’12 fellas down. 1 to go’: Nikki Haley tweet does NOT go over as planned

An eyebrow-raising post from presidential hopeful Nikki Haley proved low-hanging fruit for social media snark after mentioning “a dozen of the fellas.”

The “beast of the southeast” has remained fond of talking about her heels throughout her bid for the Republican presidential nomination, often to the chagrin of voters looking to put policy ahead of gender. Still, the former United Nations ambassador’s repeated nods to her status as the only GOP woman running for the White House in 2024 bit back in a bad way Sunday when her X account paraphrased a town hall talking point.

Hosted in her home state by Fox News, Haley confronted her poor polling against former President Donald Trump with less than a week remaining before the South Carolina primary and reminded how she was the last competitor standing against the frontrunner.

“I look at where we started, there were 14 candidates in the race. We’ve defeated a dozen of the fellas. I just have one more fella to catch up to. And through it all, there have been naysayers and that’s okay,” she told attendees. “I’m used to being an underdog.”

As it happened, the X version of her comment that came alongside the Columbia, South Carolina remark left far more to the imagination as, without context, the post simply read, “12 fellas down. 1 to go.”

Throughout her public career, the former governor of South Carolina has faced allegations of infidelity to her husband of nearly 30 years, Michael Haley. While she had fervently denied the claims, dating back as far as her 2010 gubernatorial campaign when Palmetto State lobbyist Larry Marchant alleged he had a one-night stand with her in 2008, the suggestive implications of the post were too much for many on X to let pass by unaddressed.

Some took to comparing the ambassador to Vice President Kamala Harris, routinely alleged to have slept her way to success, while others wondered if her South Carolina National Guard husband was aware of the “fellas.”

Still, others quipped with double entendres and less subtle barbs as they laughed at the expense of Haley’s reputation.

Regularly criticized for appealing to “liberal” voters while touting her own positions as conservative, polling ahead of the Feb. 24 primary showed Haley behind Trump by as much as 30 points in some instances.

Her lagging performance had seen her resort to a cameo appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” where she played a “concerned South Carolina voter” who asked of James Austin Johnson portraying Trump, “Why won’t you debate Nikki Haley?”

The cringe appearance carried on with the actor referencing a name mixup where Haley had said instead of California Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D) before the ambassador asked, “Are you doing okay, Donald? You might need a mental competency test.”

Kevin Haggerty


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