Did Nikki Haley Say Hillary Clinton Inspired Her To Get into Politics?

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Claim:

Republican 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley said in 2020 that former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was her inspiration for getting into politics.

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On Dec. 7, 2023, a tweet published on X (formerly Twitter) claimed that Nikki Haley, candidate in the 2024 GOP presidential primaries, was inspired to run for office by Hillary Clinton. The post received more than 23,700 views, as of this writing.

More recently, a tweet from Jan. 8, 2024, claimed that Haley denied this: “She said ‘I never said Hillary Clinton inspired me to run for office.'” That tweet received more than 454,500 views, as of this writing.

Tweets we found pertaining to this particular connection between Haley and Clinton go back as far as 2012.

Haley did indeed say that Clinton had inspired her to get into politics, but without context, it could appear as though Haley had informally endorsed Clinton’s policies. This was not the case. The first instance of her publicly stating that Clinton was the reason she got into politics appeared in a 2012 interview with The New York Times. According to the exchange:

One clip frequently cited originated from a virtual interview held by the American University School of Public Affairs on July 22, 2020.

The script of the relevant portion of the interview is as follows:

Less than a year earlier, Haley’s book, “With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace,” was published. In it, she also wrote her thoughts on Clinton as follows:

Haley did later once deny that she said Clinton was her inspiration, though she did not specifically deny Clinton had inspired her to run for office, as the aforementioned tweet by X user @LauraLoomer claims (She said “I never said Hillary Clinton inspired me to run for office.”); rather, she was quoted as saying the following during an interview on Fox News on Jan. 8, 2024 (beginning at 06:47 timestamp).

I never said that she was an inspiration. What I said is when I had not been in politics and I was looking at running for office, I went to a women leadership forum and one of the speakers was Hillary Clinton. And she said “for all the reasons people tell you not to run, those are all the reasons that you should.” And so when I spoke about it, if you took it all in context, I said I don’t agree with a single thing she believes in, but this is what happened and this is how I got involved in politics.  

In sum, Haley stated on multiple occasions that she was inspired to go into politics after hearing Clinton speak at a forum. However, in doing so, she did not intend to align herself with Clinton’s policies, beliefs, or politics in any way.

Sources

Aubrie Spady, Gabriele Regalbuto. ‘How to Watch Fox News’ Town Hall with Nikki Haley’. Fox News, 8 Jan. 2024, https://www.foxnews.com/politics/how-watch-fox-news-town-hall-nikki-haley.

Haley, Nikki R. With All Due Respect: Defending America with Grit and Grace. St. Martin’s Publishing Group, 2019.

‘Https://Twitter.Com/EMB_MAGA_2024/Status/1749804483159437443’. X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/EMB_MAGA_2024/status/1749804483159437443. Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.

‘Https://Twitter.Com/Justredpillme/Status/1732862105005507046’. X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/justredpillme/status/1732862105005507046. Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.

‘Https://Twitter.Com/LauraLoomer/Status/1744499683639095769’. X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/LauraLoomer/status/1744499683639095769. Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.

‘Women on Wednesdays’ with Amb. Nikki Haleywww.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GS8jRCgZQok. Accessed 23 Jan. 2024.

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