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Nikki Haley visits Portland for political rally on Sunday ahead of Super Tuesday

Republican presidential candidate and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event in Portland, Maine.
Reba Saldanha
Republican presidential candidate and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event in Portland, Maine.

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley made a campaign stop in Portland Sunday night, two days before the Super Tuesday primary.

In her stump speech at the Elks Lodge, the former UN ambassador emphasized the need to lower federal spending, saying her background as an accountant gives her the skills to handle economic matters.

“We are stretching our dollars," she said. "We are $34 trillion in debt. We’re having to borrow money just to make our interest payments. Something’s gotta give. Don’t you think it’s finally time we had an accountant in the White House?”

Tammy and Peter Mullen attended the rally. Although neither identify as Republicans, both say they came to learn more about Haley. Despite trailing former President Donald Trump by over 200 primary delegates, the couple believes Trump’s pending criminal charges underscores Haley’s relevance in the race.

"I give her credit. I think I understand why she's still there. That might be her whole reason for her being there. And I applaud that because it might be needed — and I hope it's needed," Peter Mullen said.

"We just need somebody different [in the race]," Tammy Mullen said.

A pro-Trump protester in the crowd interrupted Haley midway through her speech, displaying a Trump flag before getting escorted out of the building.

Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins endorsed Haley’s presidential campaign over the weekend. A recent poll from Pan Atlantic Research shows Trump leading Haley among Maine Republicans by 42 percentage points.

Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.

Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.
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