Nikki Haley starts her election campaign with little hesitation: while she is promoting a new political start, she is throwing numerous side blows at her opponents. The 51-year-old does not leave her old age uncommented. A mental fitness check from the age of 75 is appropriate, says Haley.
Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has officially launched her presidential campaign, calling for a generational change in the country's political leadership. "We will not win the battle for the 21st century if we continue to trust the politicians of the 20th century," said the Republican on her first campaign appearance in Charleston, her home state of South Carolina. "We are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future."
The 51-year-old announced her application for the 2024 presidential election in a video the day before. She is the first Republican candidate to run against former US President Donald Trump. America is falling behind, the future of the country is hanging in the balance, the leadership is letting people down, Haley said in her aggressive appearance. "Nobody embodies this failure more than Joe Biden," she lamented, referring to the incumbent president and accusing him of poor leadership.
Haley repeatedly referred to the advanced age of political competitors without explicitly naming Biden (80) or Trump (76). "America isn't past its prime, only its politicians are past it," she said, calling for term limits to be introduced in Congress -- and "mandatory intellectual competency tests for politicians over the age of 75." Addressing the people of the country, Haley said, "If you're tired of losing, put your faith in a new generation." Now is the moment to save the country from slipping into socialism.
Haley made a striking effort not to dwell too much on horror scenarios about a country under Democratic leadership, but instead to spread confidence and paint a positive picture of America under her leadership. She wants a strong and proud America, with economic power, a world-class education, a strong police force, and secure borders. "America is not a racist country," said the daughter of Indian immigrants to cheers from her supporters. The Biden administration is telling people that the United States is corrupt and full of hatred. "Nothing could be further from the truth."
The former UN ambassador also gave a lot of space to foreign policy. She promoted a course of strength towards countries like China, Russia, Iran or North Korea. It takes a lot of effort, will and faith to save the country, she said. And the country must do things it has never done before: "send a tough woman to the White House." There has never been a female president in US history. Haley is one of the few women to have even run as a Republican presidential candidate in recent years. Haley has to assert himself in party primaries against Trump, who has already announced his candidacy.
The Republican was Ambassador to the United Nations from January 2017 to the end of 2018 during Trump's tenure - and from 2011 to 2017 was the first woman to be the governor of South Carolina. As an ambassador, Haley also stood for Trump's UN policy, which many diplomats viewed critically. Nevertheless, Haley earned respect across party lines. The arch-conservative politician was repeatedly traded for higher offices. After her time at the UN, she briefly sat on the Board of Directors of aircraft manufacturer Boeing as a member of the Board of Directors.
The relationship between Trump and Haley is divided. Haley had actually stated that he did not want to run for the White House against the 76-year-old if he were to compete. Trump announced his candidacy in November. More prominent Republicans are expected to throw their hats in the ring in the coming months, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and ex-US Vice President Mike Pence.
So far, Haley has not fared well in polls compared to her potential Republican opponents - her scores are in the low single digits. Haley stressed that she had often been underestimated in her career – "it's always funny". Now, as she embarks on this new adventure, her message is, "May the best woman win."