Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley participate in the Republican presidential debate hosted by CNN at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. January 10, 2024.
Mike Segar | Reuters
WASHINGTON — Nikki Haley has built her presidential campaign on the support of voters eager for a serious, experienced, conventional Republican who offers an alternative to a second Trump term.
As a former ambassador to the United Nations and two-term South Carolina governor, Haley has a genuine record of choices she has made, on policy issues that range from immigration reform to labor rights, to support for Israel.
No surprise then, that Haley’s presidential campaign website features a “Record of Results” tab with more than a dozen subtopics.
Any voter curious about what Haley has done so far in her career can quickly find it on her site. But a voter curious about what Haley would do if she were elected president in November will need to look harder. A lot harder.
Typically, a presidential campaign makes it as easy as possible for the public to learn what the candidate would do if elected.
Former president and Republican front-runner Donald Trump has dubbed his platform Agenda 47 and posted it at the top of his campaign website. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a former U.S. Marine, calls his policy section the Mission. Like Trump’s Agenda 47, the Mission sits on top of his campaign site.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has posted 25 policy commitments, dubbed America First 2.0, where anyone visiting his site would see them. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison calls his policy platform Solutions. Like the others, it is front and center online.
But not Haley. Unlike the other Republicans vying for the 2024 nomination, Haley does not have a tab on her campaign website that lays out her presidential policy platform and explains what she would do in office
But a curious voter who visited Haley’s campaign website would need to navigate through press clips and TV appearances to find one.
CNBC reached out to Haley’s campaign to ask why they do not have a comprehensive policy agenda on the campaign site.
“I don’t know what you mean,” a Haley spokesperson replied, along with a link to a document laying out Haley’s economic agenda, dubbed the Freedom Plan, which she released in September.
The link revealed something unexpected: The document did not appear under any of the sections into which Haley’s campaign site was divided, like “News,” or “About Nikki” or “Action Center.”
Instead, the plan was independently located at www.nikkihaley.com/the-freedom-plan.
The reason this matters is that in practice, that document would be very difficult for a person to find unless they had been given the link.
Nikki Haley, the candidate of the Republican Party in the 2024 presidential elections in the US, delivers remarks during a Town Hall campaign event in the Lowcountry in Bluffton SC, United States on November 27, 2023.
Peter Zay | Anadolu | Getty Images
“This is one of several policy proposals and speeches Nikki has put out and we release them all to the public,” the Haley spokeswoman told CNBC in a follow-up email. “Happy to send over anything in particular you’re looking for.”
The offer itself served to highlight the campaign’s unusual approach to policy.
CNBC reached out to several Haley donors to gauge their reaction to the lack of easily accessible policy plans online.
Ozzie Palomo, a lobbyist and cofounder of the Chartwell Strategy Group, said that Haley’s record spoke for itself. But he acknowledged the question was, “somewhat valid.”
It “might just be a website design issue,” he speculated.
Palomo said Haley’s campaign strategy was very different from that of a candidate like Ramaswamy, who is, “an unknown entity, that needs to put positions out there.”
Haley “has a track record and has put positions out there, too. I think most people know where she stands,” he said.
CNBC’s Brian Schwartz contributed to this story.