2024 Election /

Nikki Haley Criticizes Joy Reid's Claims Of Racism

Reid: 'She’s still a brown lady that’s got to try to win in a party that is deeply anti-immigrant'

Nikki Haley Criticizes Joy Reid's Claims Of Racism

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley shot back at MSNBC host Joy Reid's suggestion that former President Donald Trump's historic performance in Iowa was because of "white Christians."

In a Monday night broadcast during the Iowa caucus, Reid noted Iowans were made up of 61% of white Christians compared to their national demographic of 41%.

“‘[White Christians] see themselves as the rightful inheritors of this country, and Trump has promised to give it back to them,'” Reid said.

Haley countered the MSNBC host's comment during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News saying Reid "lives in a different America" than the former South Carolina governor.

"I’m a brown girl that grew up in a small rural town in South Carolina who became the first female minority governor in history, who became a U.N. ambassador, and who is now running for president," Haley said. "If that’s not the American dream, I don’t know what is."

"You can sit there and give me all the reasons why you think I can’t do this," she added. "I will continue to defy everybody on why we can do this, and we will get it done.”

When asked if she believed the Republican Party was racist, Haley said "no."

“We’re not a racist country. We’ve never been a racist country," she said. "Our goal is to make sure that today is better than yesterday. Are we perfect? No, but our goal is to always make sure we try and be more perfect every day that we can.”

Haley reiterated her own Indian heritage and although she experienced racism growing up, the country was in a better place with race relations than when she was a child.

“Our goal is to lift up everybody, not go and divide people on race or gender or party or anything else. We’ve had enough of that in America," Haley said. "That’s why I’m so passionate about doing this. I don’t want my kids growing up where they’re sitting there thinking that they’re disadvantaged because of a color or gender. I want them to know that if they work hard, they can do and be anything they want to be in America.”

During Monday night's MSNBC broadcast, Reid said Haley's Indian heritage was the "elephant in the room."

"She’s still a brown lady that’s got to try to win in a party that is deeply anti-immigrant, and which accepts the notion you can say immigrants are poisoning the blood of our country,” Reid said. “She’s getting birthered by Donald Trump, and I don’t care how much the donor class likes her — which will ramp up a lot the better she does in New Hampshire — it’s still a challenge.”

Trump handily walked away nearly 30 points ahead of fellow GOP challengers with 51% of the total votes cast in the Iowa caucus. Fellow GOP candidate and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis came in second in Iowa's caucus with just over 21%, followed by Haley with just over 19%, per the Associated Press.

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