Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley came out swinging during Wednesday night’s RNC debate against fellow GOP candidates including former President Donald Trump over their past support for government spending increases.
In her remarks, delivered during her opening statement, Haley blasted Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., for previously backing measures increasing the U.S. debt. She added American children “will never forgive” leaders for supporting such positions.
“No one is telling the American people the truth. The truth is that Biden didn’t do this to us,” Haley said. “Our Republicans did this to us too. When they passed that $2.2 trillion COVID stimulus bill, they left us with 90 million people on Medicaid, 42 million people on food stamps. No one has told you how to fix it.”
“I’ll tell you how to fix it,” she continued. “They need to stop the spending. They need to stop the borrowing. They need to eliminate the earmarks Republicans brought back in. And they need to make sure they understand these are taxpayer dollars, it’s not their dollars.”
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Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the United Nations, speaks at a GOP event in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28. (Rachel Mummey/Getty Images)
Haley’s comments slamming fellow Republicans marked the first during the debate to directly go after Trump who opted against attending the debate.
“You have Ron DeSantis, you’ve got Tim Scott, you’ve got Mike Pence — they all voted to raise the debt. And Donald Trump added $8 trillion to our debt. Our kids are never going to forgive us for this,” Haley added.
“At the end of the day, you look at the 2024 budget, Republicans asked for $7.4 billion in earmarks. Democrats asked for $2.8 billion,” she said. “So you tell me, who are the big spenders? I think it’s time for an accountant in the White House.”
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Following her remarks Wednesday, Haley’s campaign issued a press release highlighting specific measures and votes other candidates have supported that would increase government spending. Her campaign said Haley “proved tonight she is an outsider with a track record of standing up to both Democrats and Republicans on spending issues.”