Haley's got a line for many 2012 candidates
May 15th, 2011
12:14 PM ET
4 years ago

Haley's got a line for many 2012 candidates

(CNN) - Gov. Nikki Haley, the top Republican in the early presidential contest state of South Carolina, readily revealed her thoughts about the 2012 GOP presidential field, calling the coverage that paints Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ wife as a reluctant spouse “ridiculous.”

“I think it's ridiculous. I think it’s a terrible distraction to a campaign,” Haley said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “He was an amazing reformer in his state. He brought great issues. He showed great courage at times that he needed to. Those are the issues we need to talk about.”

While Daniels weighs a potential bid for the White House, Cheri Daniels appears reluctant to want their life open to the scrutiny that accompanies a presidential campaign.

“I think to go into a candidate’s personal life and to try and attack them and distract the country, people are smarter than that,” Haley said.

But her praise was more tepid for GOP presidential nominee Newt Gingrich. Haley, who has met with potential candidates during swings through her state, said the former House Speaker has always been an ideas man and voters want to hear about “the issues of the day.”

“What we are already starting to see is he’s coming out and showing how his ideas today match the feelings of what we’re dealing with today,” 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.”

The first-term governor issued a mixed review to all-but-declared presidential candidate Mitt Romney who this week gave a speech defending the health care reform law passed while he was governor of Massachusetts. There are parallels, including the individual mandate that requires people to have health insurance, between the Massachusetts plan and national health care reform passed last year.

Although Haley said he “absolutely could be a nominee,” the health care issue isn’t going away politically.

“I think that he will have to continue to deal with that issue,” Haley said. “But 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 was elected in 2010 with the early backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – herself a possible 2012 candidate - who she credited with energizing people around the country about politics. For that she said, “There will always be a place for her. But now it’s time to talk about policy.”

“I think if she chooses to get in, she’ll understand that the policy issues of today are relevant and important right now too,” Haley said.

But there was no sugar coating her disdain for a profanity-laced speech given by real estate mogul Donald Trump, who is also considering a presidential run, in Las Vegas.

“That is not appropriate in South Carolina,” Haley said of the conservative state. “We will give all of our candidates respect, and we certainly expect our candidates to come in and give the people of South Carolina respect.”


Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Nikki Haley • Sarah Palin
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ms. Haley doesn't understand voters have a right to talk about any candidate and his family, it's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THIS COUNTRY.

    May 15, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    Health care issue isn't going away? Neither is the opinion most of us have of republicans, foreigner. You old white fat men of SC need to put that foreign woman in her place.

    May 15, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. lynn

    If Daniels is such a great Indiana Gov. why has he ignored it's northern counties. They are bleak with no jobs and little hope for a bright future.

    May 15, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Tim

    South Carolina....too small to be a country, too big to be an insane asylum (except for those wonderful folks down in Charleston, where as island of sanity resides within).

    “I think to go into a candidate’s personal life and to try and attack them and distract the country, people are smarter than that,” Haley said.
    Give me a break!!!! Politicians do this all the time! Are you from another planet? Oh that's right...South Carolina.

    May 15, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Thank-you, CNN.

    This "critiicize the president, but offer no concrete ideas" position was continued by the Governer Haley of South Carolina who appeared on ABC this morning. She was asked what advice whould she offer to Republican candidates coming to her state, and replied that she would tell them to stop criticizing the President on policy and start offering concrete solutions. Sounds good. When prompted for a closing remark, she stated more advice for Republican candidates; that they should continuing talking about policy differences with the Democrats and how the current agenda will not work. A direct contradiction to her previous statement. In other words, her closing remarks were straight of the page of playbook for this week/month.

    I should note that there is a little talke about feature of the Ryan plan that makes it unsatisfactory. Ryan's budget claims to add revenue, which would decrease the size of the deficit (which he will not balance for 40 years, BTW) Ryan projects that more revenue will come from more jobs. He projects the unemployment rate to drop to under 3%. I do not find that credible. I am sorry, I just cannot accept that forecast when he cannot say where the jobs will come from; certainly not manufacturing.

    May 15, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Proud member of "Global Zero"

    I don't really care about Mitch Daniels personal life!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was Bush's budget director!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is what I care about!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 15, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. thomas

    Haley sounds more like Newt's perspective 4th wife !
    “What we are already starting to see is Newt showing us how his ideas today match the feelings of what we’re dealing with today,” Haley said.

    May 15, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC

    " .... But now it’s time to talk about policy.”
    ---------------------
    That statement was in her closing remarks, which was a complete flip-flop from her opening remarks where she said candidates need to come to SC and discuss solutions not policies.

    May 15, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Palin Power

    Sarah Palin will be our next President and she will usher in an eternal line of conservative white women presidents and VPs. Men, minorities and liberals will never lead this great nation again and reside in the White House.

