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Entries in Nikki Haley (16)

Tuesday
Dec182012

SC Governor Names Tim Scott to Replace Jim DeMint in Senate

Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Rep. Tim Scott will be the first African American senator from the South since Reconstruction, following South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's announcement on Monday.

Haley named Scott, a Tea Party Republican congressman from the state, to replace Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., in a press conference just after noon on Monday.  Scott will also be the only black in the Senate.

Tea Party leader DeMint is stepping down to head the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

"He earned this seat for what I know he's going to do in making South Carolina and making our country proud," Gov. Haley said of Scott's appointment.

South Carolina Republicans predicted Scott would get the seat since DeMint announced his resignation less than two weeks ago.

DeMint called Scott "a great choice for South Carolina and the nation," in a statement released Monday.  Tea Party group FreedomWorks also had praise for Gov. Haley's decision.

"We are confident that Tim Scott will be a leading voice to advance the principles of individual freedom and limited-government, and he will be an excellent addition to a growing caucus of fiscal conservatives in the Senate," FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe said on Monday.

In accepting Haley's nomination, Scott reflected on his childhood growing up in a single-parent household with a "mom who believed that sometimes love has to come at the end of a switch."

"And she loved me a lot," Scott laughed.

He said at this time, the nation is faced with some tough decisions and "needs some backbone."

"I look forward to pressing the flesh on economic development issues, having the opportunity to work on making sure that our economy in this state continues to hum like an engine and get on the team with Nikki Haley to make sure that all of America continues to hear the great things about South Carolina," Scott said.

Scott was the first black Republican in Congress since 2003 when he was first elected in November 2010 and the first black Republican from the South since 1901.

Scott will be the fifth black Senator since Reconstruction when he takes his seat.  The four others include Sen. Edward Brooke, R-Mass., who served from 1967 to 1979 and is the only other black Republican to join the Senate since Reconstruction; Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-Ill., who served as the first black woman Senator from 1993-1999; then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who was the first black male Democrat to join the Senate and served from 2005 until his resignation in 2008; and Sen. Roland Burris, D-Ill., appointed to President Obama's seat in 2009.

Monday's announcement makes him the first African American Southerner to take a seat in the Senate after the post-Civil War Reconstruction era.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec172012

SC Governor Nikki Haley to Name Jim DeMint Replacement in Senate

Renee Ittner-McManus(WASHINGTON) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley will name a new member of the Senate Monday afternoon, according to her spokesman, Rob Godfrey.

".@NikkiHaley will announce an appointment to fill the vacancy created by @JimDeMint's retirement during 12 PM Statehouse newser. TODAY.," Godfrey tweeted on Monday.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., is stepping down to head conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.

When reached by phone, Rep. Tim Scott had no comment about reports he would be selected.  

South Carolina Republicans have speculated the Tea Party congressman would get the seat since DeMint announced his resignation less than two weeks ago.

If selected, Scott would be the fifth black Senator since Reconstruction.

Rumors suggested comedian and South Carolina native Stephen Colbert might be chasing the Senate seat, but Haley ruled out that possibility in a Facebook post 10 days ago.

"You forget one thing, my friend.  You didn't know our state drink," Haley wrote, linking to a clip of her appearance on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, in which Colbert forgot the state drink was milk. "Big, big mistake."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec072012

Nikki Haley Shoots Down Stephen Colbert for Senate

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley may have brought Stephen Colbert’s Senate candidacy to a halt with the click of a button.

Rumors that the comedian was seeking the Senate spot left open by Sen. Jim DeMint’s departure circulated Thursday, after a Twitter account with the handle @ColbertforSC cropped up. Within a day, the account had more than 3,000 followers.

Just after noon on Friday, Gov. Haley made a post on Facebook that left little hope for Colbert.

“Stephen, thank you for your interest in South Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat and for the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me. But you forget one thing, my friend. You didn’t know our state drink. Big, big mistake,” Haley wrote, linking to a clip of her appearance on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” in which Colbert forgot the state drink was milk.

Many in the Twitterverse were excited about a possible Senator Colbert. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean even tweeted his endorsement.

But the authenticity of the Colbert account was questionable. The Twitter bio linked to a site that said it was not affiliated with Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert. And Colbert’s spokespeople never outright owned up to creating it.

