Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley hosts town hall in Davenport
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The 2024 Republican primaries are ramping up, presidential hopeful and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley visited Iowa this week. She ended her latest round of campaigning in Davenport on Friday.
In addition to her time in the U.N., Haley was elected to the South Carolina State House of Representatives and the governor’s office.
The candidate touched on a range of topics throughout the town hall event, from critical race theory in schools to social security reform to border security.
During her address to the crowd, she emphasized her diplomatic experience promising to bring a new style of leadership to the Republican Party.
“Don’t complain about what you get in the general if you don’t play in this caucus,” Haley said.
Leaning on her time in international relations, she condemned the nation’s spending on foreign aid and President Joe Biden’s handling of the Chinese ballon controversy and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Make no mistake none of this would’ve happened had we not had that debacle in Afghanistan,” Haley said.
With the debt ceiling on voters’ minds, the former governor vowed to balance the budget if elected.
“We will cut the spending, we will cut the borrowing. We will stop the earmarks,” Haley said. “I will veto any spending bill that doesn’t take us back to pre covid levels.”
However, Haley doesn’t point all the blame at Biden. She said her party played a role in increased spending during the pandemic.
“Did Republicans try and make it right? No,” Haley said. “They doubled down and opened up earmarks for the first time in 10 years.”
After her remarks the GOP hopeful opened up the event for questions from eventgoers.
Bettendorf Republican Bambi Hout knew about Haley’s stances and came to learn more. She said at this point of the race, she’ll vote for Haley.
”[I’m] very impressed by her.,” Hout said. “She has good solutions that are kind of down-to-earth solutions that seem realistic to me.”
College students Lucas Rab and Nathan Beeler, are both undecided voters.
Rab said he aligns more with Democrats but wants to be informed on all the candidates’ platforms.
“[My ideal candidate is] somebody who has progressive values, and wants the best for the future of the country and values that over the more traditional views,” Rab said.
Both students said the two major parties need new ideas.
Beeler said after hearing Haley speak, he’s expanding on who he might vote for in 2024.
“They’re just getting older,” Beeler said. “You want somebody that can relate to the average hard-working American.”
Throughout the event, Haley honed in on a message of refreshing the Republican Party. She aims to bring a new tone to the White House.
“It’s time for a new generational leader,” Haley said. “These are new problems, we need new solutions. It is time for us to leave the baggage and negativity behind.”
Haley heads to New Hampshire next week.
Her visit comes as both former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy campaigned in the Quad Cities within the last week.
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