Haley slammed after saying NH voters ‘correct’ Iowa results

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was ripped by her chief competitor and Iowa leaders Thursday after telling an audience of New Hampshire voters that they would “correct” the results of the Hawkeye State’s caucuses.

“We have an opportunity to get this right, and I know we’ll get it right. I trust you,” Haley, 51, said during a town hall event in Milford Wednesday.

“You know Iowa starts it. You know that you correct it … you know that my sweet state of South Carolina brings it home,” she added after pausing for laughter from the audience.

Haley, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, is pulling her best polling numbers in New Hampshire, where she has won the endorsement of popular GOP Gov. Chris Sununu.

However, while one poll showed her a mere four percentage points behind front-runner Donald Trump, Haley stands at an average of just 24.8% support in the Granite State, 21.5 percentage points behind Trump (46.3%), RealClearPolitics data show.

Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, in Rye, N.H.
Nikki Haley speaks at a town hall campaign event, Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024, in Rye, NH. AP

Haley’s main rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, jumped on her remarks during an interview with Iowa radio station KFAB Thursday.

“I think it was incredibly disrespectful to Iowans to say somehow their votes need to be ‘corrected.’ I think she’s trying to provide an excuse for her not doing well,” he told host Gary Sadlemyer. “You know, her allies and her have spent huge amount of money here. A lot of this money is coming from liberal donors on Wall Street and California. These are people that have supported liberal Democrats in the past, and they’re gravitating to Nikki Haley because they know she’s not going to change anything in Washington.”

Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, who has endorsed DeSantis ahead of the Jan. 15 caucuses, tweeted Wednesday night: “I trust Iowans to make their own decisions. No ‘corrections’ needed!”

Signage for the Iowa Caucuses hang in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on January 25, 2020
The Iowa caucuses are set to be held on Jan. 15, followed by New Hampshire on Jan. 23. AFP via Getty Images

Another DeSantis endorser, evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats, tweeted that Haley’s comments “are very telling regarding her status in Iowa. And, this admission of getting beat in the Hawkeye state gives Chrystal [sic] clear clarity and renewed conviction to Iowans as they Caucus for Ron DeSantis on January 15.”

“Iowa won’t make a mistake because we won’t pick a lib like yourself,” added state Rep. Skyler Wheeler, referring to Haley. “We actually value conservatism in our state.”

Haley has tried to lower expectations of her in Iowa in recent weeks, saying she just needs a “good showing” in the leadoff contest of the nominating calendar.

Sununu, however, set clearer expectations on Wednesday, predicting Haley will finish a “strong second” in Iowa before winning New Hampshire’s Jan. 23 primary.

According to the RCP average, Haley is polling in third place in Iowa at 16.1%, behind Trump (51.3%) and DeSantis (18.6%).

Written by SaleemBaloch

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