Don Lemon Calls Out Nikki Haley for Refusing to Say Slavery Caused Civil War

Don Lemon and Nikki Haley (Credit: Shutterstock)

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley is facing criticism — from the left and the right — after she bungled the answer to a question about what triggered the Civil War.

The former South Carolina governor was asked what caused the war by an attendee at a town hall on Wednesday evening in New Hampshire.

Instead of mentioning slavery, she responded with a word salad about government and freedoms.

“I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run, the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do,” Haley told the audience.

[Watch the video below]

The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations then tried to punt back to the man who asked the question, but he reminded her he’s not the one running for president. The man then said, “In the year 2023, it’s astonishing to me that you answer that question without mentioning the word ‘slavery.’”

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Haley walked back her comments during a radio interview on Thursday, by saying:  “Of course, the Civil War was about slavery.”

But the damage was done. The White House hopeful’s answer made international headlines and drew sharp criticism.

Former CNN anchor Don Lemon, who faced his own controversy when he said Haley, 51, was past “her prime” on air in February, called the politician out on social media Thursday afternoon.

“Nikki Haley wants grace for using a poor choice of words when, after I misspoke in some comments involving her, she didn’t offer me that same grace, immediately and very publicly took me to task, and then fundraised off of it,” Lemon wrote on X/Twitter. “However, I’m glad she clarified what she should have said. And, In the spirit of the season, let’s see if her actions match her corrected words moving forward.”

Some of the other Republicans in the 2024 presidential race also criticized Haley.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis roasted his rival at a campaign event on Thursday, saying she “had some problems with some basic American history.”

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie essentially questioned her courage during one of his campaign events.

“If she’s unwilling to stand up and say that slavery is what caused the civil war because she’s afraid of offending constituents in some other parts of the country, if she’s afraid to say that Donald Trump is unfit because she’s afraid of offending people who support Donald Trump… what’s going to happen when she has to stand up to [Democrats] Chuck Schumer and Hakeem Jeffries in Congress?” Christie said.

The NAACP also took Haley to task.

“Nikki Haley’s comments perpetuate a dangerous narrative. To diminish the role of slavery in the Civil War is not only historically inaccurate but also fails to acknowledge the ongoing impact of systemic racism and white supremacy as a result of it,” the organization said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Civil Rights leader Bishop William Barber offered Haley a lesson on U.S. history.

“This shows why there’s not a dime of difference between these candidates and Trump,” Barber said in an interview on CNN. “Right in her own state in Charleston, where the secession papers were signed, it was clear that it was about slavery. It was about the oppression of Black men and women. It was about turning human beings into chattel.”

Watch Nikki Haley at her campaign stop in the video below:

One thought on “Don Lemon Calls Out Nikki Haley for Refusing to Say Slavery Caused Civil War

  1. The Civil War had many causes but slavery war probably the ultimate cause. “The Civil War began when Southern troops bombarded Fort Sumter, South Carolina. When the southern states seceded from the Union, war was still not a certainty.”

    Maybe Don Lemon needs to learn more about the history of the U.S.

    Nicki Haley and Don Lemon could study together to improve their ability to answer a simple question with a simple answer or go into more detail.

    Why was Lincoln elected?

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