Nikki Haley advocates aggressive steps against Iran and Syria

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event, ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary election, in Conway, South Carolina, U.S. on January 28, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Indian American Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on January 30 called for targeting infrastructure in Iran and Syria, imposing tough sanctions against them, and killing some of their leaders allegedly involved in the death of U.S. soldiers in a drone strike in Jordan.

The 52-year-old former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. and two-term governor of South Carolina is the only candidate left in the Republican presidential race against 77-year-old former president Donald Trump.

“Now is the time to hit their leaders. It’s different. Don’t go and bomb the country,” Ms. Haley told Fox News in an interview when asked about the death of three U.S. soldiers in a drone attack in Jordan over the weekend, for which many in the U.S. believe that Iran was responsible for it.

“The infrastructure in Iraq and Syria, you start with that first. You do the sanctions, and you take out a couple of their leaders. That’s the way to start. If they’re in their country or you do like Soleimani when they left the country. You figure out where they are. Our Special Operations can do that. And then you take them out,” she said.

“That will send a message. We’ve got to do this immediately and make sure that we let them know. For (Joe) Biden to say, oh, you know, they’re not going to do something else, or we’re going to show ’em,” said the Indian American politician.

Ms. Haley and Mr. Trump are now in a direct contest in South Carolina, where the Republican primary is scheduled for February 23. As per latest polls, Ms. Haley is trailing by nearly 30 points in South Carolina. On Tuesday, Ms. Haley exuded confidence of performing much better in the primaries of her home state.

“We can (close the gap). We did it in New Hampshire. We moved 25 points in the last three weeks in New Hampshire. We had 1,500 people in Greenville (in South Carolina), 1,000 people in Charleston, 800 in Conway. We’re having big crowds. Now, we’re working on it. I’ve got a 76 per cent approval rating there. They know I was a good governor, now we’re going to show them I’m going to be a good president. We feel really good about it,” Ms. Haley said.

In another interview with CBS News, Ms. Haley talked about the border crisis, the state of the race, and Mr. Biden’s and Mr. Trump’s mental acuity.

“Are we really in this country going to have two 80-year-olds running for president? It is a fact that when you are their age, you have mental decline. I don’t care who you are, you have mental decline. He didn’t just get me confused, he mentioned it over and over and over again,” she said.

“He’s not what he was in 2016, he has declined. That’s a fact. Joe Biden (aged 81) has declined in the two years since he’s been president. The party that goes and puts a new generational leader in is the party that will win. That’s why I’m running. I don’t want my kids to live like this. If you’re going to have eight solid years, you can’t put a guy in their 80s in there to go to,” Ms. Haley said.

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