AMAC Magazine - Volume 17 / Issue 6 - NOV/DEC 2023

I n a sea of grayscale suits, Nikki Haley’s bright-colored dresses and high heels certainly stand out on the debate stage. But it’s not simply the fact that she’s a woman that has earned her praise. The former United Nations ambas- sador and South Carolina governor has tactfully blended elegance with strength, and pithy one-liners with a few spontaneous hot takes. “Every time I hear you, I feel a little bit dumber from what you say,” Haley replied to Vivek Ramaswamy in response to a question about his recent choice to join TikTok. “We can’t trust you,” she added as the crowd laughed during the Fox Business debate in September. Some voters appreciated her candor. Others still feel there’s something they can’t trust about Haley herself. The second candidate to enter the race after frontrunner President Trump, Haley has proven to be an adept fund- raiser. Her campaign reportedly had more than $11 million on hand in the third quarter  surpassing DeSantis but still coming in a distant second to the Trump campaign’s $36 million. Haley has also inched up to second place in several key primary states, polling around 13 percent in New Hamp- shire and 18 percent in North Carolina. But Trump still has a 40 to 60 percent lead. Positioning herself as a “new generational conservative leader,” Haley touts her record holding state legislators accountable in South Carolina. She isn’t shy about call- ing out Republicans for spending billions of dollars on earmarks for projects in their districts. Her opponents are quick to point out that as governor, she supported increas- ing the state’s gas tax. And while Trump and Ramaswamy have opposed increasing the retirement age for Social Did you know? Haley has reduced recidivism and incarceration in South Carolina. See our comparison chart on page 42 for more!

Security, Haley has called for raising the retirement age for younger Americans. She has echoed suggestions for sending in special-ops teams to eliminate drug cartels. Yet when it comes to protecting the lives of the unborn, Haley has said that a national 15-week abortion ban is “not realistic.” Perhaps the candidate most aligned with neoconserva- tives, Haley has been a staunch supporter of the United States financing the war in Ukraine, arguing that “A win for Russia is a win for China.” She has also promised to provide Israel with “whatever they need” to “eliminate Hamas.” Raised in Bamberg, South Carolina, by parents who immi- grated from India, Haley is no stranger to being an outsider. Yet some voters worry that she would care more about being accepted in Washington than about disrupting the status quo. Governor nikki haley

Next: Vivek Ramaswamy on page 32

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