Television’s Judge Judy Sheindlin delivered her verdict Sunday on White House hopeful Nikki Haley ahead of New Hampshire’s make-or-break US Republican primary vote — calling her “the real deal.”
But she is 15 points behind in polling, with less than two days to go until the Granite State votes, and so sprinkled some star power on the campaign as she rallied in former state capital Exeter.
“It’s time for Nikki Haley. This is her moment. She’s a star… I do know people and this woman is the real deal,” the 81-year-old Sheindlin told a crowd of Haley supporters.
The straight-shooting New York judge-turned-TV-adjudicator said she had been “pretty apolitical” for most of her life but concern for the future prompted her to contact Haley.
“I saw how poised, graceful, knowledgeable, centered, intelligent she was. I saw how she commanded her space,” Sheindlin said.
“And when she indicated her desire to run for president of the United States and I saw the field, I said, ‘I want to get to know this lady.'”
Trump has led state and nationwide opinion polls by some distance since the Republican nomination campaign begun, and most pundits see it as a matter of time before he is nominated.
But he faces several criminal trials over a variety of alleged wrongdoing, and Haley has sought to capitalize on what she has described as the “chaos” surrounding his campaign.
As Sheindlin spoke, a member of the audience shouted, “Send Trump to prison,” earning a tepid reaction from the rest of the crowd.
“I’m not here necessarily to bash the competition, although I’m perfectly capable of doing that,” Emmy Award-winning Sheindlin responded, without mentioning Trump by name.
“Suffice it to say that when you teach a child not to put their hand over a flame, you do that because you know they’re going to get burned. Well, we’ve gotten burned.”
Sheindlin is known for her no-nonsense manner and insistence that people in her courtroom take responsibility for their actions.
The family court judge’s rise to stardom as the host of “Judge Judy” began in 1996 and it became US television’s most-watched courtroom series as it ran for 25 seasons, finally coming to an end in 2021.