‘A pile of bulls**t’: Despite media freakout, voters appear unfazed by Nikki Haley Civil War blunder

When Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley failed to mention slavery when asked about the cause of the Civil War, you would have thought the world had stopped spinning for a moment or two.

The media and Haley’s critics seized on the snafu, blowing her rambling explanation about states’ rights and personal freedoms into a full-scale, headline-generating scandal.

Haley later defended her answer and accused the voter who asked the question of being a Democratic plant who was placed in the audience to make her look bad.

And it appears that New Hampshire voters are willing to buy Haley’s excuse for side-stepping slavery.

The day after the former U.N. ambassador’s encounter with the inquisitive voter, who told the candidate it was “astonishing to me that you answer that question without mentioning the word ‘slavery,'” one Republican voter, Robin Smith, of Bridgewater, told Politico, “That was a pile of bulls**t.”

“Okay, there was somebody planted in that audience, in my opinion,” Smith said. “It had to be somebody that wanted to try to make her look bad.”

This explanation, of course, presumes that it is ridiculously easy to throw the would-be President off her game, but her supporters seem willing to give Haley a pass.

According to Lincoln Republican Becky Turner, she was “dead on.”

“They made a mountain out of a molehill,” Turner said.

After a day to think about her initial response, Haley, at another event, said, “Of course the Civil War was about slavery.”

“We know that,” she said. “That’s unquestioned. Always the case. We know the Civil War was about slavery.”

(Video: YouTube)

Alison Bolt, a self-described moderate Republican from Littleton, agrees and believes there are more important things to talk about.

“Everybody knows [the Civil War] was about slavery, and what else can you say about it?” Bolt told Politico. “Frankly, I’m sick to death of hearing about these issues. I’m sick to death of hearing about, you know, racist kinds of things and transgender things. I want to get back to things that are going to help or destroy this country.”

But some still see Haley’s answer as “sophomoric.”

Edward Rolfe, an Independent from Franconia, suggested that Haley was intentionally trying to downplay racial tensions.

“To say the role of government — that’s like a footnote,” Rolfe said. “If she’s saying it to take the attention off racial issues or try to redefine the historical context of it, I find it sophomoric.”

On Thursday, Haley’s opponent, Republican candidate Chris Christie, said Haley isn’t “racist” — she’s “dishonest.”

“She’s smart and she knows better,” Christie told the crowd in Epping, New Hampshire. “And she didn’t say it because she’s a racist, because she’s not. I know her well and I don’t believe Nikki has a racist bone in her body.”

“[T]he reason she did it is just as bad, if not worse, and should make everybody concerned about her candidacy,” he said. “She did it because she’s unwilling to offend anyone by telling the truth.”

(Video: Daily Mail)

If Haley is “worried” about the motivations of a voter who asked about the Civil War, Christie said at a campaign event in Seabrook, New Hampshire, “let me tell her about the Democratic plants who are going to be waiting for her next November. Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Chuck Schumer, Hakeem Jeffries — They’re all going to be waiting with tough questions that you better be ready to tell the truth about.”

(Video: YouTube)

Melissa Fine

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