By: Shubham Ghosh
Nikki Haley, who launched her bid for the White House in February, on Saturday (4) indirectly lashed out at two former US presidents from her own Republican Party — George W Bush (2001-2009) and Donald Trump (2017-2021) — accusing them of indulging in massive spending and adding $10 trillion to the country’s national debt.
She also criticised incumbent president Joe Biden from the Democratic Party saying his spending would add $20 trillion to the national debt in the next decade.
Addressing the Club for Growth, a conservative donors’ group, at a private retreat in Miami, Florida, Haley said when she was elected governor of South Carolina in 2010, the national debt stood at $13 trillion.
“Thirteen years later, we are at more than USD 31 trillion. And because of Joe Biden, we will add USD 20 trillion more to the national debt in the next 10 years,” she said.
Without naming Bush and Trump, who was her boss when Haley served as the US ambassador to the United Nations, she said, “Lots of Republican politicians love spending and wasting taxpayer money almost as much as Democrats. The last two Republican presidents added more than USD 10 trillion to the national debt. Think about that. A third of our debt happened under just two Republicans.”
The politician, who is the daughter of Sikh immigrants from India, said that Biden’s platform for 2024 can basically be summed up as “spend even more, tax even more and let the children figure out how to deal with it”.
“The only thing Joe Biden should be allowed to spend is more time in retirement. Every dollar we take out of the economy makes our people poorer,” Haley, 51, said.
The Republican aspirant did not spare the Congress either.
“Republicans got the ball rolling on the trillion-dollar pandemic blowouts, with all the bailouts and fraud and abuse that followed. In one bill alone, they spent USD 2.2 trillion, and the vote was 419-6 in the House and 96-0 in the Senate,” she said.
“Do not let the media tell you Republicans and Democrats cannot work together. They always seem to work just fine when they are spending your money. And then there are earmarks. Do not even get me started on earmarks,” she said.
Haley told the conservative group that she announced her presidential run the moment she decided about it.
“It has been just over two weeks since I announced I am running for president. I know there is a Republican candidate out there who you did not invite to this conference,” she said referring to Trump whose Mar-a-Lago residence is just a few miles from the Club for Growth’s retreat.
“I appreciate being the one you did invite. Others are hemming and hawing on the sidelines, waiting to decide what to do. I have always been a decisive person. Once I decided I was going to run, I did not see the point in waiting. When it comes to saving America, being decisive matters,” she said, making her case.
(With PTI inputs)