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(WASHINGTON) — During a South Carolina speech Tuesday where former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley vowed to stay in the 2024 Republican primary race, she grew emotional speaking about her husband — recently the subject of jabs from former President Donald Trump — who is deployed to Africa with the South Carolina Army National Guard.

At times holding back tears, Haley reflected on her husband, Maj. Michael Haley, and his second deployment. Haley said he left to keep not only his family safe, but also the country.

“The kids and I know Michael … stepped up to defend our nation’s freedom and our way of life,” Haley said at the event in Greenville, South Carolina.

“They have made their stand because America is worth fighting and even dying for,” Haley said. “Now, I will continue to make my stand because America is worth living for.”

Haley told the audience that as she prepares for what could come in the future, her husband remains on her mind.

“As I prepare for what lies ahead, Michael is at the forefront of my mind,” Haley said. “I wish Michael was here today, and I wish our children and I could see him tonight, but we can’t. He’s serving on the other side of the world where conflict is the norm, where terrorists hide among the innocent.”

Haley’s husband, who was deployed last year to Africa, was recently mocked by Trump, who implied during a campaign event in Conway, South Carolina, that he’s in Africa to get away from his marriage.

After initially questioning why Haley’s husband was not on the campaign trail, Trump took to social media last week to say that he should return from his deployment to “come back home to help save her [Haley’s] dying campaign.”

Haley blasted Trump for the comments, saying that anyone who disrespects military families can’t be president.

“Michael is deployed serving our country, something you know nothing about,” Haley wrote on X. “Someone who continually disrespects the sacrifices of military families has no business being commander in chief.”

Michael Haley also responded to the insult made by the former president. In a post on X, he tagged the former president as well as multiple news outlets and shared a meme: a portrait of a wolf with bold white text overlaid that read, “The difference between humans and animals? Animals would never allow the dumbest ones to lead the pack.”

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