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An ad from a Ron DeSantis political action committee misleadingly clips and edits Nikki Haley’s comments about Hillary Clinton, leaving viewers with the impression that she is a Clinton fan.
Haley has said that she ran for office in 2004 after listening to Clinton give a keynote address encouraging women to run for office.
The ad misleadingly edits out Haley’s repeated caveat that she disagrees politically with Clinton.
An ad airing in Iowa wants Republican voters to think that Nikki Haley is a big fan of Hillary Clinton.
"We know her as ‘Crooked Hillary,’ but to Nikki Haley, she’s her role model," a narrator says.
The 30-second ad by Fight Right, a super PAC supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ 2024 presidential campaign, shows five clips of Haley talking favorably about Clinton. On-screen text flashes, warning Haley is "not who she says she is." However, the political action committee’s ad splices clips of Haley’s interviews and omits the full context.
Haley often recounts the story of how she entered politics. She says when she told people she wanted to run for the South Carolina House of Representatives in 2004, people gave her an array of reasons why she shouldn’t run. And it was Clinton’s speech in 2003 at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, that made her change her mind. According to Haley, Clinton said the reasons people say you shouldn’t do something are the very reasons you should.
The ad’s clips show Haley crediting Clinton for her decision to enter politics. It doesn’t show key phrases in which Haley said that she disagrees ideologically with Clinton’s political views.
A Fight Right spokesperson pointed us to a 2012 interview Haley did with The New York Times in which Haley recounted the Clinton speech and her reaction to it.
Here is a close look at the full context of the clips in the Fight Right ad.
Ad: "I often say that the reason I got into politics was because of Hillary Clinton."
Context: This clip cuts the middle portion of Haley’s comments at an American University forum in July 2020. Starting at the timestamp, 41:17, the moderator asked Haley about her reflections on the 2020 Democratic presidential primary, which had several women candidates.
Haley’s full comment: "You know I often say that the reason that I got into politics — believe it or not, I don’t agree with anything that she has to say — but was because of Hillary Clinton. I was at a Furman Institute event for women. And she was the one that said, for all the reasons people tell you you shouldn’t run, those are the reasons you should. And I walked out of there and decided to run for the state house."
Ad: "Hillary Clinton is actually the reason."
Ad: "She is actually the reason that I made the jump."
Context: These two clips are shown separately in the ad. However, they are part of the same sentence during a November 2019 conversation with Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa.
Haley’s full comment: "And interestingly enough, I went to a women’s leadership event at Furman University and Hillary Clinton was there. And she happened to say, ‘For all the reasons people tell you not to do it, that's exactly the reason that you should.’ So, Hillary Clinton is actually the reason. I may not agree with her on a lot of things, but she’s actually the reason that I made the jump."
Ad: "She said, ‘And that’s the reason you absolutely have to.’ And I walked out of there and I said, ‘I’m running for office.’"
Context: This is part of an April 2012 NBC interview. The ad makes it sound as if Clinton specifically told Haley to run. But that’s not so; Haley was recounting what Clinton said during the keynote speech.
Haley’s full comment: "She said to a few hundred people, ‘There are gonna be tons of reasons why people tell you you can’t do something,’ and she said, ‘And that’s the reason you absolutely have to.’ And I walked out of there and I said, ‘I’m running for office.’"
Ad: A journalist says to Haley: "You write about her being a big inspiration for you in terms of a leader."
Context: This comes from the same 2012 NBC interview. However, the ad splices together two separate comments from David Gregory, then the host of NBC’s "Meet The Press," and cuts out Haley’s comments in between.
Gregory’s full comment: "And I have to ask you about the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Because you write about her being a big inspiration for you. Talk about that."
Haley tells Gregory about hearing Clinton speak after being told all the reasons she shouldn’t run for office. That’s when Gregory says the last phrase in the ad’s clip.
Gregory’s full comment: "So she was an inspiration, maybe not ideologically, but certainly in terms of a leader."
Haley nodded in agreement as Gregory spoke, and said Clinton was, "A strong woman that understood that people are quick to say, ‘No you can’t,’ and that’s all the more reason why you have to push through it."
Haley’s campaign published a response video titled, "Desperate Campaigns Do Desperate Things." The video includes the full clip of Haley’s comments in the 2020 forum and three other clips of Haley criticizing Clinton during the 2016 election.
"I don’t have a single policy that I think I agree with Hillary Clinton on," Haley says in a clip from a 2015 interview.
Haley was critical of Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign. However, she said she would vote for him because Clinton would be worse. Haley went on to serve as United Nations ambassador during Trump’s presidential administration.
An ad from pro-DeSantis super PAC, The Fight Right Inc., claims that clips of Haley speaking about Clinton shows Haley supports Clinton and is "not who she says she is."
But the ad misleadingly edits Haley’s comments to remove the many times Haley distinguished herself from Clinton’s politics.
Haley has repeatedly said that she attended a 2003 event during which Clinton’s keynote remarks encouraging women to run for office inspired her to run for statewide office.
But in Haley’s full comments, which are omitted in the ad, Haley said she disagrees with Clinton’s political views — a stance she has repeated numerous times. We find no examples of Haley ever endorsing Clinton’s political views or adopting them as her own.
We rate this claim False.
Fight Right Inc., The Reason, Nov. 23, 2023
The New York Times, A conversation with: Nikki Haley, April 4, 2012
Furman University, Women and politics: Transforming Public Leadership, accessed Nov. 28, 2023
American University School of Public Affairs, "Women on Wednesdays" with Ambassador Nikki Haley, July 22, 2020
C-SPAN, With All Due Respect, Nov. 14, 2019
NBC, PRESS Pass: Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC), April 5, 2012
Nikki Haley, Desperate campaigns do Desperate things, Nov. 22, 2023
CBS, Gov. Nikki Haley on campaign 2016, tensions with police and family, May 6, 2015
The SCGOP, SCGOP Delegation Breakfast with Gov. Nikki Haley, July 20, 2016
Email exchange, Fight Right Inc. spokesperson, Nov. 28, 2023
Email exchange, Nikki Haley campaign spokesperson, Nov. 28, 2023
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