Entries in Nikki Haley (16)


Newt Gingrich to Stay Over at SC Governor’s Mansion

Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- First it was Michele Bachmann. Now it's Newt Gingrich: the former House Speaker will be the latest presidential candidate to stay the night at the South Carolina governor’s mansion while he campaigns in the Palmetto State next week.  Newt and wife Callista will spend the night at Gov. Nikki Haley’s mansion on Oct. 4.

Bachmann has stayed at the governor’s mansion twice this year.

Haley’s endorsement will be critical to winning the South Carolina primary, but the South Carolina governor has already voiced opposition to the former Speaker.  Haley scolded Gingrich in May when he labeled Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “right wing social engineering” and "radical change" -- comments he later walked back, in the face of criticism from others in the GOP.

“What he said was absolutely unfortunate,” Haley said in May. "Here you’ve got Representative Ryan trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity, and Newt absolutely cut him off at the knees."

“When you have a conservative fighting for real change, the last thing we need is a presidential candidate cutting him off at the knees,” Haley said.

While in South Carolina, the Gingriches will attend a town hall, fundraisers and two screenings of their documentary, A City Upon A Hill.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nikki Haley: Health Care Will Remain Issue For Romney

Chris Keane/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley said GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney "will have to continue to deal with" fallout over his Massachusetts health care reform bill, and that it will remain a challenge for his primary prospects.
"I will tell you we do not want a Massachusetts health care plan in South Carolina," Haley said in an exclusive interview with ABC News This Week anchor Christiane Amanpour.

Last Thursday, former Massachusetts Governor Romney gave an address in Michigan attempting to distinguish the 2006 Massachusetts health care reform law that he signed into law from President Obama's plan passed into law last year. Romney has come under fire from conservatives, who say his health care plan closely resembles Obama's reform efforts.

"I think that we are looking for a leader that's willing to, one, make courageous stands, take strong policy decisions, but two, also admit when a mistake was made," Haley said. "Every candidate's going to have their challenge, I certainly think that's going to be his challenge," Haley added.
Haley also weighed in on other potential candidates for the GOP nomination, some of whom kicked off the campaign season in a presidential debate in Greenville, S.C. on May 5.

"I think that the people of South Carolina and across this country are really going to push these candidates in a way that we've never pushed them before," Haley said. "I think that Newt Gingrich has dealt with a lot of issues in the past, and I think now he's going to have to show that he's got those ideas to deal with the future."
Indiana governor Mitch Daniels is still mulling a 2012 run, and this week drew coverage in major newspapers over his wife's apparent reluctance to have their personal lives scrutinized on a national stage.

"I think it's a terrible distraction to a campaign," Haley said. "I think what you need to be looking at and what I'm certainly looking at is what type of governor he was.”
Haley added that she found real estate tycoon Donald Trump's profanity-ridden speech in Las Vegas last month would not hold up in her home state.

Haley wasn't certain whether former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who supported Haley in 2010, would enter the 2012 presidential race, but praised her for "getting people to know the power of their voice."

"I think that she woke up a lot of people in our country that just really thought that government was a waste of time and she got them to care again," Haley said.

Copyright 2011 ABC New Radio


Arizona Governor on Shutdown: 'Government Is a Necessary Evil'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Facing an oncoming federal budget crisis, Republican governors Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Jan Brewer of Arizona both said a government shutdown would not be productive for the country.

"I think government is a necessary evil," Brewer said.  "But it's necessary to provide services, and they should be able to come to some solution.  We need to trim the budget and move on."

"We appreciate our public employees but our job as governor is to look after our taxpayers," Haley added.

Along with Brewer and Haley, two other governors -- Democrats Deval Patrick of Massachusetts and John Hickenlooper of Colorado -- joined in a round-table discussion with ABC News to discuss the possible government shutdown.

A longtime friend and supporter of President Obama, Patrick said the fiscal crisis was a "real opportunity" to learn how Americans want the government to function.

"All of us are dealing with these kinds of challenges, and trying to get our budget gaps closed," Patrick said.  "There's another way, it's about turning towards each other instead of against each other."

Haley, at 39 years old the youngest governor ever elected, praised the GOP's proposed plan for $50 million in spending cuts, but said she felt it was Obama's responsibility to listen to Republican legislators instead of forcing Republicans to listen to his plan.

"[The Republicans] are just doing what the people are asking of them," she said.

The effort to slash the federal budget could cause difficulties for Brewer and Arizona, because one of the proposed cuts would mean 685 fewer border patrol agents.  The Republican governor acknowledged that fewer border patrol agents could be a problem for all the states that share a border with Mexico.

"I believe we need as much resources as necessary to get our borders secured," Brewer said.  "I hope that will be reinstated.  We all know that Arizona is the gateway for illegal immigration, and the drug smuggling and the drug cartel. ...We're going to continue fighting the battle on our border."

Patrick repeatedly touted how Massachusetts was able to "close huge budget gaps" successfully, including in education spending, and Hickenlooper defended his proposed $300 million in spending cuts for Colorado.

