As President Donald Trump bids farewell to the White House, a battle is brewing among those hoping to take up his mantle.
In a possible preview of the GOP fight to come, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem took a recent jab at former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley.
“No such thing as a free lunch”
According to the Washington Examiner, Noem responded to a tweet about a Christian food pantry posted by Haley, who also previously served as the governor of South Carolina.
Haley praised the program at a Texas high school, which allows poor students to “buy” food with a point-based system.
Quoting the libertarian economist Milton Friedman, Noem flexed her free-market credentials, tweeting: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
For her part, Noem has denied having any presidential ambitions. Haley, on the other hand, is frequently mentioned among the most likely Republicans to launch a 2024 White House bid.
The former ambassador recently launched a political action committee, Stand for America.
“Judged harshly by history”
In any case, many Twitter users reacted harshly to Noem’s message, which was widely denounced as tone-deaf. Plenty of partisan purists latched on to her tweet, however, and Haley has had her own troubles among skeptical Trump supporters who view her as a neoconservative, establishment Republican despite her longstanding affiliation with the president.
Of course, several other prominent Republicans seen as rising stars and possible 2024 candidates — notably Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) — have faced backlash over their rhetoric in the weeks leading up to a deadly riot on Capitol Hill earlier this month.
Haley and Noem have taken starkly different approaches to the breach of the Capitol building, with the former asserting that Trump will be “judged harshly by history” for his earlier remarks and the latter declining to blame the president.
Trump himself has been the focus of widespread speculation regarding his possible future ambitions. Some in the GOP have signaled support for the ongoing impeachment process in hopes of rendering him unable to seek future federal elected office with a conviction in the Senate.
The outgoing president, however, released a farewell message to the American people on Tuesday, declaring that “the movement we started is only just beginning.”