Critics slammed Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s refusal to give a “yes” or “no” answer to the question of whether a man could become a woman

Nikki Haley

“I don’t think government needs to be in control of anybody’s life,” she said. “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.”

The former ambassador gave her widely panned response on a tele-town hall with Iowa voters Sunday, the day before the state’s caucuses.

John, a voter from Dubuque, IA, posed the question to Haley. John told Haley he was “bother[ed]” and “concern[ed]” by former President Donald Trump’s apparent inability to provide Megyn Kelly with an automatic “yes” or “no” response when she asked him the same question in September 2023.

“I was just wondering what your response to that question is?” John asked the candidate.

“Now, can a man become a woman?” Haley repeated after 46 seconds of comments about Trump and the logistics of her Iowa campaign.

“There’s a lot that’s been talked about when it comes to all of these roles and all of these issues,” she said. She indicated support for prohibiting “gender change surgeries” for minors, a subject not mentioned in the question she was asked.

“After the age of 18, we want to make sure people can live any way they want to live,” Haley then said, before launching into the rest of her controversial remarks.

Catholic philosopher Jay W. Richards, PhD, called the response “[s]taggeringly muddled and tone-deaf.”

“[A]s if these fake libertarian-sounding bromides can substitute for answering the freaking question,” he added on X (formerly Twitter).

“And in this case, she was even served up the example of Trump’s own fumbling of this same question.”

Pro-life activist Abby Johnson also took issue with Haley’s answer. “Um… How about just NO!” Johnson wrote. “Men are not women.”

After being mentioned by name in John’s question, Megyn Kelly chimed in to blast Haley’s non-answer.

“This is utter bulls***.” the journalist wrote.

“The WRONG ANSWER & an unnecessary weird pander to the rabid trans lobby. The answer is NO, A MAN CANNOT BECOME A WOMAN.”

“Can a man become a woman?” Kelly had asked Trump on her SiriusXM show a few months ago.

“In my opinion, you have a man, you have a woman,” Trump said. “I think part of it is birth. Can a man give birth? No.”

Ron DeSantis gave a direct “no” answer during an interview with Glenn Beck just over a week after the Kelly-Trump exchange.

“How ridiculous that we’re even asking that question?” the Florida governor noted.

“That [question] was easy,” he indicated on X at the time.

Stay tuned to The Federalist Wire.