier brought up that her GOP rival, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis, is “hitting you for claiming the retirement age is ‘way, way too low.’”

“I have never once said that,” Ms Haley retorted.

But Baier quoted a Bloomberg interview of Ms Haley in August, in which she said, “65 is way too low and we need to increase that.”

The former UN ambassador explained, “Anyone who says they’ll leave America bankrupt, Social Security will go bankrupt, Medicare will. So we don’t touch anyone’s retirement. But, go to people like my kids in their 20s and tell them the rules have changed. Change the retirement age to reflect life expectancy.”

Ms Haley then admitted, “Yes — for those in their 20s.” She added, “I have never said retirement age is way too low for everyone else,” before accusing Mr DeSantis of “totally misrepresenting the facts.”

The former South Carolina governor then clarified her proposed plan. “But we have to also be honest and over-communicate with those in their 20s that this is what we’re going to do.”

She continued, “And it’s also letting seniors and those in their 40s and 50s know, don’t worry, we’re not looking to touch yours. We’re looking to actually save it so that you have something when your time comes.”

This isn’t the first time Ms Haley has been caught in a blunder recently. Last month, the South Carolina Republican was forced to walk back on her remarks after failing to mention that slavery had caused the Civil War.

Despite her time in the hot seat, polls indicate that Ms Haley has triumphed over her crowded field of Republican rivals, becoming the primary competitor of Donald Trump.

Mr Trump has maintained a sizable lead, but according to a new CNN-University of New Hampshire poll, Ms Haley is within seven points of the former president in New Hampshire, the first primary state.

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