Nikki Haley announces 2024 White House bid, says “proud daughter of Indian immigrants”
16 February, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
Nikki Haley officially launched her presidential campaign for 2024 on Wednesday (local time), portraying herself to voters as part of a "new generation" of Republican leaders capable of winning ele...
Nikki Haley officially launched her presidential campaign for 2024 on Wednesday (local time), portraying herself to voters as part of a “new generation” of Republican leaders capable of winning elections. Haley is the first Indian American woman to run for president in the Republican Party. As former South Carolina governor and US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley ascended the platform, she introduced herself as the proud daughter of Indian immigrants, advocating a new future for the Republican Party.
Haley noted her parents who were in the audience and said, “My parents left India in search of a better life. They found it in Bamberg, South Carolina, with a population of 2,500. Our little town came to love us … but it wasn’t always easy. We were the only Indian family. Nobody knew who we were, what we were, or why we were there. But my parents knew. And every day, they reminded my brothers and my sister that even on our worst day, we are blessed to live in America,” Haley added.
Haley’s parents came from rural Punjab and relocated to Amritsar before immigrating to the United States in the early 1960s. Haley has often been heard boasting about her Indian roots, something that she even leaned on in a video proclaiming her candidature on Tuesday.
“I was the proud daughter of Indian immigrants. Not black, not white. I was different,” she says in the video. “But my mom would always say, ‘Your job is not to focus on the differences, but the similarities.'”
“I know America is better than all the division and distractions that we have today,” Haley told several hundred supporters in Charleston, South Carolina. “And I’m confident that the American people agree. We’re ready to move past the stale ideas and faded names of the past, and we are more than ready for a new generation to lead us into the future.”
Haley avoided to slam former President Donald Trump directly, and instead centred her criticism on President Joe Biden and establishment leaders of both parties in Washington. Haley called for “mandated mental fitness testing” for politicians above the age of 75, a not-so-subtle shot at both Trump and Biden. Trump is 76, while Biden is 80.
“America is not past our prime — it’s just that our politicians are past theirs,” she told the crowd.
So far, Haley is the lone Republican candidate to her former boss Trump, who declared his candidature for the Republican nomination in November. She joined the Trump administration in January 2017 as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations and left at the end of 2018.