Nikki Haley Under Fire for Not Saying Civil War Fought over Slavery

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - FEBRUARY 17: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley spe
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley has come under fire for issuing a word-salad response when asked in New Hampshire on Wednesday why America fought in the Civil War, refusing to say the word “slavery.”

The moment came during a campaign event in the Granite State when someone in the crowd asked Haley what caused the Civil War. The presidential candidate seemed somewhat puzzled by the question to the point of calling the answer difficult.

“I mean, I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run. The freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do,” Haley said.

When Haley asked the voter what he thought had sparked the Civil War, the voter said, “I’m not running for president.”

“I think it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are,” Haley added. “I will always stand by the fact that I think government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people. It was never meant to be all things to all people,” she said.

The voter seemed somewhat perturbed by the answer and shot back, “In the year 2023, it’s astonishing to me that you answer that question without mentioning the word slavery.”

“What do you want me to say about slavery?” Haley retorted:

While the Civil War had a multitude of respective causes and events leading up to the fateful confrontation, most reputable historians are generally in agreement that slavery was the primary cause of the Civil War, as the South had sought to expand the practice into neighboring states, while the North wanted it kept localized. Watch David Blight’s multi-course Yale lecture series Civil War and Reconstruction for an in-depth analysis.

Haley’s words sparked severe condemnation on social media from both Democrats and Republicans:

Paul Roland Bois directed the award-winning feature filmEXEMPLUM, which can be viewed for FREE on YouTube or Tubi. A high-quality, ad-free stream can also be purchased on Google Play or Vimeo on Demand. Follow him on Twitter @prolandfilms or Instagram @prolandfilms.


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