Nikki Haley focuses on unity amidst Tim Scott’s endorsement

Nikki Haley rally in Manchester focuses on unity

The Republican presidential candidate rallies with voters in Manchester leading up to the New Hampshire primary.

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Richard Perrins
Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Friday.

MANCHESTER, N.H. Nikki Haley avoided any mention of South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott’s endorsement of former President Donald Trump in her rally Friday night.

“We need a president who will unite our country,” Scott said Friday. “We need Donald Trump.”

Scott, who dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination in December, announced he was endorsing Trump earlier on Friday. Shortly after Haley’s rally in Manchester, N.H. ended, Scott was speaking alongside Trump at the former president’s rally in Concord.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also held a rally on Friday evening as all three candidates tried to shore up their support before Tuesday’s primary election.

“When you look at the situation that we have in our country, it’s not great, and you don’t have to turn on the news to see that,” Haley said. “I have always spoken in hard truths — our Republicans did that to us too.”

Instead of focusing on Scott’s endorsement, Haley hammered her usual platform of tightening the borders, strengthening the economy and attacking Trump and President Joe Biden for what she described as poor leadership that centers on political drama. Haley said most Americans don’t want to see the two frontrunners face one another in the general election again.

“They think a leader decides who’s good and who’s bad, who’s right and who’s wrong,” Haley said. “My approach is different. Politics is not personal for me — we don’t have time for that. It’s about results.”

Marie Mulroy, a 65-year-old voter from the Manchester area, praised Haley’s foreign and economic policies and said she was the last line of defense for a “normal” election.

“I can respect her as president for four years, and if she lost the election, she’d go home,” Mulroy said.”That’s not going to happen with Trump. She comes the closest to what I value, which is that the chaos needs to stop.”

Alex Deeby, a 20-year-old criminal justice student at Nashua Community College, said she was excited about Haley’s advocacy for veterans and said she identified with Haley’s call for term limits in Congress. Deeby said Congress and the presidency need to reflect the younger generation, which can be achieved if more young people take an active interest in politics.

“We’re the future,” Deeby said. “We’re the next generation. The older generations constantly criticize us because we’re not doing our part, but we’re also not being given our opportunity to do our part, and when we are we’re not taking it.”

Barbara Young, a 60-year-old Manchester resident, said she plans to vote for Haley on Tuesday because she wants to finally see a woman in the White House. Young said she was most passionate about Haley’s pledge to improve the economy through tax cuts to the middle class.

“My kids are all getting engaged and married now and they can’t afford to buy a house,” Young said. “That really bothers me because they’re all working hard, they’re gainfully employed, but they can’t afford it. Everything is out of control.”

While voters at Haley’s rally expressed disappointment in Scott’s endorsement of Trump, they said it wasn’t a factor in deciding their vote. For Haley, the event was an opportunity to paint herself as a candidate who represents a new generation of conservatives.

“What a leader does is understand that you serve everybody,” Haley said, prompting the crowd to erupt in applause and chant her name. “Your job is to get people to see the best in themselves and go forward. That’s how you lead.”