Sen. Rand Paul has released a video and launched a website on Friday declaring that he is “never Nikki” Haley in the 2024 presidential race.
The Kentucky Republican made the announcement in a clip posted on X, in which he said “I’ve had a long relationship with Donald Trump and there is a lot to like there” and that “I am also a big fan of a lot of the fiscal conservatism of Ron DeSantis.”
“I think Vivek Ramaswamy has been an important voice. Also, I’ve listened to and met with the independent Bobby Kennedy,” he continued. “I’m not yet ready to make a decision, but I am ready to make a decision on someone who I cannot support, so I’m announcing this morning that I am never Nikki.”
Paul then directed viewers toward the website NeverNikki.net, which outlines his criticisms of the former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador. The website features a red line through the name Nikki and says it is “paid for by Rand Paul for US Senate.”
“I don’t think any informed or knowledgeable libertarian or conservative should support Nikki Haley. I’ve seen her attitude towards our interventions overseas, I’ve seen her involvement in the military industrial complex,” Paul said in the video. “But I’ve also seen her indicate that she thinks you should be registered to use the internet.”
“I think she fails to understand our republic was founded upon people like Ben Franklin, Sam Adams, Madison, John Jay and others who posted routinely – for fear of the government – they posted routinely anonymously,” Paul concluded. “And I think her failure to really understand that or to think that you should register through the government somehow for the internet is something that should disqualify her in the minds of all libertarian-leaning conservatives.”
Paul elaborated on the website that Haley’s views on the internet “flies in the face of a free American Republic whose founders wrote anonymously the Federalist Papers and routinely posted newspaper articles and pamphlets under Pseudonyms.”
Haley was ripped by critics in November after she vowed to require all social media users be verified in the name of “national security.”
“When I get into office, the first thing we have to do, social media accounts, social media companies, they have to show America their algorithms. Let us see why they’re pushing what they’re pushing. The second thing is every person on social media should be verified by their name,” Haley said during an appearance on Fox News at the time.
“First of all, it’s a national security threat. When you do that, all of a sudden people have to stand by what they say. And it gets rid of the Russian bots, the Iranian bots and the Chinese bots. And then you’re going to get some civility when people know their name is next to what they say, and they know their pastor and their family members are going to see it,” she added.
Haley later clarified her remarks in an appearance on CNBC, saying “I don’t mind anonymous American people having free speech, what I don’t like is anonymous Russians and Chinese and Iranians having free speech.”
Fox News’ Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.
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