Should you vote for Nikki Haley in the 2024 GOP presidential primary? This author will not be.
On today’s show, I thought it would be best to let the Candace Owens audience know why that is — and how some behind-the-scenes interactions with Haley and her team helped craft my decision. The goal is not to sway you one way or the other, but to provide you with details that can help guide your decision-making process.
The former United Nations ambassador announced her candidacy for the presidency on Tuesday. Her first campaign video can be seen here:
Get excited! Time for a new generation.
Let’s do this! 👊 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/BD5k4WY1CP
— Nikki Haley (@NikkiHaley) February 14, 2023
The conservative choices thus far are former President Donald J. Trump and Haley. It is a strong likelihood that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will also enter the race, although he has not officially made an announcement.
Haley will not be getting my vote. I want to make clear, it has nothing to do with any sort of personal grievance. I met her once, and she was very nice to me. However, as part of my job, I am often privy to having a more intimate look at politicians and those working on their campaigns. Whenever possible, I try to share those experiences on my podcast for your benefit.
Haley reportedly charged as high as $200,000 for a speaker’s fee after she left the Trump administration. Those who dealt with her have expressed their frustration that she never had any flexibility with that large sum of money.
A few years ago, I was invited to a dinner where Nikki Haley was the keynote speaker. This was a high-dollar donor event. Depending on how much you paid, attendees could partake in privileges such as asking Haley a question or posing for a photo with her. The more you paid, the more up close and private it was supposed to be.
What I saw during Haley’s speech was a polished professional speaker — who stuck to her script verbatim. It almost seemed a little too rehearsed, not authentic. The donors in attendance, however, loved it.
When audience members asked her questions, she had specific answers that seemed pre-written, almost as if she knew the questions in advance. Well, a gentleman sitting at my dinner table, who happened to be hosting the event, confirmed my suspicions. Indeed, Haley’s staff required all questions be submitted far in advance. Donors were not allowed to go off script.
Instantly, it was apparent that something was bothering the gentleman sitting next to me. He explained how it took a lot of money to bring Haley to the event and how her team had strict requirements, including dictating what questions could be asked.
It turns out the last question this gentleman asked — a question relevant to a story about Trump and NATO which broke that day — was not on Haley’s radar. Her team swooped in afterwards and completely undressed him for going off script. Keep in mind, this was a man who helped coordinate the event.
That confirmed my intuition — she was not being authentic with her donors. It seemed evident she was preparing for a presidential run. My predictions were proven true this week when she made her announcement.
Personally, a polished politician is not the candidate I would like to support. I like unscripted politicians who are comfortable speaking their minds and engaging in real conversations with reporters, their colleagues, and the public. In fact, that is what I always loved about Trump.
When I interviewed him, his team never told me what questions to ask or avoid. Whether you love him or hate him, you cannot deny he was authentically Trump. It was refreshing because that’s a character trait so many politicians seem to lack.
Unfortunately, it has turned me into a cynic about politics. You can never be entirely sure when a politician is giving you a straight answer.
Now, these are my gut instincts and my own personal experiences with Haley. You should not necessarily let this column determine whether you will cast your vote for Haley or not. You might completely disagree with my stance. My job is, in part, to provide you with as much knowledge as I can about these candidates so that you can make an informed decision at the ballot box.