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Image: Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, launches her presidential campaign Wednesday in Charleston, S.C. Meg Kinnard / AP

Here's where Nikki Haley stands on key issues

Here’s what the newest ‘24 GOP candidate has said on abortion, immigration and entitlements


Here’s an early look at where newly minted Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley stand on some key issues:


Haley opposes abortion rights, explaining that her opposition is rooted in her past difficulty conceiving children, as well as the fact that her husband is adopted. 

“I’m so blessed to see their faces every day,” Haley said of her family, per the Spartanburg Herald-Journal in 2012 “This is not a partisan thing. It’s not a man or a woman thing. I appreciate life and I’m forever blessed for those things in my life.” 


In 2016, while delivering the Republican Party’s State of the Union response to then-President Barack Obama, Haley criticized the “angriest voices” coming from the GOP presidential field on immigration (which she later said included Donald Trump). 

“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation. No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country,” she said. 

She also called to fix “our broken immigration system,” but said she opposed open borders. 

“At the same time, that does not mean we just flat out open our borders. We can’t do that. We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally. And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.”

“We must fix our broken immigration system. That means stopping illegal immigration. And it means welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of their race or religion. Just like we have for centuries.”

Medicaid and Medicare

Haley opposed efforts to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (South Carolina remains just one of 11 states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid to allow more Americans to have health insurance). 

She also defended the Paul Ryan budget plan of 2011 that would have transformed Medicare into a voucher/premium support system, and criticized then-presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for opposing that plan. 

What he said was absolutely unfortunate,” Haley told CNN in a phone interview. “Here you’ve got Representative Ryan trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity, and Newt absolutely cut him off at the knees.”

“When you have a conservative fighting for real change, the last thing we need is a presidential candidate cutting him off at the knees,” she added. 


Haley was an ardent tax-cutter, as both a governor and gubernatorial candidate. 

“We're not raising taxes. We are going to reduce debt. We are going to reduce spending. And we're going to do it in a way that doesn't just get us through one year, but we’re thinking about year three, and five, and seven, so that we come out of it stronger than when we started,” she told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto in a Dec. 2010 interview after becoming governor-elect.

“The first thing we want to do is eliminate the corporate income tax,” Haley said in Aug. 2010, per The State newspaper. “To be able to say we are a right-to-work state and a no-corporate-income-tax state is going to cause businesses to want to come, and it will create jobs in the process.”