WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – Former South Carolina Governor and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley called for more conservative women leaders during the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Lincoln Dinner fundraiser on Thursday night.
Haley is one of three prospective presidential candidates visiting Iowa this summer; former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem will be in Des Moines next month.
“America needs more strong conservative women leaders and less of Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris. By the way, thank goodness for Donald Trump, or we would never have gotten Kamala to the border. It’s been almost 100 days if this is how she handles a crisis. God help us if she ever becomes president. We need more Republican women and men in office, period. Iowa is leading the way, and next year, the red wave that starts in Iowa won’t end here,” she said to approximately 500 gathered at the Ron Pearson Center.
“In 2022, we’re not stopping until we take back the House and the Senate. And after that, this Republican Party and the American people will take back our country from Joe Biden and the radical left,” she added.
Haley said the first big challenge that Republicans face is socialism.
“A funny thing happens anytime a Republican brings up socialism. The media loses its mind. They shout and scream and say we’re wrong. They point to the time that Joe Biden said I am not a socialist. And apparently, we’re just supposed to believe him. Now I’m a mom. I taught my son and daughter that actions speak louder than words, just like my parents taught me. Well, guess what? Joe Biden and Congress are speaking loud and clear with their actions. It doesn’t matter what Joe Biden says the Democratic Party has become the Socialist Party. The proof is everywhere,” she argued.
Haley pointed to proposed Democratic tax hikes and spending as evidence.
“They run up the biggest deficit in American history by far. I didn’t think it was possible, but Joe Biden makes Barack Obama look like a conservative,” she said.
“The left’s spending binge is taking us nowhere, but it’s coming from somewhere. And that’s our pockets. America’s on the fast track to going broke. So let me be clear, spending more money won’t solve problems. Spending more money is the problem,” Haley added.
She then said a second challenge Republicans face is “saving the culture and the American experiment.”
Haley brought up critical race theory.
“It’s being taught to little kids who don’t see color. And it tells them that color is all that matters. A five-year-old who’s white is told she’s a racist. If she’s brown or black, she’s told she’s a helpless victim and that she’ll never be enough. It’s heartbreaking. And it’s going to hold back our entire country. From the classroom to the boardroom, the left is saying our country is rotten to the core. They claim America is racist. Take it from me, the first female and minority governor of South Carolina, they are wrong,” she added.
“America has done more to ensure equal justice and opportunity than any other country in history. Are we a work in progress? Of course, we are. But Democrats are taking America backward. They’re teaching the next generation to hate our country, and all it stands for our children shouldn’t be taught to hate America. Our children should love America and be grateful for her blessings,” Haley said.
She offered a contrast between Republicans and Democrats.
“We stand for free speech. Democrats don’t. They’ve strong-armed big tech, big business, and big government into silencing anyone who doesn’t toe the liberal line. But the American people won’t be silenced for long. We stand for the rule of law; Democrats stand for riots and lawlessness. They’ve spent the last year trying to demonize the police demanding open borders and turning a blind eye to illegal immigration. Now, America’s dealing with a violent crime wave and the worst border crisis in decades. This cannot continue,” Haley argued.
She added, “We stand for freedom and equality. We’re fighting for life and religious liberty. We want to give every student, family, and job seeker the best job and the best life. And we think women are the only ones that should be playing women’s sports. And this Republican Party still stands for democracy. We believe our elections should be free and fair.”
Haley also said that China is America’s greatest threat.
“Communist China is the greatest threat to America’s future. Like the Soviet Union before it, China wants to be the number one world superpower. But China is far smarter and stronger than the Soviet Union ever was. It threatens our farmers or manufacturers, our infrastructure, our values, and our very way of life. China’s rulers are in it to win it. But Joe Biden and the Democrats are hardly in the fight. They’re more interested in reaching a climate deal with China than holding it accountable for genocide. Beijing is playing Joe Biden, and he doesn’t even know it,” she said.
“America should send a strong message to Communist China stand with China’s victims, call them out on their roll, and three and a half million COVID deaths and boycott the Winter Olympics,” Haley stated.
After her remarks, Haley participated in a discussion with Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, former Iowa Governor and Ambassador to China Terry Branstad, and current Governor of Iowa Kim Reynolds.
Kaufmann asked Haley what she thought of Iowa’s First in the Nation status and the carve-out system.
“I’m fine with Iowa being first in the nation, as long as you keep South Carolina first in the south primary,” Haley answered. “You mess with us, we’ll mess with you.”
Kaufmann responded, “deal.” He then asked her about China’s handling of the Hong Kong protests and asked why it should matter in Iowa.
Haley responded that China’s actions show that they do not keep promises, don’t care about freedom, and added Americans need to understand how China views the Olympics.
“China, when they sponsored it, it was they’re coming out party, in this next Olympics, if we don’t boycott cause problems, get with other countries and really rally. This will be China’s showing the entire world that it’s the new superpower of the world. And let me tell you, Taiwan will be next. And if they take Taiwan, it’s all over. Because then they’re not just going to stay in their region, they’re going to start doing things outward,” she said.
Branstad added what China did with Hong Kong was unconscionable.
“When Britain turned over Hong Kong to China, they promised it would be one country, but two systems. That they would have freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and they would also have a judicial system that was free from interference by the Communist Party. That all changed in 2020. And, of course, the mistreatment of the Uyghurs, I think, is very well known what they’ve done to this Muslim group up in northwest China. And now there’s more and more threats on Taiwan. So I think we need to be very concerned about China, and about the the aggressiveness of which we’ve seen increase here in recent times,” he said.
Kaufmann asked Reynolds her perspective on China.
She acknowledged that they are an important market, but they also had to balance that with holding China accountable for theft of intellectual property, currency manipulation and be sure that China treated Iowa fairly as the state’s commodities were shipped into Chinese ports.
Branstad added that Trump added tariffs that got the Chinese attention, something no other president had done.
Haley said China would require a different approach.
“What was interesting is that presidents before, Republican and Democrat, all thought that if we were nice to China, that they would want to be our friend that they would want to be like us. China doesn’t want to be like us. They want to be Communist China. It’s the U.S. that has to change the way we treat them. And we have to be smart in the way that we do it,” she said.
All three criticized the Biden Administration. Branstad pointed to the crime surge and the Biden response. Haley discussed Biden’s approach to foreign policy and how they are back to giving money to countries that oppose the United States. Reynolds pointed out she missed how the Trump Administration worked with governors but has not seen that from the Biden Administration.