News / USA

    US Republican Governor's Comments Incite Firestorm — Within Her Party

    FILE - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley delivers her State of the State address to the joint session of the legislature, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., Jan. 21, 2015.
    FILE - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley delivers her State of the State address to the joint session of the legislature, at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C., Jan. 21, 2015.
    Ken Bredemeier

    South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley this week called for more civility in the conduct of her party's raucous Republican presidential nomination contest, but her plea so far has only served to inflame tensions among the party's warring factions.

    Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, was selected by leading Republican lawmakers in Washington to deliver the party's rebuttal to Democratic President Barack Obama's seventh and final State of the Union address Tuesday.

    In part, Obama chided — although not by name — the leading Republican presidential contender, billionaire real estate tycoon Donald Trump, for his calls to keep Muslims from entering the country and to deport 11 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S.

    Giving the political opposition speech to a U.S. president's highly publicized State of the Union address is usually a thankless task and quickly forgotten. But the 43-year-old Haley echoed Obama's sentiments about Trump's campaign, which has drawn much of its support from his flamboyant anti-immigrant, anti-Washington rhetoric and pointed taunts at his Republican opponents, most of whom are current or former governors and senators.

    Watch some of Gov. Haley's comments following the State of the Union:

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley Delivers GOP Response to State of the Unioni
    January 13, 2016 5:29 AM
    Here are some highlights from the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address

    Haley, a two-term governor in her mid-Atlantic coastal state, called for a more inclusive Republican party, saying it "must resist the temptation" to "follow the siren call of the angriest voices."

    She said the United States ought to welcome "properly vetted legal immigrants regardless of their race or religion."

    House Speaker Paul Ryan, the Republican leader of the House of Representatives, joined in selecting Haley for the rebuttal speech and approved her speech in advance. He said "the vision she outlined for our country was important, it was grounded in reality."

    GOP divide

    But staunch conservatives often at odds with the party's Washington establishment figures quickly denounced Haley's comments, saying they were out of touch with the prevailing sentiments of Republican voters, that the country's foreign policy is weak and the national economy is not advancing fast enough to help middle-class workers.

    Outspoken commentator Ann Coulter tweeted, "Trump should deport Nikki Haley." National radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh accused Haley of trying to "drive conservatives out of the party."

    Trump said Haley was "very weak" on illegal immigration and hypocritical, noting that in the past she has asked him for major campaign contributions.

    Both Republicans and Democrats are set to pick their presidential nominees in July, leading up to November's national election to pick Obama's successor when he leaves office in a year. Obama is winding up eight years in the White House, with the U.S. Constitution limiting the country's presidents to two terms in office.

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    Comment Sorting
    by: Richard
    January 18, 2016 9:06 PM
    Governor Haley is likewise fearful that our foreign and national defense policies are weak under this administration. I don't recall her stating otherwise. As far as Republican, Governor Haley is pro-business, a fiscal conservative and a strong advocate of the Constitution, including the 2nd Amendment. Why is she, of all people, under attack from fellow conservatives. Perhaps Ann Coulter should worry more about RINO Chris Christie. He is everything that conservative Republicans are not. Maybe there is something more about Nikki Haley that Coulter, Limbaugh, and Trump have a problem with. Perhaps it is her parents's cultural heritege, or her difficult and diplomatic decision to move the Confederate flag from the State House grounds to the Confederate Museum. As a Virginia born Southerner, armed forces and Iraq War veteran, retired law enforcement officer and administrator, and citizen of South Carolina for four decades, I saw nothing wrong, and everything right with Governor Haley's statements. Too bad she is not running for president.

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 15, 2016 10:20 AM
    The people of America ARE angry, very angry. Donald Trump shares their anger and has the independence to get to the root cause of it. Meanwhile the other politicians of both parties want to carry on business as usual. Wealthy people, banks, large corporations buying our government to promote its agenda, not that of ordinary Americans. And now the cost is so high for them, tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, their homes, their businesses, their life savings, and are at risk of losing their sovereignty.

    That's the difference between America and other places. Americans are right to be angry which is why they support Trump. They will express their anger at the voting booths in the primaries and the election. It's time for a new broom to sweep clean and that means throwing out the political class that has sold America out. Right now the greatest threat to America is its own politicians. We need to be rid of them.

    by: chris from: myan
    January 15, 2016 8:17 AM
    Now there is chaos made by muslims People who have their purposes are trying to destroy America to take over. Americans should stand for their constitution beliefs and remind these aliens that they not only came to enjoy America's fruits but to upho
    ld America's beliefs and not the shariah's laws or etc.
    In Response

    by: Marcus Aurelius II from: NJ USA
    January 15, 2016 10:49 AM
    Islam is not just a religion, taken literally it is a political cause that wants to take over the world and rule it under Sharia law. That law is not only inflexible, it is the exact opposite of everything America is about. Moslems should be given a choice, give up any notions of Sharia law and the contemptible cultural crimes they bring with them like FGM, honor killings, and arranged marriages or don't be in America.

    Those Moslems who want to destroy America's society and replace it with a caliphate are clever, devious, and utterly ruthless. They are now telling their followers to shave their beards and wear a cross to help them get by our security. What sane person would ignore such a threat to our very way of life?

    by: Sons of Liberty from: America
    January 14, 2016 8:23 PM
    Ms. Haley has done some good things but it seems like the Republican "establishment" just used the State of the Union speech as an opportunity to attack the outsider, Donald Trump. They still don't get it.

    by: Carmen Campbell
    January 14, 2016 8:16 PM
    Who got to you Nikki? What were you promised that became more important than loyalty to your Conservative base. We are ashamed to have voted for you!

    by: Esther katz
    January 14, 2016 8:14 PM
    We were such big fans and supporters of Nikki. We considered her a breath of fresh air in a stagnant GOP that had become jaded, devoid of Conservative principles, and had sold out to the big donors. With her shockingly inappropriate, false, and politically harmful attack on her own party she has betrayed us and shown het true colors as just one more sell - out establishment GOP candidate.

    by: Michael from: USA
    January 14, 2016 5:17 PM
    A fantasy bubble out of touch of reality called GOP containing smaller fantasy bubbles trying to pop each other.

    by: Steve Gillis
    January 14, 2016 3:41 PM
    Gov. Haley pretty much said that because I'm conservative, I don't belong in the Republican party. Remember that when you ask me for more money.

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