    May 15, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  10. rusty155

    Saran Palin Is a IDIOT ,and If you don't see that than I feel sorry for the People Of south Carolina. What need to be done Is both party have to Compromise with each other one side can't draw a line In the sand and say this way or no way. And I do think the Taxes should be rise , They were put in place so the Rich and Big business would have more money to hirer more people , In other word they were to be more JOBS. It been Six YEARS now and all I can see Is the RICH AND BIG BUSINESS are just getting RICHER. So they need to go. You Republican are going to find out In 2012 that you are NOT DOING WHAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANTED. DID"T ANY OF YOU LISTEN AT THESE TOWN HALL MEETING YOU REPUBLICAN JUST HAD. YOU ARE NOT DOING WHAT THE PEOPLE TOLD YOU THEY WANTED DONE, BUT YOU WITH COME 2012.

    May 15, 2011 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. EddyL

    Ya one of his GREAT REFORMS was a 25% reduction in property taxes for the wealthy! Houses valued at over 600K got the reduction.

    May 15, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    Can anyone name just one original thought that Gov. Haley has expressed in front of cameras that was not mantra? I've been looking for stuff to see where she stands. All that I can find says that see walks the walk, and talks the talk. Makes me wonder who is really calling the shots when it comes to Republican policies when they all say the same thing?

    May 15, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    I have been talking about how much Haley contradicts herself. Re-read the article
    --------------------
    “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.”

    “I think to go into a candidate’s personal life and to try and attack them and distract the country, people are smarter than that,” Haley said.

    May 15, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. Nathan

    Come now my fellow Dems, let the Republican cheerfully sulute the idiots they want to run. After all, it will make our job of re-electing President Obama so much easier.

    May 15, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Juan

    Nikki Haley is making me ashamed to live South Carolina. And people are already making fun of South Carolina.

    May 15, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. T'sah from Virginia

    Well, I guess we know who Haley will be endorsing – if Daniels run!!!

    May 15, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  17. BeverlyNC

    Haley is as bad a Governor as is Mitch Daniels who likewise stole education funding from the children of his state to give to big corporations thereby making his state deficit larger, has passed extremist laws taking away the rights of women, the right of citizens to vote (voter suppression and birther laws) and has worked the Republican agenda to kill unions and falsely blame teachers, police, and firemen for the state's deficit problem – when Daniels as Governor is the real problem.

    Daniels is another anti-PEOPLE Republican who is not a leader, can't be trusted, and is just a corporate lackey. NO CHARACTER and NO CREDIBILITY. Their next Governor will be working to repeal all the horrid People-destroying laws he has passed for the benefit of corporations.

    May 15, 2011 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  18. vic , nashville ,tn

    Republicans in pathetic situation begging candidates to run at the same time front runners are withdrawing

    Advice to Gov. Nikki Haley about Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ wife watch today’s “Reliable Sources”

    May 15, 2011 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. C. Howe Yulikit

    When Nikki Haley becomes the voice of reason, you know the GOP is in trouble. And Palin Power, can I have some of what you're smoking?

    May 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  20. OneMoreTime

    Faux News Sunday went into Mitch Daniels' private life big time today. It seems Mrs. Daniels left her husband and
    children, married another man, then three years later, divorced him and went back to Mr. Daniels. Do I care? No.
    What I do care about is the two-faced rhetoric coming out of all Teacan's mouths. They say "don't delve into
    other's personal lives", wink wink, unless, of course they are Democrats. These Faux people also said Daniels
    "blew the budget". Back biting at it's best.

    May 15, 2011 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Larry L

    Interesting she seems to have more concern for Trump's profanity than Newt's long list of slimy activities. Oh I forgot – Newt found Jesus and should now be judged on what he says rather than his long history of dishonesty. Republicans are "flexible" when it comes to morality issues of their politicians – but so strict regarding the morals of others... The GOP Circus Train continues to roll along toward crazy-land.

    May 15, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. kyle

    It's called having the integrity to hold the highest office in the world.

    May 15, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. LLOYD ROBERTS

    Who the heck is this rediculous South Carolina carpetbagger to give us any opinion. You come from a state that has produced some of the most hypocritical and mean spirited politicians this country has ever seen. Read up on American history and feel the longing for freedom and disdain for organized religion, (not God), that these great founders had and maybe in a few generations you can speak with authority. Your limited knowledge and insular attitude keeps you from any understanding of American libertarian values

    May 15, 2011 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Marry

    @ Palin Power – Sarah, is that you twitting???
    @ Rudy NYC Thank you, good thoughtful comments. (Many good comments!)
    I like that. It does beat: “Obama lies!” I have never seen a comment that would explain what they meant…at least, one should be able to explain… Thank you all!
    Ms. Haley sure shows why Ms Palin supported her: Both are not to bright!

    May 15, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  25. AntNC

    Um Gov Haley but its ok for Republicans to bring up misleading information about First Lady Obama, he Clintons, Edwards family, and should go on. Hypocritcals measures and reasons why I will never vote for the Republican party!!!!! Case and point......

    May 15, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
1 2