Republicans complain Haley’s culture wars fixation 'not playing well' with voters: report
Something is missing from former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley's 2024 GOP presidential campaign — perhaps, authenticity — according to several Republican voters and lawmakers, The Daily Beast reports.
A group of six GOPers shared their hesitancy with the news outlet regarding selecting Haley as the 2024 Republican nominee, citing her inability to connect with voters — which has resulted in both low polling and fundraising numbers.
The Beast notes Haley's "most recent fundraising haul was less than what Rep. Adam Schiff brought in for his U.S. Senate campaign in California."
According to the anonymous Republicans, Haley's tendency to focus on culture wars issues during campaign speeches — such as her anti-transgender views — has fallen flat several times.
One GOPer told the news outlet, "When Haley goes to transgender issues and the culture wars, 'that's not really her strength, and it doesn't come across as authentic," adding, "It's a little bit of a Mitt Romney thing. He would've made a great president, looked fantastic on paper. But people weren't buying it."
The Beast also notes one Republican organizer mentioned Haley's "failed attempt at a joke about" transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney, who Bud Light partnered with for a campaign earlier this year, and received staunch criticism from many GOP leaders as a result.
The organizer recalls the jokes about Mulvaney "not playing well" with the audience.
Even Marie Gray, who supports Haley, told The Beast, despite her own campaign efforts — purchasing the former governor's "books and mailing them out to friends and relatives" — "most of her friends are 'still shopping around' for their preferred candidate.
The Beast reports "Among the half dozen Republicans who spoke to The Daily Beast for this story, Haley was compared to almost every fizzled front runner or disappointing nominee of the last decade, including Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Scott Walker, even Hillary Clinton."
Furthermore, The Beast notes:
Like the Jebs and Walkers before her, Haley is the exact kind of candidate who would have found success in a pre-Trump GOP. Once, she even hedged her bets on a post-Trump GOP, positioning herself to lead a party that left Trump behind.
But the party, clearly, has not left Trump behind. Aside from some criticism of the former president over Jan. 6, Haley has shirked from making a clear case that it should. Her campaign has offered gentle suggestions of a post-Trump future while declining to really criticize the current front runner.
"I think she's great, I like her, but I haven't seen any unique movement out of her campaign," a GOP New Hampshire lawmaker said. "She comes here often and makes appearances, and that’s good, but I haven’t seen any spark."
The Daily Beast's report is available at this link (subscription required).
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