CPAC 2023: Haley pushes for new Republican approach

by mcardinal

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s visit to CPAC was a stark illustration of the strategy the former South Carolina governor is trying to enact, a plan that is meant to undercut Donald Trump without clashing with the head of the MAGA movement. 

Haley indicated she is running on winning, a promise that should sound familiar, and to do that she has to paint someone as a loser. But, at an event in which Haley encountered chants of “We love Trump” as she walked the CPAC corridors, it’s tough to outright label Trump anything approaching unflattering. 

Conservative social media figure Ada Lluch captured video of the Haley hecklers and shared it on Twitter. 

This did not stop Haley from making broad allusions to Trump’s shortcomings in the national popular vote, as well as his perceived failure in the 2022 midterms. 

“We’ve lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight presidential elections,” Haley said. She added, “Our cause is right. But we have failed to win the confidence of a majority of Americans. That ends now.”

Although she is tiptoeing around a battle with Trump, Haley was able to win some sympathy from the CPAC crowd by referring to her recent encounters with left-leaning media, which has included well-documented outbursts from CNN’s Don Lemon and multiple cast members of “The View.” 

“In case you didn’t notice, the liberal media’s heads are exploding about my run for president,” Haley said. “We all know why. The media can’t stand that I’m a conservative. Think about it.”

Haley also strove to find common ground with the pro-Trump-heavy crowd by attacking liberals for, she said, falsely labeling the United State as racist and sexist. 

“I’m a woman – a minority – and the daughter of immigrants. I am proof that liberals are wrong about everything they say about America,” Haley said, before declaring “America is not a racist country!”

It would be hard to call Haley’s speech a rousing success. It is better described as having been polite, though not necessarily enthusiastically, received. 

In a nod to CPAC co-chair Matt Schlapp’s promise that CPAC 2023 would be a place for the free exchange of ideas, conference attendees in the speech hall at least listened to Haley’s speech.