Nikki Haley digs at Trump, takes Civil War question in SNL cameo

Nikki Haley appears on SNL segment Feb. 3, 2024. PHOTO: videograb X @nikkihaley

Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley made a surprise appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this weekend, starring as herself in the program’s cold open.

Ahead of South Carolina’s Feb. 24 Republican primary, Saturday’s show featured a mock CNN town hall in the state, with cast member James Austin Johnson as former president Donald Trump.

Standing in the audience, Haley took shots at Trump and President Biden, challenging the fitness of both. “Are you doing okay, Donald? You might need a mental competency test,” Haley asked.

After a long speech from Johnson’s Trump that ended in the words “I see dead people,” Haley responded with a deadpan: “That’s what voters will say if they see you and Joe on the ballot.”

In recent weeks, the former South Carolina governor has stepped up her attacks against Trump, who has a significant lead over her in polls, including by questioning with increasing directness his fitness to lead.

But Haley wasn’t spared from the roast on Saturday, coming under fire from actor Ayo Edebiri, the show’s host.

“I was just curious, what would you say was the main cause of the Civil War?” Edebiri asked Haley. “Do you think it starts with an ‘s’ and ends with a ‘-lavery’?”

In response, Haley said: “Yep, I probably should have said that the first time.”

The exchange was a reference to Haley’s failure during a December town hall in New Hampshire to include any mention of slavery when asked by an audience member what caused the Civil War. After a backlash, including from Republicans, she acknowledged the next day that the war was “about slavery.”

Haley has said her goal in South Carolina is to improve on her performance last month against Trump in New Hampshire, where she lost to the GOP front-runner by 11 points. But the former U.N. ambassador has considerable ground to make up in her home state, where Trump has the support of 58 percent of potential Republican primary voters compared with 32 percent for Haley, according to a Washington Post-Monmouth University poll published Wednesday.



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