The 2024 presidential campaign has been all about the ongoing Israel-Hamas war for the last week, putting foreign policy at the center of every candidate speech and event.
That was already the case for former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, and she has been vocal at every rally that she stands firmly with Israel since Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7.
“We need to be a friend to Israel. We need to be there every step of the way,” Haley stated at a town hall in Rochester, New Hampshire, last week. She added, “Don’t ever be so arrogant to think that we don’t need friends. America always needs friends.”
Having served at the UN for two years during the Trump administration, and her campaign has intentionally leaned into her foreign policy experience since she jumped into the presidential race.
Haley often talks about providing weapons to Ukraine in its fight against Russia and directly confronting China, since she views China as the United States’ biggest foreign adversary. But her foreign policy focus on the trail has renewed in the aftermath of Hamas’ attack.
“In America, we always have to have a leader who has moral clarity,” Haley said, who can “see the difference between good and evil.” That has resonated with some voters who have been drawn to her events by her foreign policy experience, with multiple foreign conflicts that affect the U.S. raging.
“Her international experience, two years as the UN Ambassador — I think that really does help with the situation where we need all the experience we can get right now. We live in very dangerous times,” said voter Randy Oliver from Durham, New Hampshire.
Tom Boyer, an independent who plans to vote in New Hampshire’s Republican primary, stated Haley’s position on “strong national defense” as it pertains to Ukraine and Israel as one of the factors that drew him to her candidacy.
“Yes, I think her experience in the UN is very important,” Boyer said, adding that he hopes other voters jump on the Haley “bandwagon.”
Sharyn Stewart, an undecided New Hampshire voter, has also taken notice of Haley’s time at the UN.
“Other candidates have good experiences in all regions, but she has an international experience. She’s dealt with these people in leadership and the General Assembly,” Stewart said.
It’s not just the Israeli-Hamas war that is drawing some voters to Haley’s events. Mathilde Diaz, who grew up in Taiwan, stated before a town hall event she was looking to hear the former UN Ambassador’s position on China and Taiwan.
“I would like to know her stand when it comes to China’s position — on the growing ambition of China,” Diaz said.
That’s been a key theme of Haley’s campaign, and Haley addressed China moments later during the town all.
“We need Ukraine to win, and you know who wants Ukraine to win more than anybody else?” Haley told the crowd. “Who wants us to continue in the West to continue to support Ukraine? The Taiwanese. Why? Because the Taiwanese know if Ukraine wins, China will not go into Taiwan. There’s a lot at stake.”
From Diaz, Haley’s response drew a nod of approval — and a look of relief.
Source : NBC