Nikki Haley formally launched her 2024 campaign for the White House on Wednesday (local time), pitching herself to voters as part of a “new generation” of Republican leaders who can win at the ballot box.
Haley is now the first Indian American woman from the Republican Party to run for the presidential bid. As the former governor of South Carolina and US ambassador to the United Nations, took the stage, Haley introduced herself as the proud daughter of Indian immigrants pitching a new future for the Republican party.
Haley noted her parents who were in the audience and said, “My parents left India in search of a better life. They found it in Bamberg, South Carolina, with a population of 2,500. Our little town came to love us … but it wasn’t always easy. We were the only Indian family. Nobody knew who we were, what we were, or why we were there. But my parents knew. And every day, they reminded my brothers and my sister that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America,” Haley added.
Haley’s parents hail from rural Punjab and they moved to Amritsar before emigrating to America in the early 1960s. Haley has often been heard talking about her Indian heritage, something that she even leaned into in a video declaring her candidacy on Tuesday.
“I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Not black, not white. I was different,” she says in the video. “But my mom would always say, ‘Your job is not to focus on the differences, but the similarities.'”
“I know America is better than all the division and distractions that we have today,” Haley told several hundred supporters in Charleston, South Carolina. “And I’m confident that the American people agree. We’re ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past, and we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future.”
Haley declined to criticize former President Donald Trump directly, and instead focused her criticism on President Joe Biden and establishment politicians of both parties in Washington. In one not-so-subtle dig at both Trump and Biden, Haley called for “mandatory mental competency tests” for politicians over the age of 75. Trump is 76, and Biden is 80.
“America is not past our prime — it’s just that our politicians are past theirs,” she told the crowd.
Haley is so far the only GOP challenger to her former boss Trump, who announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination last November. She joined the Trump administration as the US ambassador to the United Nations in January 2017 and departed the post at the end of 2018. (ANI)