MERRIMACK, N.H. — Nikki Haley’s repeated insistence she will treat Granite State voters like adults and tell them hard truths seems to be working.
When the former U.N. Ambassador spoke in Hollis at the end of July, the small audience which assembled at a local winery to hear her stump speech seemed somewhat taken aback after she pleaded to honesty and told them, while pointing to trillions in unaccounted COVID-19 relief funds and the passage of 7,000 budgetary earmarks as examples, that Republicans were as responsible as their political counterparts when it comes to the nation’s massive debt.
On Wednesday, when she told a much larger midday crowd gathered at the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Merrimack that, regardless of how staunch their belief on the issue might be, no Republican president would ever gather enough support in the U.S. Senate to see — let alone sign — a nationwide abortion ban, instead of shock she received nods of agreement and applause.
“I’m going to tell you my hard truth, because I don’t think Americans get the hard truth on this,” she said.
Haley’s speech, delivered this time to an audience hundreds strong, wasn’t entirely different from others she’s given to New Hampshire audiences in the past, touching on a broad range of issues but heavy on foreign policy.
Haley reiterated an oft made point that the nation is well served by supporting the war effort in Ukraine, where Russia has launched an unprovoked invasion. According to Haley, a win for Russia is a win for China.
“We had no better friend in the United Nations than Ukraine,” she said. “You had this free country, and here this thug goes and invades their country and tries to take it.”
According to Haley, President Joe Biden’s response in Ukraine has not been enough to prevent Russia from eventually carrying through on other threats.
“Russia said after they take Ukraine, it’s Poland and the Baltics, and then we’re in a war because those are NATO countries,” she said. “That’s what we’re trying to prevent. If Ukraine wins, not only do we take care of everything Russia is doing, it sends the biggest message to China not to invade Taiwan, it sends a message to Iran to stop building a bomb, it sends a message to North Korea to stop testing ballistic missiles. That’s why we’re doing this.”
The ex-diplomat said that she had a good working relationship with her ex-boss, she even said she considers former President Donald Trump a friend, despite the fact she is running for the party nomination against him. Haley said she told the 45th president she would seek the party nod before announcing her campaign, citing a need for a new generation of leaders.