Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley helped kick off a conference of prominent conservatives in Nashville this week where she and other speakers touted their efforts to regain Republican ground midway through 2022, but shunned to discuss a concurrent House hearing during the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Haley was Thursday’s keynote speaker and spoke about American exceptionalism and the “principles at the heart” of the nation.
‘We need to restore the peoples’ belief that America is worth fighting for,’ Haley said at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, where hundreds of people gathered to hear prominent conservative speakers at the conference. “Road to Majority” by the Faith and Freedom Coalition.
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Haley drew on her experience as a child of immigrants to tell listeners why the nation is unique.
“Legal immigrants are more patriotic than most Americans these days,” Haley said. “Is our nation perfect? Of course not, but the principles at the heart of America are perfect.
Haley, citing the need to “save America,” predicted that Republicans would return to power after the upcoming midterm elections and the 2024 presidential election.
“The American people will take back the White House and bring back the strength and backbone of America,” she said. “We have to prove that we deserve to be there.”
Conservatives should fight for “a new birth of freedom,” Haley said.
“I don’t wear heels as a fashion statement, I wear them for kicking,” she said. “Where I’m from, you stand with your friends and stand up to your enemies.”
Although Haley briefly mentioned the importance of “election integrity,” the former South Carolina governor and other speakers did not mention the ongoing congressional hearings into the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol.
At the same time the conference began, the House committee held a hearing Thursday into former Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to implement an illegal plan to overturn the 2020 election results at the request of then-President Donald Trump.
Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said Thursday that the vice president had repeatedly told Trump that his plan to reject legitimate electoral votes was illegal. The committee also released video of Capitol rioters chanting “Hang Mike Pence” after news spread that the vice president would not move to throw out electoral votes before certification.
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Pence did not testify but his top aides cooperated with the congressional committee investigating the attack, USA Today reports.
Pence was notably absent from the Nashville conference program this week, although he has been a keynote speaker at Faith and Freedom events since at least 2017.
Even with his decades of evangelical conservative good faith, Pence was heckled last year by conference attendees and branded a “traitor” in the continuing fallout from the Jan. 6 attack.
Trump is expected to deliver the conference’s keynote address on Friday.