Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley celebrated Republican electoral victories in Virginia on Wednesday, cautioning the GOP not to become arrogant, but rather to focus on the tasks at hand. 

“This is parents’ way of telling government: Don’t mess with our kids,” Haley said Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation as she delivered the annual Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture. “It is people who are done with all the culture wars, and see the ridiculousness of it.”

Former business executive Glenn Youngkin defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the highly publicized Virginia gubernatorial race Tuesday, a contest driven by parents’ rebellions against woke school boards across the nation.

Virginia Republicans also won statewide races for lieutenant governor and attorney general and retook control of the House of Delegates in the General Assembly.

Haley, who also served as the first female governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017, said the wins send a message to President Joe Biden that “he needs to quit listening to ‘the squad’ and start looking at conservatism,” referring to the group of far-left female Democrats in the House of Representatives led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks Wednesday at The Heritage Foundation. (Photo: Willis Bretz)

“Because what they are doing is, they are trying to take us down the track of socialism,” Haley said. “That’s not what America wants. America doesn’t want government telling them how to live. America doesn’t want [the government] telling them how to parent. America doesn’t want them telling who will be successful and who won’t.” 

“The people of Virginia said ‘no,’ the people of New Jersey are saying ‘no,’ and I think everyone in America is going to say ‘no’ in 2022,” she said of next year’s midterm elections. 

Haley campaigned in person for New Jersey Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli, whose race against incumbent New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, remains too close to call. 

The former U.N. ambassador emphasized the vital role that the United States plays on the global stage. 

“I’ve watched,” she said. “When America speaks, the world listens. When America leads, the world follows. What America does, the rest of the world wants to be. That’s amazing. We should embrace that. We should hone in on that. And we have that opportunity.”

Haley said that her “hope for Republicans,” when “people look at Virginia and New Jersey,” is that Republicans will not become arrogant about their electoral success this week. 

“Don’t get arrogant. Don’t think we got this, because we don’t,” she said. “This is about connecting with every single person. This is about expanding our tent, to Hispanics, to Asians, to African Americans. This is about making sure everyone knows that our solutions are the right ones, and we are going to lift up everyone.”

This is the time when we go through our transition, when we do the hard work, and when we win, which we will, that is when the true test starts. Because that is when we have to prove we deserve to be there.

A spokesman for Haley told The Daily Signal that the former U.N. ambassador helped raise more than $1 million for Virginia candidates, including $400,000 for Youngkin. Her issue-advocacy group, Stand for America, released a digital ad supporting Virginia parents called “You’re A Parent” in October. 


“Don’t mess with our kids,” Haley repeatedly emphasized Wednesday. 

“What you have with critical race theory is the idea that a 5-year-old girl would go into kindergarten who doesn’t see race,” the former South Carolina governor explained. “And if she is white, you’re telling her she’s bad. And if she’s brown or black, you’re telling her she’ll never be enough, and she’ll always be a victim. It’s abusive. It’s un-American.” 

“Look, we are not a perfect country,” she continued. “We have our scars. We have the scars of slavery. We have the scars of the fact that women were held back. But we have overcome those scars. So, when we teach history, teach the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful. That’s what we need to be teaching. That’s the only way we will learn.” 

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.