Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley took a jab at former President Donald Trump on Thursday during a campaign event in New Hampshire. She described him as “the right president at the right time,” while also critiquing his performance, stating that times have changed.
Addressing the audience at the Portsmouth Rotary Club Meeting, Haley criticized Trump as “weak in the knees” and “thin-skinned and easily distracted.” However, she also praised aspects of his tenure in the White House.
When asked how the 45th president would be remembered 100 years from now, Haley initially offered a positive perspective. She said, “He was the right president at the right time. He broke things that needed to be broken. He listened and brought in a group of people who felt unheard. He was strong on foreign policy and getting America respected in the world.”
Haley then shifted her tone regarding the current Republican primary front-runner: “He was thin-skinned and easily distracted. He didn’t do anything on fiscal policy and really spent a lot of money, and we are all paying the price for it. He did a better job than Biden on the border. He used to be good on foreign policy and now he has started to walk it back and get weak in the knees when it comes to Ukraine.”
In a subsequent interview after the event, Haley reiterated her remarks, emphasizing that while she agreed with many of Trump’s policies, she did not believe he was the right choice for the future. She pointed out instances where she disagreed with him, especially on Ukraine, where she has been a strong advocate for military aid.
During her tenure as U.N. Ambassador in the Trump administration, Haley mentioned that she and the former president had disagreements on various issues but appreciated that she was not a “yes man” and had “saved him” on several occasions.
Haley also addressed questions about her position in national polls, highlighting the significance of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina in shaping early momentum in the primary race. She stressed the importance of these states in determining the eventual nominee and urged voters to support her through the early contests.
Trump, who leads the GOP primary field in national polls by a significant margin, saw some decline in support due to his absence from the first debate. Haley suggested that his participation in the upcoming Republican debate would likely impact his standing in the polls.
As of now, Trump leads the field, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in second place, with Haley climbing to third in certain polls.