KIRO, KTTH hosts react to Nikki Haley’s bid for the Republican ticket

Feb 15, 2023, 3:44 PM | Updated: 4:27 pm
nikki haley...
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley waves to supporters while arriving ather first campaign event on February 15, 2023 in Charleston, South Carolina. Former South Carolina Governor and United Nations ambassador Haley, officially announced her candidacy yesterday, making her the first Republican opponent to challenge former U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Nikki Haley announced she’s running for president in 2024, becoming the first candidate to challenge former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.

Haley is the first woman of color to run for the Republican ticket.

“You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” Haley said. “I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president.”

This decision contradicts her claim from two years ago, when she said she wouldn’t enter the race if Trump opted to run again.

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Jason Rantz, host of The Jason Rantz Show

“I do like the message of you’ve got to fight bullies with actual violence. Sometimes you do have to punch the bully back and tell them who’s boss,” Jason Rantz said in a tongue-and-cheek manner on his show Tuesday evening. “Don’t like the heels stuff. It’s just … blah. I know why she’s doing it and I accept the reason why she’s doing it. It’s clearly political in the sense that she’s trying to reach female voters.”

Haley served six years as South Carolina’s governor before joining Trump’s Cabinet as the U.N. ambassador for two years. She left the job on her own accord.

“Nikki Haley is someone who I think is rather impressive to folks on both sides of the aisle. Of course, not to all people on both sides of the aisle, but I think there is a lot of support for her, just in a general sense,” Rantz said. “They like her. She’s confident. She’s got really good experience. She’s someone who seems presidential.

“I like her,” Rantz continued. “I don’t know who I would vote for right now. But, if DeSantis runs, I’m voting for him.”

Andrew “Chef” Lanier, producer of The Gee and Ursula Show

“She’s trying to take the alternative approach to Trump, and that would have been great in 2015. She would have been a perfect candidate in 2015,” Chef said.

“I think what happened to Nikki Haley is what happened to the Republican Party, an absolute inability to stand up to anything that the former president wanted and asked for,” Chef continued. “Complete support for his policies. And now she’s trying to roll into 2024 and say, ‘hey, there’s another way.’ But there’s no support for that traditional Republican candidate anymore. She has maybe 6% or 7% support among Republican voters. I don’t take her seriously as a candidate.”

Brandi Kruse, host of the Undivided podcast

“Nikki Haley has that famous line, I can’t remember if it was during a response to the State of the Union, maybe at some point where she said: America is not a racist country. And she sort of reiterated that in the video where she’s describing how she grew up as an Indian American.”

Haley doubled down on that sentiment in her campaign video Tuesday, stating, “a self-loathing has swept our country. It’s in the classroom, the boardroom, and the backrooms of government. Every day, we’re told America is flawed, rotten, and full of hate. Joe and Kamala even say America is racist. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Nikki Haley was born and raised in South Carolina after her parents – born in Amritsar, Punjab – immigrated to the U.S.

“She had a line in there which I really liked. She said, even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America, which is very true. And it is certainly not the narrative the media spins about where our country is on race, comparatively speaking with the rest of the world,” Kruse continued. “Governor Jay Inslee just sent out this email to state employees forcing them to watch, as part of equity training, a two-hour documentary on racism in America. And I watched the trailer for it and the guy says, ‘America is the most racist country in the world,’ and I’m just like, ‘Oh. My. God.’

“One of the other things she says is, it’s time for a new generation of leaders,” Kruse continued. “She’s 51 years old, which is very young regarding how old presidents the United States typically are. Of course, Joe Biden at 80 is the oldest president ever to serve.”

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While 51 is incredibly young for a president, it still wouldn’t crack the top 10 for youngest presidents in U.S. history. Theodore Roosevelt was the youngest (42 years, 322 days), followed by John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. The most recent induction to the list is Barack Obama, who became the fifth-youngest president when he was sworn into office in 2008 (47 years, 169 days).

“I really don’t care what you think about the former president [Trump]. If you like him, great. If you don’t like him, great. It’s fine. That’s your opinion. I have said I don’t like the former president. I never voted for him and I don’t want him to be president again,” Kruse said. “But the thing that kind of bothered me about Nikki Haley is she has been complimentary of the former president when it suits her politically, and then critical of the former president when it suits her politically. And I didn’t like that back and forth.”

Gee Scott, co-host of The Gee and Ursula Show

“What happened to Nikki Haley? I’m talking about the Nikki Haley of 2012. I’m talking about the Nikki Haley of 10-plus years ago. The former governor of South Carolina, the one that used to be the U.N. ambassador. Now correct me if I’m wrong, when I remember that Nikki Haley, I used to think, ‘oh, boy, she has an opportunity to really do some things later.’

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“And then she changed. And the crazy thing is, I’m not sure Nikki Haley quite knows who she is. I don’t know what her lane is. One minute she is supporting Donald Trump, and in the next minute, she’s taking shots at him. I’m really confused about the path that Nikki Haley is going to go down. I think her campaign is going to end fast.”

Gee pivoted to Tim Scott, who is KTTH host Michael Medved’s favorite candidate as of this moment heading into 2024.

“Do I think Tim Scott’s rational? Yes, I do. I think he’s rational. I think Tim Scott is someone that can be a major player for the GOP. But my question is, will the GOP agree with what I’m saying about Tim Scott? I don’t know. I just don’t know if the GOP wants Tim Scott.”

Scott served the South Carolina House of Representatives before joining the U.S. House of Representatives, and later the Senate, where he’s been since 2013.

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KIRO, KTTH hosts react to Nikki Haley’s bid for the Republican ticket