Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley urged a crowd of Tea Party activists to hold Republican presidential candidates accountable for their tough rhetoric as they campaign through the early primary state.
"We don't want to hear what President Obama is doing wrong," Haley said of the 2012 candidates. "We want to hear what they are going to do right and how it's going to affect our wallets every day."
Haley was speaking at a day-long Tea Party rally organized down the street from the site of the first Republican presidential debate, sponsored by the South Carolina GOP and Fox News.
Standing before a backdrop of Ron Paul flags and Campaign for Liberty banners, Haley prodded the crowd to "ask the tough questions" of the presidential candidates and "get loud about it."
After her speech, Haley was mobbed by a pack of national and local reporters.
"We are smart in South Carolina," Haley said. "That's what we love to talk about is policy. That's what we're inviting the candidates to do."
Several leading candidates in the GOP presidential field, however, are skipping Thursday's debate, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Haley refused to criticize them, but said they should make appearances soon or risk damaging their chances in the state.
"The candidates that are here have said that they understand that South Carolina is important," Haley said.
The rest of the Republican candidates, she said, "have some time to make up, they've got some extra work that they've got to do."
"It's go time," she added.