Byron Donalds latest to slam Nikki Haley over slavery gaffe

Ron DeSantis' campaign also hammers Haley for failing to cite slavery as the cause of the Civil War.

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds slammed presidential candidate Nikki Haley for failing to cite slavery as the Civil War’s root cause. The Naples Republican posted online about a New Hampshire incident when Haley was asked what prompted the war.

“1. Psst Nikki… the answer is slavery PERIOD,” Donalds wrote on X. “2. This really doesn’t matter because (Donald) Trump is going to be the nominee.”

Donalds, a prominent Black Republican, is reportedly under consideration to become Trump’s running mate should the former President become the GOP nominee for President in 2024.

A voter at a town hall in New Hampshire asked Haley the cause of the Civil War. “Well, don’t come with an easy question,” Haley said. “I mean, 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… I mean, I think it always comes down to the role of government.”

Footage shows the questioner later said it was “astonishing to me that you would answer that question (without) mentioning the word slavery.”

“What do you want me to say about slavery?” Haley responded.

The exchange thrust fresh controversy around the former South Carolina Governor.

Donalds’ criticism came a day after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ presidential campaign similarly criticized Haley. Sharing video of the town hall, the DeSantis War Room rapid response account wrote, “Haley inexplicably does not mention slavery in her response.” Later, the same account posted, “It’s been 12 hours and Nikki Haley still hasn’t offered an explanation for her comments. What’s the hold up?”

This notably isn’t the first time slavery became a key issue in the 2024 Republican presidential Primary. Earlier this year, Black leaders, including Donalds, pilloried DeSantis after his Department of Education released standards requiring instruction on “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit.”

Haley, since the controversy first arose over her remarks, addressed the issue with the Good Morning New Hampshire news program. “Of course, the Civil War was about slavery,” she said. “We know that. That’s the easy part. What I was saying is, what does it mean for us today? What it means to us today is about freedom. That’s what that was all about. It was about individual freedom. It was about economic freedom.”

She also blamed the question on a “Democratic plant,” which was mocked by the DeSantis camp.

“Nikki Haley doesn’t have what it takes to win,” the DeSantis War Room account posted.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • It's Complicated

    December 28, 2023 at 12:11 pm

    The simple fact is that EVERY southern state forming the Confederate States of America cited slavery as a primary reason to secede from the USA in the Articles of Secession passed in their respective state legislatures. Each cited other factors, too, but the expansion of the USA westward and the prospect of slave states being quickly outnumbered by free states was without a doubt a prominent public policy issue during the decade preceding the Civil War. Slavery was the primary economic driver for most of the south’s agricultural economy at the time and it takes historical fact gymnastics to paint the cause as purely economic or cultural.

  • My Take

    December 28, 2023 at 2:04 pm

    ‘It takes historical fact gymnastics to paint the cause as purely economic or cultural.’
    It is holy writ in the conservative south.
    She won’t lose a single vote.
    At least she didn’t call it a trade school.

  • Don't Say FLA

    December 28, 2023 at 3:02 pm

    Dear MAGA Moes,
    “Root Cause” means like how trees grow from roots.

    Referring to slavery as riot cause means you’re saying slavery was behind all of it, the basis of all of it, any other causes, claimed or real, trace back to be founded in racism.

    You:re welcome for clearing up the deep state lies designed to push Haley out and keeping the Deep State (aka old white men) in

Comments are closed.


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