Nikki Haley is continuing to use her transphobic one-liners about influencer Dylan Mulvaney while on the campaign trail. On Wednesday morning, the former South Carolina governor not only made a transphobic crack about Mulvaney, but did so in a room of people who didn’t know (or care) who Mulvaney is.
“Everybody know about Dylan Mulvaney? Bud Light?” Haley asked a crowd described as “polite businessmen and nonprofit people” at the nonpartisan breakfast speaker series Politics and Eggs, according to tweets from Semafor reporter David Weigel. Haley was referencing the attempted conservative boycott of Bud Light, after it dared to send the transgender TikTok star beer cans with her face on the label.
Haley received zero claps for the joke, which sometimes does get laughs and applause out of MAGA crowds. But like any politician who has memorized a speech and cannot deviate, Haley pressed forward: “That is a guy, dressed as a girl, making fun of women.” Gross.
Later in morning, Haley spoke to a women’s group in Manchester. There were “some groans about the Bud Light” boycott, Weigel reported. Haley then misgendered Mulvaney:
Last month, my colleague Susan Rinkunas published audio of Haley calling the existence of trans women in sports “the women’s rights issue of our time” at a town hall in Bedford, New Hampshire. During that speech, Haley launched into a tirade against Mulvaney, who is very, very popular on TikTok, but is not harming anyone:
Have any of you all seen Dylan Mulvaney? You know who that is? On the beer cans? Let me tell you something. I know that there are transgender people out there—that is not a transgender person. That is a guy dressing up like a girl, making fun of women. [inaudible]. We don’t act like that. Yet companies are glorifying him. And then we’re supposed to tell our girls, ‘Be strong and be confident?’ What are we doing?
Unfortunately for the TikTok star, Mulvaney has become a scapegoat for all of Republicans’ anti-trans hatred. Last week, after the state of Texas banned gender-affirming care for minors, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called for an “investigation” into Bud Light for its “ties” to Mulvaney. (Her “ties” are simple: They sent her a promotional beer can design—that was never going to be for sale!—about two months ago, in an extremely normal influencer collaboration.)
Mulvaney is living rent free in the minds of so many conservatives; if only it were a nicer place to be!