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Nikki Haley declines to say slavery was cause of US civil war


Nikki Haley, the former Republican presidential candidate, stirred controversy on Wednesday by avoiding a direct acknowledgment of slavery as a cause of the Civil War. The incident unfolded during a town hall event in New Hampshire when a voter queried her about the war’s reasons, and she chose not to mention slavery. Instead, Haley focused on the role of government and individual freedoms.

The voter expressed surprise at her omission of slavery from the response. In a subsequent radio interview on Thursday, Haley clarified, stating, “Of course, the Civil War was about slavery,” but emphasized the broader lesson of valuing freedom and individual rights.

This exchange occurred just weeks before the New Hampshire primaries, where recent polls position Haley as second to Donald Trump among Republican voters. The Biden campaign shared a clip of the incident on social media, underscoring the war’s connection to slavery.

Critics, including Christale Spain, the first Black woman to chair South Carolina’s Democratic party, labeled Haley’s response as “vile” and pointed to her previous controversies, such as her reluctance to remove the Confederate flag during her tenure as South Carolina’s governor.

Jaime Harrison, the current chair of the Democratic National Committee, also criticized Haley, highlighting her past statements defending the Confederate flag’s presence on statehouse grounds.

Despite Haley’s attempts to clarify her stance, the incident has raised questions about her historical perspective and its potential impact on her campaign. While recent polls show her in close competition with Trump, the small sample size and lack of replication in other surveys raise uncertainties about the actual dynamics of the race.

Haley’s campaign has not provided an immediate comment on her response, and her GOP opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, seized the opportunity to share the video on social media, adding the comment “Yikes.”

The controversy surrounding Haley’s remarks underscores the enduring sensitivity of issues related to the Civil War’s origins and heritage, particularly in South Carolina, where historical perspectives continue to shape political discussions.

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