“Now folks, I’m not going to sit here and say, I should be South Carolina’s next senator,” Colbert told his audience on “The Colbert Report” Thursday night. “Not when so many other people are saying it for me.”

Colbert encouraged viewers to tweet the South Carolina governor reasons she should appoint him to the U.S. Senate. Many did just that, even after the governor posted her Facebook denial.

“Hey @nikkihaley to be fair milk is super boring -- moonshine would probably be more apropos for S Carolina,” @JasonKerepesi tweeted Friday afternoon. “Appoint Stephen!!”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May232012

Nikki Haley Capitalizes from Piñata Smashing

Chris Keane/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republicans are trying to capitalize off a recent video featuring a South Carolina AFL-CIO leader bashing a piñata bearing the face of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Haley sent out a donation request via Twitter, calling on people to stand with her against what she calls “bullying” from union leaders.

“Stand with me and help fight back now against the bullying of Liberal unions. Donate here,” Haley tweeted along with a link to a fundraising page featuring the video.

And the Republican Governors Association released a one minute video called “Does President Obama Condone This?” linking Obama to the incident.  The video features a clip of President Obama from March when he condemned the controversial comments Rush Limbaugh made about Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student and contraception activist, inter-spliced with footage of the piñata smashing incident.

“I thought about Malia and Sasha and one of the things I want them to do as they get older is to engage in issues they care about…and I don’t want them attacked,” the clip shows President Obama saying, followed by video of Donna Dewitt, the outgoing S.C.  AFL-CIO president, wailing away at the piñata as someone shouts, “Wait till her face comes around and whack her.”

“Or called horrible names because they’re being good citizens,” the clip of Obama continues. “Being a part of a democracy involves argument and disagreements and debate and we want you to be engaged and there’s a way to do it that doesn’t involve you being demeaned and insulted.”

The video ends with the phrase “Does President Obama condone this kind of behavior from union bosses?” emblazoned across the screen as Dewitt continues to pound the Haley piñata.

Dewitt told ABC News Tuesday that there was “no ill intent” behind the incident.

“We’ve been the brunt of her comments now for two years and that’s what the whole thing was.  She’s been whacking at us over the last two years,” Dewitt, who has been president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO for the past 16 years and will retire at the end of June, continued. “Anyone that knows me knows there was no ill intent at all.  Our folks don’t go to speeches with guns and things like that.  We have very loving people in our unions who will take up money for people or a vet.  We just heard these comments by the governor for over the two years.  They were using a memoir of the last two years I’ve lived under her leadership.”

“Kids use piñatas all the time,” she added.

The piñata bashing incident occurred on Saturday during a state AFL-CIO staff retreat in Columbia, S.C.  The video was posted on Sunday but circulated widely on Tuesday.

An AFL-CIO official denounced the actions in the video Tuesday.

“By now many of you have seen the video of the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO. While it was meant as fun, there is absolutely no place for that kind of joke in a conversation that is extremely serious about how to rebuild our middle class and our country. There’s plenty to talk about in Gov. Haley’s awful record. We do not believe that’s an appropriate joke — working people deserve a better conversation,” Alison Omens, director of media outreach at AFL-CIO, said in an e-mail.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May222012

South Carolina AFL-CIO Leader Bashes Nikki Haley Pinata

Chris Keane/Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- A video has surfaced showing Donna Dewitt, the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO, bashing a piñata of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s face while Dewitt and her colleagues were at a retreat in Columbia, S.C. Saturday afternoon.

“Well I will say, she looks like a tough old girl here,” Dewitt says as she gears up to swing at the piñata.

She repeatedly hits the piñata, which bears the phrase “Unions are not needed, wanted or welcome in South Carolina” below Haley’s face.  In her State of the State address this year, Haley said, “We’ll make the unions understand full well that they are not needed, not wanted and not welcome in the state of South Carolina.” Dewitt whacks the piñata down and continues to wail away at it once it’s fallen. Onlookers cheer her on, urging her to continue hitting the piñata.

“Give her another whack. Whack her again,” a woman screams.

“Hit her again,” another man says.

Dewitt told ABC News she has no regrets about the incident and said there was “no ill intent” in what she was doing.  Dewitt said her colleagues brought the piñata and were using it as a “memoir” of Haley’s words and actions towards unions in her time as governor.