"We have to balance the budget and get back on the fiscal track," Hickenlooper said.  "For one year, we're going to have to retrench with less money."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hot on Google: South Carolina Governor-Elect Nikki Haley

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley won more than the top political job in her state this year -- she ascended to the heights of search engine stardom.

Haley was the fastest-rising political figure in Google’s search results, according to year-end statistics compiled by the company. That means that Haley, who will be the first woman governor of the Palmetto State, was among the politicians whose names spiked the most on the site from last year to this year. 

Rounding out the top five fastest-rising politicians on Google were failed GOP California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., Senator-elect Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Senator-elect Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

The data come from Google’s “Zeitgeist 2010” report, which includes information on what terms Internet users in the United States and around the world were searching for the most over the last year.

Haley’s search traffic shot up during the spring and early summer -- around the same time a conservative blogger accused her of having an extramarital affair. Haley denied the allegations and went on to win the GOP primary in June and this November's general election. It was a feat that earned Haley a place among the rising start of the Republican Party.

Another emerging Republican mover and shaker, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, was the sixth fastest-rising political figure on Google, followed by Nelson Mandela, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., former presidential candidate John Edwards, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


ABC News: Tea Party, Palin-Backed Nikki Haley Wins S.C. Gov. Race

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Tea Party favorite Nikki Haley rode the conservative wave to the governor's office in South Carolina, as ABC News projects she will defeat Democrat state Sen. Vincent Sheheen.

Haley, a former state representative, not only gives the Tea Party movement its first governor -- she also will become the first female governor of South Carolina. In the first open gubernatorial election in South Carolina since 1994, Haley was a Tea Party favorite and dubbed one of Sarah Palin's "mama grizzles." Born Nimrata Randhawa in Bamberg, S.C., to parents who emigrated from India, Haley had been fighting an uphill battle with Sheheen for weeks.

Preliminary exit poll results found that 54 percent of South Carolina voters said the Tea Party movement was not a factor in their vote Tuesday, but 40 percent said they supported the Tea Party, 33 percent opposed it and 25 percent were neutral.

Nearly half of South Carolina voters surveyed, 49 percent, identified themselves as conservatives -- the largest share in governor or Senate elections in the state in data since 1996.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Sparks Fly in S.C. Gubernatorial Debate

Photo Courtesy - Sheehen for Governor | Getty Images(SPARTANBURG, S.C.) -- In their first televised debate, South Carolina gubernatorial candidates Nikki Haley and Vincent Sheheen battled Tuesday over who would restore integrity to state government and revive a lagging economy after eight years of the scandal-plagued Gov. Mark Sanford administration.

Sheheen, a Democratic state senator, repeatedly cast his opponent as a would-be extension of the Sanford regime, saying this election is about “electing a governor we can trust.”

“If you look at what’s happened when these folks have been running our state…you can’t be anything but embarrassed," he said.  Sanford has faced multiple ethics violations; a state treasurer was recently jailed for drug dealing; and, the agriculture secretary was convicted of bribery.

But Haley, a three-term Republican state representative with ties to Sanford, persistently steered her message towards the economy and growth of small businesses, saying that while Sheheen is “talking about the negative…I have spent all of my time talking about things that are going to create jobs.”

Haley, who would be South Carolina’s first woman and Indian-American governor, has held a steady lead in most polls since the June 8 primary, but the race has tightened in recent weeks.

A Winthrop University poll released Oct. 10 shows Haley with a nine point advantage with 46 percent support to Sheheen’s 37 percent.  Thirteen percent of voters polled remain undecided.

Sparks flew between Haley and Sheheen in exchanges over their personal and legislative records and during questioning about how each has made money while a state employee.

Haley aggressively accused Sheheen, a trial lawyer, of profiting from state taxpayers by voting to regulate the state’s so-called payday lending industry while simultaneously being part of a law firm that made money from suing them. 

“Senator I don’t think you should have your hands in both pots of money,” she said.  “You do represent the state and you do sue agencies that the taxpayers pay.”

Sheheen later hit Haley for not disclosing all of her income sources or tax returns and for the controversy surrounding her departure from her most recent job as a hospital fundraiser. 

During an exchange over a legislative measure to cut state lawmakers’ pay, Haley defended her opposition to the cut saying, “I didn’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars suing the state. You’re doing political silliness, senator.”

Haley has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the state's conservative base, which helped propel her to victory in the primary over three early front-runners.  Additionally, she has the valuable endorsements of tea party groups, South Carolina's former first lady Jenny Sanford, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

It's unclear whether Palin, who is credited with helping to elevate Haley's campaign, will return to the state to help in the final stretch.

Meanwhile, Sheheen -- a conservative Democrat -- has convinced some members of the business community and Republicans to be relatively content with him, state political observers say.

Both camps say the final three weeks will be an intense battle for independent and undecided voters -- and getting them to turn out.

"It's still an uphill battle for Vince Sheheen in a Republican dominated state in a Republican dominated election," said Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon.  "Sheheen really has to continue to make people uncomfortable with Nikki Haley but that negative campaigning can depress turnout which would hurt him too."

The candidates have two more debates before Election Day, Oct. 25 and 26.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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