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Matt Gaetz Mocks Nikki Haley With 'Heels' Jibe at Trump Rally

Newsweek 3/26/2023 Anders Anglesey
A split image of Matt Gaetz and Nikki Hayley. The Republican hit out at Hayley's comments about how she would handle "bullies." © Getty A split image of Matt Gaetz and Nikki Hayley. The Republican hit out at Hayley's comments about how she would handle "bullies."

Republican Representative Matt Gaetz took a swipe at 2024 hopeful Nikki Haley with a "heels" jibe at Donald Trump's rally in Texas.

Gaetz hit out at the former South Carolina governor's stance on handling "bullies" while he addressed a crowd of thousands in Waco on Saturday, March 25.

The Florida congressman said in his speech: "Nikki Haley says that we must kick all of the world's bullies with heels. But we cannot go kicking and screaming around the globe starting new wars behind every Middle Eastern sand dune as Nikki Haley would have us do.

"So, Nikki Haley can keep clicking her heels. What we know is President Donald Trump will bring America's enemies to heel."

Gaetz's comments about Haley were met enthusiastically by the Waco crowd who cheered at his assessment.

The Florida Republican paraphrased a segment from Haley's announcement speech in February when she said: "You should know this about me, I don't put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts more if you're wearing heels."

Despite having announced her intention to be the Republican nominee, Haley has consistently trailed Trump in the polls.

The former president remains the favorite to secure the nomination and leads his closest rival Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who has yet to make an announcement to run.

Gaetz's comments in Waco also reflect the growing isolationist stance in sections of the Republican Party.

The Florida Republican previously expressed his opposition to sending U.S. aid to Ukraine as it continues to fight against invading Russian forces.

He refused to applaud Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky when he visited Congress earlier last year.

Gaetz also introduced a resolution to end U.S. military and financial aid to Ukraine, which was co-sponsored by 10 other House Republicans.

He justified his position in a previous statement shared with Newsweek, in which he said: "America is in a state of managed decline, and it will exacerbate if we continue to hemorrhage taxpayer dollars toward a foreign war."

The Republican continued. "We must suspend all foreign aid for the War in Ukraine and demand that all combatants in this conflict reach a peace agreement immediately."

Among the reasons why a growing number of Republicans are calling for the U.S. to stop funding Ukraine's war is the desire for that money to be spent at home.

Republicans, including Gaetz, want money to be spent on funding to secure the southern U.S. border.

Newsweek has contacted Gaetz and Haley's offices for comment via email.

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