Nikki Haley Announces Presidential Run

The GOP primary field just got bigger. On February 14th, Nikki Haley (she/her, R) announced her candidacy for president of the United States, becoming the second major Republican to declare their run after former President Donald Trump (he/him, R). In a video posted to YouTube, she vowed to “take on the Washington establishment and bring in a new generation of leadership to the GOP” and claimed, “It’s time … to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride, and our purpose.”

Haley was born in Bamberg, South Carolina to Indian immigrants on January 20th, 1972. She was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives before being elected governor in 2011. She resigned in 2017 when Trump appointed her to serve as ambassador to the United Nations, a role she fulfilled until the end of 2018. If she wins the Republican primaries, Haley will be the first woman and the first Asian American to secure the Republican presidential nomination.

At a campaign rally on February 15th, Haley called for mental competency tests to be required for politicians over 75. At 80, President Joe Biden (he/him, D) is the oldest person to hold the office. Opponents have frequently taken aim at his age. Trump, who is now 76, held the record before him. CNN This Morning Host Don Lemon (he/him) questioned her proposal, saying Haley herself “wasn’t in her prime” and that “a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s, and maybe her 40s.” His remarks were widely criticized, with Haley herself calling them sexist, leading him to be temporarily suspended form the program.

Both Trump and Haley are set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in Maryland from March 1st to March 4th. It will be an early opportunity for Haley to lay out her platform and distinguish herself from others in the race.

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