“They made it and I would have played the game with them no matter it would have been pin the tail on the donkey with Nikki Haley’s face on it.  I still would have played,” Dewitt told ABC News over the phone.  "There was no ill intent....I’m not mad or angry.”

“We’ve been the brunt of her comments now for two years and that’s what the whole thing was.  She’s been whacking at us over the last two years,” Dewitt, who has been president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO for the past 16 years and will retire at the end of June, continued. “Anyone that knows me knows there was no ill intent at all.  Our folks don’t go to speeches with guns and things like that.  We have very loving people in our unions who will take up money for people or a vet.  We just heard these comments by the governor for over the two years.  They were using a memoir of the last two years I’ve lived under her leadership.”

“Kids use piñatas all the time,” she added.

Nikki Haley even reacted to the video, tweeting the link and this message: “Wow. I wonder if the unions think this kind of thing will make people take them seriously. Check this out.”

“There is no place for that in civil public discourse, and that video no more represents the people of South Carolina than union bosses represent our workers,” Rob Godfrey, spokesman for Haley, said in an email.

Rick Wiley, political director for the RNC, reacted to the video by tweeting back to Haley as he called the group “a pathetic bunch.”

Alison Omens, director of media outreach at AFL-CIO, emailed this comment on Dewitt’s actions: "By now many of you have seen the video of the outgoing president of the South Carolina AFL-CIO. While it was meant as fun, there is absolutely no place for that kind of joke in a conversation that is extremely serious about how to rebuild our middle class and our country. There’s plenty to talk about in Gov. Haley’s awful record. We do not believe that’s an appropriate joke -- working people deserve a better conversation.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr202012

Nikki Haley in "Vogue": I’m a Governor, Not a Vice President

Office of the Governor(WASHINGTON) -- Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina posed for Vogue’s latest issue in what could be read as a profile-boosting bid as Mitt Romney chooses a running mate. Or maybe the Tea Party favorite simply couldn’t resist the treatment that had famously been given to political women before her, including Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin.

As a supporter of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, Haley has campaigned for Romney and is seen by the establishment GOP as a surrogate who can whip conservative voters who might have been skeptical of the front-runner during the primary.

That role and the fact she’s a woman have led to speculation that Romney might want her on the ticket with him.

“People ask the question, ‘If you’re offered VP, would you take it?’” Haley told the magazine. “No, I won’t take it. I’m not going to leave the people that just gave me this chance.”

Despite her answer, the political class in Haley’s state seems to think she has bigger ambitions. Vogue reports that a South Carolina legislator who grew angry in a meeting with Haley asked her whether she would still be in her job long enough to see her agenda enacted, implying that she had her eyes on the vice presidency.

Haley, according to the magazine, told the lawmaker “that she is in South Carolina to stay.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr022012

Nikki Haley Says She'd Turn Down Vice Presidential Nod

Office of the Governor South Carolina(WASHINGTON) -- There is a wooden sign posted on South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's statehouse office door: "Can't is not an option."

Haley has broken many barriers in the state. She is not only its first non-white governor, but also its first female and, elected at 38, its youngest. She touts the phrase as a defining idea for her administration. It is even the title of her new book.

At an interview at the governor's mansion in Columbia, S.C., Haley told ABC’s Nightline the sign has been there since day one of her administration.

"I want everyone who comes in -- staff, legislators, constituents -- to know from the outset that's how things work here," she said.

It can make her a tough boss at times she admits, but, she says, an effective one.

Watch the full interview with Gov. Nikki Haley on Nightline, Tuesday, April 3 at 11:35 p.m. ET/PT.

A Tea Party favorite endorsed by Sarah Palin during her gubernatorial race in 2010, Haley's endorsement in the Republican primary was a highly coveted one. The South Carolina governor came out early for Mitt Romney, criss-crossing the state with him in the weeks before the state's January primary.

Despite her stalwart campaigning on his behalf, Haley claims she has no interest in being his running mate. If offered the vice presidential slot, Haley said she would not take it.

"I'd say, 'Thank you, but no,'" she said. "I made a promise to the people of this state. And I think that promise matters. And I intend to keep it."

But the governor fell short of delivering a South Carolina win to Romney. Instead the GOP presidential candidate suffered a substantial defeat in the Palmetto state, falling 13 percentage points behind Newt Gingrich.

Haley brushed off Romney's loss.

