Chris Christie revealed his thoughts on Nikki Haley’s gaffe about the cause of the Civil War, and in typical fashion, he cut right to the chase.
Earlier in the week, Haley received backlash after a voter asked her in a New Hampshire town hall Wednesday what caused the Civil War, and she overlooked slavery.
The former New Jersey noted that Haley’s response did not come from ignorance or stupidity but something far worse: cynicism.
USA Today notes:
“She’s not [dumb], she’s smart and she knows better. And she didn’t say it because she’s a racist, because she’s not,” Christie said. “I know her well and I don’t believe Nikki has a racist bone in her body. But for purposes (of) this race, the reason she did it is just as bad, if not worse, and should make everybody concerned about her candidacy. She did it because she’s unwilling to offend anyone by telling the truth.”
Christie argued that if Haley is unwilling to say slavery is what caused the Civil War “because she’s afraid of offending constituents,” then she won’t have the backbone to stand up to Democratic lawmakers, foreign leaders and forces in her own party dragging the country “deeper and deeper into anger and division.”
He pointed to her 2010 remarks about the Civil War, where she said one side was fighting for tradition and another was fighting for change.
“I’m sure Nikki will see this, so I want to talk directly to her, okay. The Civil War was not a choice between change and tradition,” Christie said. “It was a choice between right and wrong, and that’s it, and we got to stand on the side of right.”
Chris Christie slams Nikki Haley:
"If she's unwilling to stand up and say that slavery is what caused the civil war because she's afraid of offending constituents in some other parts of the country. If she's afraid to say that Donald Trump is unfit…What's going to happen when… pic.twitter.com/nSXmW89y7A
— Republicans against Trump (@RpsAgainstTrump) December 29, 2023
Haley has sought to clean up her mess and clarify her comments.
“I mean, of course the Civil War was about slavery,” Haley told radio host Jack Heath Thursday morning.
“But what’s the lesson in all of that?” she continued. “That we need to make sure that every person has freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do and be anything they want to be without anyone or government getting in the way. That was the goal of what that was at. Yes, I know it was about slavery. I’m from the South, of course I know it’s about slavery.”
The former UN Ambassador has been rising in the polls as of late. The recent flap over the Civil War has served as her first test as a potential top pick for the GOP nomination in next year’s presidential contest.