Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley dodged answering whether she believes a man can become a woman during a virtual Iowa town hall on Sunday, according to audio obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Haley canceled a previously scheduled campaign event in Dubuque, Iowa, over extreme weather just a day ahead of Monday’s caucus, opting instead for a tele-town hall, CNN reported.
The former ambassador was asked point-blank whether she believes a man can become a woman but did not directly answer and instead offered that “people can live any way they want” once they are over the age of 18, according to the audio.
“There’s been a lot that’s been talked about when it comes to all of these roles and all of these issues. I strongly believe that we should not allow any gender change surgeries to anyone before the age of 18. Period. We, kids now can’t get a tattoo until they’re 18. We shouldn’t have them permanently change their body until they’re 18,” Haley said. “… After the age of 18, we want to make sure people can live any way they want to live. I don’t think government needs to be in control of anybody’s life. You go live the way you want to live, you should be free to live the way you want to live. And … government and everybody else should stay out of your way.”
“I think that, you know, you always have to believe in freedom and allowing people to live the life the way they want to live, and if that’s how they choose then, you know, I don’t think government should have any say in that. Thank you for that question,” Haley added.
The individual who asked the question, who was identified as John, inquired about Haley’s opinion on the topic, citing former President Donald Trump’s position. Megyn Kelly asked the former president the same question in a September interview, but didn’t definitively answer.
“Yeah, I mean, I think first of all, let’s look at the facts,” Haley answered. “You know, this is a hard truth on my part, I believe Trump was the right president at the right time. I agree with a lot of his policies. But rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him. And everybody on this call knows that. And we can’t be a country in disarray and a world on fire and go through four more years of chaos. We won’t survive it. And I think a lot of that is how he communicates and what happens. It just sets us all in disarray, and we can’t afford a president Kamala Harris.”
“How ridiculous that we’re even asking that question?” DeSantis responded.
The final NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa survey released Saturday ahead of the caucus found Haley in second place with 20% support behind Trump’s 48%, followed by DeSantis at 16% and conservative businessman Vivek Ramaswamy at 8%.
Haley’s campaign did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.