Nikki Haley makes stop in North Augusta ahead of SC Republican primary

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Feb. 11—Nikki Haley made a brief stop in North Augusta on Sunday morning before traveling to Orangeburg as part of her current bus tour ahead of the South Carolina Republican primary. She spoke with the Aiken Standard about her campaign in the Southeast, the need for the younger generation's involvement in politics and the border crisis.

Haley talked about the time spent in her home state, and her campaign's connection to the CSRA.

"You really learn the personalities of these areas," she said, describing Aiken County residents as "good, hardworking, patriotic people."

Reflecting on her recent time on USC Aiken's college campus, Haley shared her thoughts on the younger generation's involvement in politics.

"I think if you talk to anybody in the younger generation, they are worried about the debt that's hanging over them. They're worried about how they're going to afford a home. They're worried about how they're [going to] pay student loans. They're worried about how they're [going to] get a job," she said. "And when they look at two 80-year-olds running for president, they can't connect with that ... and when you see two candidates and all they're doing is talking about themselves, ... that's a problem."

She continued: "That's why I think it's time for a new generational leader to do this. Seventy percent of Americans have said they don't want a Biden-Trump rematch. We need to listen to the majority of American people that say it's time to move on."

Haley touched on the border crisis, with an emphasis on encouraging immigration by legal means.

"My parents came here 50 years ago, legally. [They] put in the time, put in the price. They're offended by what's happening from the border. When it comes to legal immigration, we should do that at the same time that we secure the border. ... It shouldn't take 10 years for someone to become a citizen. But instead of having quotas, let's have people come here based on merit, things that are gonna really strengthen our country," she said.

"The second we stop being a country of laws we give up everything this country was founded on. We have to secure the border, there [are] no more excuses, there's no time to waste," she added. "That's the way it should be done."

She also weighed in on her time as South Carolina governor and noted the kind of support she wants to give to state governors.

"Presidents typically meet with their governors once a year. I'll meet with our governors once a quarter, Republican and Democrat, with the sole purpose of supporting them in how they're lifting people up instead of having them be dependent on government," she said.

She added that her goal is to take "as many federal programs as we can" and send them down to the state levels. "That way, it's empowering people on the ground but it's reducing the size of the federal government. It's the best thing I think we can do."

Her message to South Carolinians in the CSRA and beyond is to remember to vote early starting on Monday, and that the election is on Feb. 24.

"[In] general elections, you're given a choice. In a primary, you make your choice," she said. "South Carolinians need to get out and make their choice."