Nikki Haley enters 2024 presidential race - Catholic Courier
Former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, pictured in a Feb. 1, 2023, photo, announced her 2024 presidential campaign Feb. 14. She becomes the first major Republican candidate to enter the party's primary against former President Donald Trump. Former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, pictured in a Feb. 1, 2023, photo, announced her 2024 presidential campaign Feb. 14. She becomes the first major Republican candidate to enter the party's primary against former President Donald Trump. (OSV News photo by Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Nikki Haley enters 2024 presidential race

WASHINGTON (OSV News) — Former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley announced Feb. 14 that she is running for president, becoming the first major Republican candidate to enter the party’s primary against former President Donald Trump.

In a video posted on social media announcing her 2024 bid, Haley said, “It’s time for a new generation of leadership.”

The Haley campaign scheduled a formal launch event in Charleston, South Carolina, for Feb. 15, followed by events in New Hampshire Feb. 16 and 17 and in Iowa later in February — all key states in the GOP’s presidential primary process as they are the first to vote.

Video details Nikki Haley’s background

In a roughly three-and-a-half minute video, Haley detailed her background as the daughter of Indian immigrants, saying she grew up feeling out of place in her South Carolina town that she said was often “divided by race.”

“They all think we can be bullied, kicked around,” she said. “You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels.”

Haley, 51, highlighted her work as U.N. ambassador, taking an assertive tone on U.S. foreign policy, a contrast to her former boss, Trump, who sought the U.S.’s withdrawal from some international treaties.

In the video, Haley detailed her background as the daughter of Indian immigrants, saying she grew up feeling out of place in her South Carolina town she said was often “divided by race.”

“But my mom would always say your job is not to focus on the differences, but the similarities,” Haley said. “And my parents reminded me and my siblings every day how blessed we were to live in America.”

Haley argued that the Republican Party needs to turn to “the values that still make our country the freest and greatest in the world.”

“Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections,” Haley said. “That has to change.”

Haley says it’s time for new generation of leadership

The winner of the GOP presidential primary will likely face President Joe Biden, a Catholic who is expected to run for a second term as the Democratic nominee, in November 2024.

Haley called Biden’s record “abysmal.”

“That shouldn’t come as a surprise,” she said. “The Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again. It’s time for a new generation of leadership to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose.”

Haley was raised Sikh before converting to Christianity as a young adult.

If her primary bid is successful, Haley would become the first woman nominated for president by the Republican Party.

As governor of South Carolina, Haley signed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law, banning most abortions in the state after 20 weeks. That law remains intact after the state Supreme Court struck down a six-week ban that South Carolina lawmakers attempted to implement after the U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had held abortion to be a constitutional right.

In a statement, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison said Haley’s entrance in the race “officially kicks off a messy 2024 primary race for the MAGA base that has long been brewing. Everyone get your popcorn.”

Pro-life group praises Haley’s pro-life, pro-woman leadership

In a statement, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a group that works to elect pro-life candidates, praised Haley’s “strong pro-life, pro-woman leadership,” which she said “stands in contrast to the false ‘feminism’ of abortion advocates.”

“As governor of South Carolina, she signed legislation to stop late-term abortions when unborn children can feel pain, and she has continued to advocate for our laws to catch up with the consensus of Americans and the civilized world,” Dannenfelser said. “As U.N. ambassador she stood unflinchingly for human rights, advancing America’s prerogative of defending life against pro-abortion forces that would impose an international ‘right’ to abortion on demand. The preciousness of every human life is deeply personal to her, something she speaks frankly about in sharing both the joys and struggles of motherhood and family. She has a heart for service and is committed to addressing the needs of women facing unexpected pregnancies with compassion.”

Dannenfelser said that in a post-Roe political landscape, “we need a president who will champion minimum federal standards to protect unborn children and their mothers from the horror of abortion nationwide.”

“We welcome Nikki Haley and all presidential contenders outlining their pro-life vision and policy platform in the new Dobbs era as the primary election unfolds,” she said.

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Kate Scanlon is a national reporter for OSV News covering Washington. Follow her on Twitter @kgscanlon.


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