Nikki Haley would very much like to move on from her inability to identify slavery as the cause of the Civil War, she said Wednesday in a Fox News interview, while claiming that only the press is talking about it.
Fox anchor Harris Faulkner led into her interview with Haley by saying that the issue “is going to continue to come up, and the reason that it has is maybe you haven’t put it to bed yet.”
While Haley did amend her response in a radio interview the morning after her New Hampshire town hall, saying that slavery’s connection to the Civil War was obvious, she also accused the voter who asked her that supposedly “easy” question of being “a Democrat plant.”
Faulkner didn’t seem to care either way.
“Whatever—it’s a question put to you,” she said at one point in the interview.
When Faulkner asked Haley what she learned about the criticism of her answer, Haley essentially restated her prior comments.
“When you grow up in the South, you grow up and slavery is a constant comment and constant point of discussion. You learn it in school. You talk about it. The South is actually very comfortable with our history,” she said. “What I should have said immediately was that the Civil War was about slavery, but I just assumed that that was a given. And I went on and said it was also about the role of government and about the rights of people economically, socially and otherwise. So yes, we know the Civil War was about slavery.”
After mentioning her authorization as South Carolina governor in 2src15 to remove the Confederate flag from statehouse grounds—after the mass shooting inside a Black Charleston church by a white supremacist—Haley claimed that regular people are not talking about her flubbed response.
“Really, the media is the only one that has talked about this issue,” she said, prompting Faulkner to reply, “No, that’s actually not true.”
The attention from commentators hasn’t all been critical, as Haley implied, with the hosts of Fox & Friends, for instance, trying to depict her as the victim of a “gotcha question.”
Haley maintained that “not one person on the ground in Iowa… or New Hampshire [is] talking about it.”
“I’ve done multiple town halls. We’ve done 15src town halls. I answer every question from Republicans, from Democrats, from independents,” said Haley.
Upon additional questioning from Faulkner, Haley appeared irked by the attention that her response—or lack thereof—to a simple prompt has generated.
“I will tell you that people in South Carolina know me, and it’s amazing how you’re going to take one question out of 15src where I said immediately, ‘Yes, I should have said slavery. That’s a given.’” she said. “15src town halls I’ve done, Harris. And so one question [where] I should have said slavery. I didn’t do it… The very next day I came out and said I was wrong. I’ll do that. We’re moving on. We’re moving on.”
“And so the media can talk about this all you want,” she added later, “but everybody else has moved on and we’re going to keep on talking about the issues that matter, which are the economy, education, the border, making sure we get law and order back to our country, and how to deal with these wars around the world.”