April 5th, 2012
04:34 PM ET
2 years ago

Haley on Romney's 'golden bullet'

Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Thursday the leading Republican presidential candidate was carrying a "golden bullet" to connect with women voters.

Speaking on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," the Palmetto State Republican said Mitt Romney's wife Ann, along with the candidate himself, would need to answer women with concerns about his platform. Polls released in the past week show Romney trailing President Barack Obama by a large margin among female voters.

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"If Gov. Romney has not related to women, he needs to get out there and talk about the issues they care about," Haley said. "They care about jobs and the economy, and raising their families and all of those things. But they are obviously not relating to him as much as we want them to. That means he has to work harder, he needs to continue to do that, and he needs to bring that one golden bullet he's got, which is Ann Romney."

Haley said Ann Romney's history with battling illness helps her connect with voters.

"When they see how strong she is, the fact that she is an M.S. survivor, a cancer survivor, a great mom, a great wife, strong supporter, and hear her talk about him, I think he'll do a lot better," Haley said.

His wife aside, Mitt Romney will need to answer pressing questions from women on issues ranging from contraception to the economy.

"I think they need the ability to ask him those questions, and I think he needs to look them in the eye and give them the answers," Haley said. "Because that's what this is about. You don't go talk to people who you already have support. You talk to the people that still have questions. If women are questioning him, they have to ask him those questions."

In the CNN interview, Haley reiterated she wouldn't accept a spot on a GOP presidential ticket or as a cabinet official, a position she has staked out repeatedly in interviews this week. Haley said Thursday she wanted to "finish what she started" by serving her term as South Carolina governor.

Haley also detailed experiences, spelled out in her book "Can't Is Not an Option," about her childhood in a small South Carolina town.

"My father had a turban, my mother wore a sari. I was born in that town, and we lived in this small southern town, where they didn't understand us, and we didn't know how to fit in with them," Haley said, laying out how she was disqualified from a beauty pageant because judges didn't know whether to place her in the category for black girls or white girls.

Despite the challenges, Haley said in 2012 her small town in South Carolina had come a long way since her upbringing in the nineteen-seventies.

"What I hope people understand is that town took us in, allowed me to be part of girl scouts, supported my brother when he was deployed to Desert Storm. And that same town now has a sign that says 'Proud home of Nikki Haley,'" the governor said.

Also see:

Santorum enjoys three strikes

Romney makes general election pitch in Pennsylvania, but can't ignore Santorum

Santorum: Romney attacks to fall short in Pennsylvania

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Filed under: Nikki Haley • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. Sorensen

    Nikky Haley must have lost it completely. The GOP has finally managed to completely infuriate by far the largest
    majority of women in the USA. (Apart from the toothless bible-bangers in the south.)

    April 5, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. kristophercraig

    Translation: "Women don't evaluate candidates on their merits. They evaluate them based upon how likeable their wives are. Why? Because Superman flew around the Earth really fast and now we're back in the 1950s."

    April 5, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  3. SUBS 4 VOTES

    He supports Blount-Rubio#enough said. Shut your face Haley. All of you conservachicks have been speaking up for Willard because he can't speak for himself without sticking his golden foot in his mouth.

    April 5, 2012 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  4. S. B. Stein E.B. NJ

    It is nice to hear how Ann Romney survived cancer and is battleing MS. The problem is that she isn't the one running for office. Mitt Romney is running for office and doesn't understand the problems people go through. I don't think that Ann's situation is going to help Romney understand. How often does she has his attention and how often did she have it when he was governor.

    April 5, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  5. Data Driven

    Silver bullets for werewolves ... Golden bullets for women? Telling language.

    In any case, Ann Romney won't run the country if her husband is elected (right?) So I doubt that women will change their positions, unless Romney changes his. Believe it or not "Nikki Haley", most women vote for the candidate, not the candidate's spouse.

    April 5, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    I agree with Rudy. Gov. Haley can best help Mitt Romney by working the Board Room politics, avoiding prime time interviews. She isn't prime time ready, and I doubt she'll ever be. Not to THIS woman, anyway.

    April 5, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. grahame rhodes

    Oh by the way Knox is still guilty

    April 5, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. Myviewis

    @kristophercraig – You are absolutely right, we women have put ourselves back in the 1950's with begging our bosses and government to pay for our birth control or abortions, instead of becoming independent, self reliant, self respecting, strong, intelligent members of society we are out begging to be taken care of again just like in the 1950's. Men must really laugh at us that we burned our bras for nothing. And we expect Obama or Romney to take our issues seriously? We are but a joke.

    April 5, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    kristophercraig: PRICELESS! Thanks!!!

    April 5, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. ThinkAgain

    Mittens is a leader of a faith that believes that women are, at the end of the day, inferior to men.

    'Nuff said, case closed.

    April 5, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  11. thomas

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Thursday the leading Republican presidential candidate was carrying a "golden bullet" to connect with women voters.

    Is she referring to the deep intimacy she has for Money ?

    This lady acts like an Indian Princess from the days of the Raj . OUT OF TOUCH !

