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.

    You May Like

    US-Russia Tensions Complicate Syria War

    With a shared enemy and opposing allies, Russia and the US are working to avoid confrontation

    Video Re-opening Old Wounds in Beirut's Bullet-riddled Yellow House

    Built in neo-Ottoman style in 1920s, it is set to be re-opened in Sept. as ‘memory museum’ - bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity

    Cambodian-Americans Lobby for Human Rights Resolution

    Resolution condemns all forms of political violence in Cambodia, urges Cambodian government to end human rights violations, calls for respect of press freedom

    This forum has been closed.
    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.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territoryi
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Uncharted Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora