In a recent Haley endorsement, Emily Seidel – a top official in the influential political network associated with billionaire Charles Koch – praised the former UN ambassador’s “courage” for advocating changes to “an entitlement system that makes promises it can’t keep.”
Other establishment figures who have backed Haley – or are taking a second look at her candidacy – cite shoring up the nation’s ailing Social Security system as a key priority and view her stance as an advantage over her rivals.
“We need a complete reevaluation of entitlements,” Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot who is weighing backing Haley, told CNN recently.
“What the hell is a guy like me (doing) getting $3,500 a month from the government?” Langone, whose net worth Forbes pegs at more than $7 billion, said of his monthly Social Security benefits. “That’s outrageous. I shouldn’t get a nickel.”
Haley has called for several changes to the nation’s safety net programs, including increasing the age at which today’s younger workers would become eligible for Social Security retirement benefits and limiting the growth of benefits the wealthy receive.
“I recognize that Social Security and Medicare are the last thing the political class wants to talk about,” she said during a September speech unveiling her economic proposals.
But, Haley said, “any candidate who refuses to address them should be disqualified. They’ll take your vote and leave you broke.”
Her positions on entitlement reform – and those of her rivals – will face greater scrutiny as the January 15 Iowa caucuses draw closer. Haley has risen in the polls and is competing with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to be seen as the main alternative to the current front-runner for the Republican nomination, former President Donald Trump.