Haley Targets Democrats, Republicans at Los Angeles Campaign Event

Speaking in Hollywood, the former South Carolina governor says a majority of Americans disapprove of both Biden and Trump.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Following a stinging loss in the Nevada Republican primary this week, presidential candidate Nikki Haley vowed to stay in the race as she reached out to voters in Southern California Feb. 7.

Speaking to a couple of hundred supporters at the historic Hollywood American Legion Post 43, the former United Nations ambassador and past governor of South Carolina pointed to the federal deficit and said the country was in chaos.

“Look at the situation we’re in,” Ms. Haley said. ”We are $34 trillion in debt. We’re having to borrow money just to make our interest payments. Now I would love to tell you that Biden did that to us … but our Republicans did that to us, too.”

U.S. presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to a couple of hundred supporters at the historic Hollywood American Legion Post 43 in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2024. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)
U.S. presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to a couple of hundred supporters at the historic Hollywood American Legion Post 43 in Los Angeles on Feb. 7, 2024. (Jill McLaughlin/The Epoch Times)

Rallying for votes ahead of California’s March 5 primary, Ms. Haley stopped by an Orange County Republican Party event in Costa Mesa before the Hollywood event.

The candidate’s Southern California appearances came one day after she was soundly defeated in the Nevada Republican primary, losing handily as the only presidential candidate on the ballot. She took 31 percent of the vote, far behind the 63 percent garnered by “none of these candidates.”

Ms. Haley didn’t mention the Nevada loss as she spoke in Hollywood. She instead pointed to the race ahead and reiterated she was in it “for the long haul.”

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“This is going to be messy, and this is going to hurt,” Ms. Haley, 52, told the audience. “It’s going to leave some bruises. But at the end of the day, I don’t mind taking that if you’ll go right along with me.”

Former President Donald Trump holds a large lead in Nevada, which awards 26 delegates. All are expected to go to Mr. Trump when the state party holds its caucus Feb. 8.

During the Hollywood speech, Ms. Haley noted a majority of Americans disapprove of President Joe Biden and Mr. Trump.

“Both of those men put us in trillions of dollars in debt that our kids are never going to forgive them for, and we’re having to climb out of it,” Ms. Haley said. “Do we really want a country in disarray and a world on fire, and have our two candidates be in their 80s? We need to have someone who can put in eight years to get the job done.”

Former President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 8, 2024. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Feb. 8, 2024. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Criticizing both parties for overspending during the COVID pandemic, Ms. Haley said she planned to claw back billions in COVID dollars allocated to states that had not yet been spent. She also said it was time to balance the budget and stop borrowing.

“I’ll veto any spending bill that doesn’t take us back to pre-COVID levels,” she said. “That will save us trillions.”

Listing her goals, Ms. Haley said she would cut back on wasteful spending, get the economy under control, get children to read again, and get back to the basics of education. She would also secure the border and support law and order for “a strong America we can all be proud of,” she said.

She also said she planned to send as many federal programs as possible back to the states to empower people on the ground, including education, healthcare, welfare, and mental health programs.

The candidate also promised to help the middle class by eliminating federal gas and diesel taxes and to make small-business tax cuts permanent. She said she also planned to elevate the country’s oil and gas industry by getting the Environmental Protection Agency “out of the way.”

“Let’s speed up our permitting,” she said. “Let’s make sure we get our pipelines going. Let’s set us up for success.”

The crowd cheered for the candidate and booed a climate protester, who disrupted Ms. Haley’s speech, shouting that Ms. Haley was an “oil sell out” and “she’s selling out to the fossil fuel industry,” before he was escorted out of the building by security.

Nikki Haley supporters at a campaign event in Hilton Head Island, S.C., on Feb. 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)
Nikki Haley supporters at a campaign event in Hilton Head Island, S.C., on Feb. 1, 2024. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

In the classroom, Ms. Haley said she planned to make curricula more transparent by putting it online for parents to see. She also wants to add vocational classes back in high schools. And, parents should be able to decide where their child goes to school, she added.

“Parents have one job, that’s to make sure we get our kids right,” she said.

Kristen Wise, of Los Angeles, said she liked what she heard.

“I like what she was saying,” Ms. Wise told The Epoch Times.

Ms. Haley said she would secure the border by assigning 25,000 Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents there, and reinstituting Mr. Trump’s “remain in Mexico” policy that mandates immigrants stay in that country when seeking asylum in the United States. She said she also plans to defund sanctuary cities and start a national E-Verify program for businesses that would have to prove employees were in the country legally.

Audience member Clarke Melvin Cooper told The Epoch Times he liked about 87 percent of what Ms. Haley said during the speech. He said it was time for a woman to take the presidency.

“I would love to see the first woman president in America,” he said. “It’s about time.”

Randall Avila, executive director of the Orange County Republican Party, endorsed Ms. Haley before introducing her at the event in Hollywood.

He decided to vote for her after hearing from several of his friends and family who are Democrats, he said.

“She is a rare once-in-a-lifetime candidate,” Mr. Avila told the audience. “I’m going to cast my vote for Nikki Haley as our Republican nominee. This is an opportunity to expand our party, but more importantly, it’s an opportunity to unite America.”

Ms. Haley told the audience if she secures the Republican nomination she could win by “double digits” against Mr. Biden, meaning she would enter office with a mandate to “transform” government.

The candidate’s Indian parents arrived in the country 50 years ago, when it was strong and full of hope, she said. She is running for her husband, a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan, and her daughter and son, she said.

“For the first time, 81 percent of Americans don’t think their kids are going to live as good a life as we did,” she said. “We can’t be OK with that. I’m not OK with that.

“We have a country to save.”

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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