Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has spoken out about the 2024 Republican presidential primary, praising other candidates but singling out Nikki Haley for criticism.
On Friday, Paul launched a video and a website, NeverNikki.net, to express his disapproval, which features a video message from the senator.
“I’ve had a long relationship with Donald Trump and there is a lot to like there,” Paul said. “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. 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 also expresses concerns about her foreign policy stance and her views on internet usage.
“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. “But I’ve also seen her indicate that she thinks you should be registered to use the internet.”
Haley has been criticized for her stance on social media verification. In November, she proposed requiring all social media users to be verified. Paul argues that Haley’s view on internet anonymity contradicts the principles of a free American Republic, whose founders often wrote anonymously.
“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 stated.
Haley continued: “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.”
Haley clarified her position later, focusing on the issue of foreign entities using anonymity.
“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,” she said in a CNBC appearance.
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