Climate activists crashed Nikki Haley’s campaign event in Nashua Saturday night, part of a busy day of campaigning that came with a few bumps.
The protesters, holding aloft banners accusing the former South Carolina governor of being a “climate criminal,” were quickly whisked out of the Courtyard by Marriott by security and dispatched off the premises where a frosty climate featuring temperatures in the mid-teens awaited them.
Haley’s supporters were unfazed by the distraction, chanting “Nikki, Nikki” and “USA, USA,” while she used the overseas deployment of her husband, Michael, a South Carolina Army National Guardsman, to diffuse the situation.
“Don’t boo someone like that because my husband and other military men and women sacrifice for her every day so she can be able to do that,” Haley said, drawing cheers. “We are blessed to live in a country that has freedom of speech.”
Haley had just delved into the portion of her stump speech regarding mental competency exams for elderly politicians – a jab at both President Joe Biden and GOP frontrunner Donald Trump – when still more climate protesters attempted to derail her event.
She took advantage of the timing, telling the crowd, “I think we were talking about mental competency tests – anybody else? Mental competency tests. Notice, I didn’t forget it.”
The repeated outbursts prompted several Haley supporters to ask why the protesters weren’t attending Trump’s rally, which was occurring at the same time in Manchester.
One of those supporters was Mark Croteau of Groton, Mass. Croteau told NHJournal he likes that Haley “talks about the national debt” and that she’s “for Ukraine.”
“If Trump gets in, he’s just going to hand Ukraine to his buddy Vladimir [Putin],” Croteau added. “I’m not even a Republican; I’ve never been a Republican. I’m a left-leaning independent, but I’m very pro-life.
“The Republicans have that issue, but I really don’t like anything else that they stand for. I have a little saying – I find the Democrats’ disgusting’ and the Republicans’ repulsive.’”
During her Nashua rally, Haley turned up the heat on Trump. She referenced her three-minute advertisement scheduled to air throughout New Hampshire on Monday featuring the mother of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who, in January 2016, was detained in North Korea and charged with “subversion” before finally being released in 2017 in a vegetative state. Warmbier died less than a week after being returned to his hometown of Cincinnati.
Haley also mentioned North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and talked about her experience serving as Trump’s U.N. ambassador. Haley said Wambier’s mother would talk “about the love letters [Trump] sent about Kim Jong Un.”
“You don’t befriend dictators and those who want to kill us,” Haley said. “Trump praised China’s President Xi a dozen times even after China gave us COVID. He congratulated the Chinese Communist Party on their 70th anniversary, We don’t ever congratulate communists, ever.”
Haley claimed that during her time at the U.N., she “literally had to sit him down and tell him to stop having this ‘bromance’ with Putin.”
Haley’s event in Nashua was not her only chaotic New Hampshire campaign stop. In Keene on Saturday morning, an anonymous phone call to the city’s fire chief alleged her event at a local country club was over capacity. During a stop later that day at the Peddler’s Daughter pub in Nashua, far-right activist Laura Loomer claimed Haley and Gov. Chris Sununu had police remove her from the event where she had planned on giving Haley a box of Victoria’s Secret lingerie as a birthday gift.
Haley turned 52 years old on Saturday.
Sununu once again introduced Haley after they had spent part of the day cruising the state in his red Mustang convertible. He looked to put a positive spin on a troubling recent campaign development that saw South Carolina Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and other Palmetto State Republicans endorse Trump.
“I saw a few more U.S. senators get behind Donald Trump, and you know why? Because Trump doesn’t hold them accountable,” Sununu told the crowd. “They’re a bunch of overpaid, overprivileged, under-achieving career politician do-nothings.”
Haley appointed Scott to his Senate seat in 2012.