After being accused of “running from her legacy” by the co-host of “The View,” Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and her communications spokesperson hit back at Sunny Hostin. While discussing potential 2024 presidential candidates earlier this week, Alyssa Farah Griffin included Nikki Haley as a possible contender. Back in April, Haley told Fox News that “I don’t have to make a decision until the first of next year. But I can tell you I’ve never lost a race. I’m not going to start now. I’ll put a thousand percent into it and finish it,” she stated. “I’m going to fight for this country until my last breath because I believe in her, and I believe that we all have to be part of the solution.”
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But, after Griffin called Nikki Haley an “incredibly effective governor in South Carolina,” Sunny Hostin interjected. “I think if she leaned into being someone of color, this would be different,” Hostin said. “There’s some of us that can be chameleons and decide not to embrace our ethnicity so that we can pass, that we don’t have to go by—,” she added, per Fox News.
After describing Haley as a “chameleon”, Hostin went on asking, “what’s her real name again?”
According to Hostin, Haley, who also served under former President Donald Trump as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations dropped her culturally-relevant first name – Nimarata – in an effort to “pass” and become more marketable in Republican politics.
Haley then turned the tables on Hostin, highlighting the hypocrisy of the ABC host on the subject and saying, “By the way, last I checked Sunny isn’t your birth name…” According to Haley, who has been going by her middle name “Nikki” since she was a child, Hostin also chose to publicly use another name than her given name.
This made Hostin promptly start defending herself. Hostin stated, “Because most Americans can’t pronounce Asunción. Because of the under-education in our country.” Griffin added that many people in the media and in the United States did not have their birth names, as women started talking to one another. In fact, several women on the ABC News show use nicknames. For instance, the real name of Whoopi Goldberg is Caryn Johnson.
As a result, the exchange quickly sparked controversy on social media, with many people expressing indignation at Hostin’s comments and calling them “racist.”
In a tweet, Haley wrote, “Thanks for your concern, Sunny. It’s racist of you to judge my name. Nikki is an Indian name and is on my birth certificate – and I’m proud of that. What’s sad is the left’s hypocrisy towards conservative minorities. By the way, last I checked Sunny isn’t your birth name.”
“Are we really going to play this (trashcan emoji) game, @Sunny? Nikki is an Indian name that means ‘little one.’ It’s @NikkiHaley’s middle name on her birth certificate. You should know better than this—you don’t even go by your first name,” Ken Fernaso, Haley’s spokesman wrote on Twitter, adding a photo from the Wikipedia page of Hostin.