"South Carolinians are strong, independently-minded people," Haley said. "At the end of the day, they make their own decisions. And I respect them for that. And I welcome that. And I told him that from the very beginning."

Haley said she "can sleep at night" after his loss, because she still thinks Romney is "the one" who will get the nomination and is best positioned to beat President Obama.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar302012

No IRS Investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Renee Ittner-McManus Office of the Governor(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- ABC News has learned that the Internal Revenue Service never conducted an investigation into South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s involvement in a Sikh temple’s finances. Nanette Downing, Director of EO Examinations, stated in the letter, “…we did not conduct an examination for the above period (tax year ended 2009)."

Eric Hill, a program manager at the IRS, said in a separate letter to Haley’s chief of staff Tim Pearson that “we determined an examination was not warranted at that time.”

Earlier this week, Logan Smith wrote for a little-known website, The Palmetto Public Record, that Haley, a Republican, faced a federal investigation of her finances and those of the Sikh Religious Society, with which her family has been associated:

“There has been a great deal of chatter lately regarding a federal investigation of the Sikh worship center run by Gov. Nikki Haley’s father, Dr. Ajit Randhawa. Speculation on the probe’s target has run anywhere from delinquent taxes to money laundering and tax fraud, with varying accounts of the governor’s own involvement in the temple’s shady finances.”

In an exclusive interview in Columbia, S.C. Friday afternoon, Haley adamantly denied the allegations.

“I was never an accountant for the temple,” Haley said. "I have nothing to do with the temple. My dad and the Indian community started the temple, not him. There is no truth. I never did a deposit. I never wrote a check. I never touched the books. I never had anything to do with it."

“The IRS letter they got -- from what I understand is a standard, just checking the tax-exempt status,” said Haley. “There is nothing, nothing, you can call any federal department of justice, everybody said there is nothing there. There is nothing there. What is sad in our country, what’s really sad in politics, is that a blogger can throw something out with no proof, no truth, no accuracy, total lies and that the media picks it up. It’s a very, very sad thing. There’s multiple stories of that in the book. But there’s multiple stories that continue to happen. And I will tell you every time this happens, I will call them out on it. How sad is that? That someone can go and make up everything you just said and absolutely none of it, none of it be true. It’s a terrible thing.”

Asked again whether there was any truth to the allegations, Haley shot back, “No, none!  Absolute lies. I have never received any sort of letter, there is no investigation, there is nothing going on, it can all be verified by any agency you talk to. Absolutely not. What I can verify is these are the things I and Sarah Palin talked about -- it will never stop. It will never stop. Because the more I do, the more attacks there will be. I’m okay with that because all it does is keep me kicking. ”

Governor Haley is no stranger to controversy.  In her race for governor in 2009, she battled against two claims that she had been unfaithful to her husband. Those allegations were also never proven to be true.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec162011

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley Endorses Mitt Romney

Chris Keane/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney has picked up some valuable support in South Carolina, in the form of an endorsement from the state's governor.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley announced on Friday that she is throwing her support behind the former Massachusetts governor. Haley made the announcement while appearing on the Fox and Friends television program.

Romney is scheduled to be campaigning in South Carolina on Friday and Saturday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Oct252011

Rick Perry to Meet with Sen. DeMint, Gov. Haley in South Carolina

Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make his economic pitch in the Palmetto State Tuesday morning, but he’s also squeezing in some time to meet with some of South Carolina’s heavy hitters -- Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Jim DeMint -- Perry’s spokesman tells ABC News.

Perry will meet with DeMint at his Greenville office after his economic speech. In the afternoon, Perry will meet with Haley at the statehouse after he holds a press conference with state legislators.

This will be Perry’s first meeting with DeMint. Perry was slated to attend the Palmetto Freedom Forum, which was planned by DeMint, over Labor Day weekend, but Perry scrapped those plans to return to Texas to deal with wildfires that were sweeping across the state.

A DeMint aide said the Senator will meet with Herman Cain next week.

Haley and Perry’s relationship dates back to their days in the Republican Governors Association. On the day of Perry’s announcement, Haley had kind words for him, calling the Texas governor a “superstar” with “brilliant” timing, but she left an endorsement open.

“All of the candidates are paying attention to South Carolina,” Haley said in August.  “It’s anybody’s game in South Carolina right now.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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