Star-Studded Cast of Extremists Introduce Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley kicked off her 2024 run surrounding herself with extremists as she tries to cater to the MAGA base of the GOP primary. The first official event of her campaign featured an election denier and a pastor who suggested that Adolf Hitler was fulfilling God’s will.

Haley’s first congressional endorsement comes from Ralph Norman, who denied the results of the 2020 election and called for martial law 11 days after the violent insurrection on the Capitol on January 6.

Fox: “Ralph Norman is the first South Carolina lawmaker to publicly back Haley’s bid for presidency. His support comes despite former President Donald Trump’s endorsement of his re-election the 2022 midterm elections and also after Norman did not vote to certify the 2020 election, in a nod to his loyalty to Trump.”

Post and Courier: “U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman is facing pressure to resign from Democrats in his South Carolina congressional district after a string of text messages revealed the Rock Hill Republican called for a military takeover in order to keep then-President Donald Trump in power after his 2020 election defeat. Norman’s idea to impose martial law, which he wrote as ‘Marshall Law,’ was sent in a text to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Jan. 17, 2021 — three days before Joe Biden was set to take office.”

Haley said she “still say[s]” she wants to be like John Hagee “when I grow up” – the pastor who suggested that Adolf Hitler was fulfilling God’s will. John McCain famously distanced himself from Hagee’s endorsement in 2008 because of his extreme rhetoric.

Nikki Haley: “Pastor Hagee, I still say I want to be you when I grow up.”

New York Times: “In the sermon, which is also available on the church’s Web site, Mr. Hagee said the Bible prophesied Hitler’s brutality. ‘How is God going to bring them back to the land? The answer is fishers and hunters,’ Mr. Hagee said, referring to how Jews ended up in the modern state of Israel. ‘A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and forces you. Hitler was a hunter.’”

CNN: “McCain told CNN’s Brian Todd that he rejected Hagee’s endorsement after Todd brought to his attention Hagee’s comments that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God’s will by hastening the desire of Jews to return to Israel in accordance with biblical prophecy.” 

NPR: “And I believe that the Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans.”

Washington Post: “The evangelical leader, who called the Roman Catholic Church ‘the great whore,’ has endorsed McCain.”