    April 5, 2012 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    The only thing I have in common with Ann Romney is that we both are blondes. Not quite the same "golden bullet" blonde of decades ago, but perhaps I misunderstood Haley's "golden" reference?

    April 5, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @Myviewis: "@kristophercraig – You are absolutely right, we women have put ourselves back in the 1950's with begging our bosses and government to pay for our birth control or abortions, instead of becoming independent, self reliant, self respecting, strong, intelligent members of society we are out begging to be taken care of again just like in the 1950's."

    Turn off Fox and think for yourself! Plenty of insurance policies already cover birth control because it makes medical and financial sense to do so (contraception is cheaper than pregnancy); abortions are often covered, at least under certain circumstances (endangerment to the life of the mother, etc.), in plenty of insurance policies, also. So there's no begging going on, just a call to include this coverage under Obamacare.

    BTW, what's your feeling about all these insurance policies covering viagra? How important is it to you to make sure overweight and/or old farts are able to get it up?

    April 5, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    I can see it now:

    "Hi. I'm Ann Romney, and I'm perfectly happy with my husband and the men in this country owning my hoohoo and deciding what's best for it. C'mon ladies...it's such a complicated and scary world outside of the kitchen...isn't it so much easier when we just let the men make all our decisions for us?"

    April 5, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  15. silvereagle

    Haley is a self-centered, self-righteous, pompous, incompetent and
    corrupt politician that has no concept of governing. Governing actually requires
    concession, consensus building and transformational leadership, apparently all
    lacking in Nikki Haley.
    Haley has emerged as quite possibly the most corrupt, immature
    and incompetent chief executive that the voters of South Carolina have ever
    installed as our governor. She is also a hypocritical
    obstructionist and is stopping this state from making any progress.

    April 5, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    With all due respect to Ann Romney and her health struggles, I can't help but wonder what kind of strain she's been under all these years to have never argued with her husband and what effect all that stress has had on her health.

    April 5, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  17. American

    Gov. Haley unfortunately appeared just as out-of-touch as Romney when she somehow claimed American women do not care about contraception. Not true.

    GOP politicians, including Romney, have waged an deserving war on women's health planning. We Americans DO care.

    President Obama 2012

    April 5, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    If Gov. Romney has not related to women, he needs to get out there and talk about the issues they care about,"
    -------------------------------------------------
    IF???! Where have you been Nikki? We can't stand him.
    Pointing out that he's only got ONE so-called golden bullet (that being his wife) is pretty pathethic. President Obama's got four: himself, Sasha, Malia, and our wonderful First Lady.
    Can't wait to put this whole sordid, and distasteful episode behind us in November with the re-election of our duly elected,hard-working, multi-tasking, mass- appealing, super warm and intelligent President.

    April 5, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  19. Hmmm

    I'm not concerned with his wife's health issues. Though, I'm sure she has some very touching stories none of that relates to how her husband wants to run things. I consider myself an independent, but when I see the Republicans chipping away at birth control, I turn away from them. Especially, when they make no mention of the penis pumps and Viagra-like medications covered by Medicare B and D. Very one-sided and hypocritical.

    April 5, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Name: DParke

    Rick do the noble thing here. It's time to get out of the way so we can get Obama out. Get over it, so we can get on w it!

    April 5, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "laying out how she was disqualified from a beauty pageant because judges didn't know whether to place her in the category for black girls or white girls."

    ? So she ended up a conservative a some sort of symptom of Stockholm Syndrome?

    April 5, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  22. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Did I forget to mention that our President is also easy on the eyes Nikk?. MIttens is going to have to completely reconstruct himself, his stances, his personality, his looks, his record, his jokes, his Party, his associates, his background.....well, you get the gist. He doesn't stand a chance in Mormon heck of getting in the WH. His wife seems to be a nice lady though.
    Obama 2012. Seriously America.

    April 5, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. Myviewis

    @ThinkAgain "So there's no begging going on, just a call to include this coverage under Obamacare"
    ----------------------------------------------------–

    Seriously, you call us women protesting, demanding our bosses and government pay for our birth control and abortions "just a call to include this coverage under Obamacare"? You realize we are saying bosses/government PAY? your argument talks about insurance policies already cover this but who is paying for it????? Us women or our bosses and government??? As for Viagra, men should pay for Viagra and Condoms and for their partners abortions.

    April 5, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  24. No Way I'll Vote for Romney

    Haley needs to spend more time in SC improving some of the state's third world conditions. SC, no health care, no indoor plumbing, no electricity in homes, dropouts, poverty, high unemployment when the economy is good.

    April 5, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  25. Four and The Door

    Hmmm
    ... I consider myself an independent, but when I see the Republicans chipping away at birth control, I turn away from them.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    But that wasn't even the issue. Except when the Democrats put their best Hollywood fiction writers on it and spun it that way. If you investigated the issue yourself, you would see it was again federal government reaching beyond it's constitutional powers with mandates for buying insurance coverage that goes against the beliefs of some employers. Obama's interpretation on where federal government powers lie are much different than our founding fathers. He prefers to rule as King, but fortunately America was founded on a clear Constitution written by brilliant men.

    April 5, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
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