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Haley fuels 2024 presidential speculation with Republican convention speech

(Reuters) - Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley may have fired up speculation about a 2024 presidential bid on Monday, delivering a speech at the Republican National Convention that praised President Donald Trump while touting her own accomplishments and life story.

Haley, the 48-year-old daughter of Indian immigrants, showcased a compassionate brand of Republicanism at home while pushing for strong resolve on the global stage.

She was a rising Republican star when Trump tapped the then-South Carolina governor to become ambassador to the United Nations in 2017.

Haley, who left her U.N. post in late 2018, has achieved prominence as a woman of color in a party that has struggled to win the votes of women and minorities.

She cited her successful efforts to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state capitol grounds following the 2015 massacre of nine Black churchgoers in Charleston by a white supremacist. But she avoided mentioning the word “Confederate,” instead calling the flag a “divisive symbol.”

“In much of the Democratic Party, it’s now fashionable to say that America is racist. That is a lie. America is not a racist country,” Haley said.

She noted her father wore a turban and her mother a sari. “I was a brown girl in a black and white world,” Haley said.

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“My mom built a successful business. My dad taught 30 years at a historically Black college. And the people of South Carolina chose me as their first minority and first female governor.”

She praised Trump for taking on Iran, China and North Korea, while supporting allies like Israel. Critics have accused the president of cozying up to U.S. adversaries such as Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, while alienating NATO allies.

Republicans on Monday nominated Trump for a second term as he faces Democrat Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 election. [nL1N2FQ0C8

Haley added the United Nations was not for the faint of heart and was a place where dictators put their hands out and ask for Americans to pay their bills.

“Well, President Trump put an end to all that. With his leadership, we did what Barack Obama and Joe Biden refused to do. We stood up for America … and we stood against our enemies,” Haley said.

Reporting By Jarrett Renshaw in Charlotte, N.C.; Editing by Peter Cooney

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