COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Republican primary is less than two weeks away, and the race for the GOP nomination is heating up.

A recent Washington Post-Monmouth University poll shows former UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, trailing sole challenger, Donald Trump, by twenty-six points in the Palmetto state.

Despite the early polls, Haley shows no signs of hitting the brakes. The former South Carolina Governor made a pit stop to campaign at Doc’s BBQ in Columbia on Thursday.

A walk down memory lane

After a quick introduction by South Carolina State Representative, Nathan Ballentine, Haley took the floor. “So you know me, we will take that same mentality that we had in SC and we will fight for freedom and fight for America there in DC.”

Immediately she began listing her accomplishments as the Governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017.

“We passed TORT reform. We passed pension reform. We cut taxes. More than that, we moved 35,000 people from welfare to work. We changed our entire prison system.” Haley said.

During Haley’s six years as governor, she passed one of the strictest immigration laws in the nation, a fact she was not quick to let the audience forget. She even poked fun at former President Barack Obama’s legal efforts to kill the bill.

Haley criticized both Donald Trump and President Joe Biden, calling into question the candidates’ mental competency.

“And do we really wanna go forward with a country in disarray and a world on fire with two candidates in their 80s? These are people making decisions on the future of our economy. We need to know they’re at the top of their game.” Haley said.

Hopeful Haley Supporters

Although the room was full of spectators, not everyone was there to support. Within the first ten-minutes of Haley’s speech, she was interrupted by several pro-Palestine protestors.

“Fight for people’s needs! Not the war machine!” the protestors chanted. “You’re a war hog!”

Haley waited until staff escorted the protestors out of the building before continuing,

“Don’t ever get upset about people like that. Because my husband and military men and women sacrifice every day for their right to do that.”

Despite the protestors, Haley supporters were hopeful of her path to the White House.

Dr. Sandy Markowitz is a mother of five and a teacher at Chapin Intermediate School. Decked out in Nikki Haley pins and stickers, Dr. Markowitz had no doubt Nikki Haley would be the next President of the United States.

“She’s gonna win! She’s gonna win! She’s gonna win over here!” Markowitz exclaimed.

Haley concluded her speech by urging everyone in attendance, no matter their political affiliation, to get out and vote in South Carolina’s primaries. “Don’t complain about what happens in the general election if you don’t participate in this primary.” Haley said.

The South Carolina Republican presidential primary is set for Saturday, Feb. 24.