(LifeSiteNews) — Former United Nations ambassador and governor of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced Tuesday that she will run for president, making her the first major contender for the GOP nomination against former President Donald Trump.
The daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley has thus far stressed typical conservative talking points, including “fiscal responsibility” and illegal immigration, and has touted her pro-economy, pro-life record as former governor of South Carolina. During her term as governor, she signed the Born-Alive Infant Protection Act and the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which outlawed most abortions after 20 weeks. Haley’s appointment as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. was a “mixed blessing” for pro-lifers, Austin Ruse of the Center for Family and Human Rights wrote in 2018.
“Like any U.S. Ambassador, her attention was focused elsewhere, in her case, Korea, Iran, Israel. Her pro-life bona fides were solid, so she did not need to spend a lot of time on these issues,” he explained. “And she allowed those hostile to these issues to negotiate on behalf of the U.S.”
In January, Haley told Sean Hannity on Fox News, “It is time that we get a Republican in there that can lead, and that can win a general election,” raising the question of whether she will attempt to distinguish herself from other GOP presidential candidates with a more moderate platform.
Leading up to and during her presidential run announcement, Haley made other ambiguous policy statements, such as calling for a “new generation” of leadership, and declaring that “We’re ready – ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past….”
As governor, she attracted attention for leading a bipartisan effort to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol after a mass shooting of nine churchgoers by a perpetrator who had been seen carrying a Confederate flag.
In 2011, Haley was listed as a Young Global Leader Honoree by the globalist World Economic Forum, putting her among the ranks of French President Emmanuel Macron, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, and Facebook (Now Meta) founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Haley declared in 2021, “I would not run if President Trump ran. And I would talk to him about it.”
Trump told reporters in January that Haley had called him recently and said she was considering running for president in 2024, according to CBS News.
Trump stated Tuesday, “I told her she should follow her heart and do what she wants to do. I wish her luck!”
In some ways, Haley is an unusual Republican political candidate. Born a Sikh, Haley said she converted to Christianity after being married in a service in a Sikh gurdwara, and then undergoing another marriage ceremony a month later in a Methodist Church.
“We chose Christianity because of the way we wanted to live our life and raise our children,” she told the New York Times in 2012.
She shared during the same interview that the real “reason” she originally ran for political office is “because of Hillary Clinton.”
“Everybody was telling me why I shouldn’t run… I went to Birmingham University, and Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker on a leadership institute, and she said that when it comes to women running for office, there will be everybody that tells you why you shouldn’t, but that’s all the reasons why we need you to do it, and I walked out of there thinking, ‘That’s it. I’m running for office.’”
In 2021, she named Hillary Clinton as a role model, along with Margaret Thatcher, Martina Navratilova, Gabby Giffords, and Joan Jett.