During a New Hampshire town hall on Wednesday (December 27), Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador, responded to a voter who asked “What was the cause of the Civil War?” per NBC News.
“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 said.
“I think it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are,” she continued. “And I will always stand by the fact that I think government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people. It was never meant to be all things to all people.”
“Government doesn’t need to tell you how to live your life. They don’t need to tell you what you can and can’t do. They don’t need to be a part of your life. They need to make sure that you have freedom,” the Republican candidate added. “We need to have capitalism. We need to have economic freedom. We need to make sure that we do all things so that individuals have the liberties so that they can have freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom to do or be anything they want to be without government getting in the way.”
The voter who posed the question said it was “astonishing” that Haley didn’t cite “slavery” in her answer. Haley responded: “What do you want me to say about slavery?”
She then went on to the next question.
Democratic National Committee chair Jaime Harrison condemned Haley for omitting slavery from her answer,
“This isn’t hard: condemning slavery is the baseline for anyone who wants to be president of the United States,” Harrison said in a statement.
See the video of Haley’s response here.