Gov. Haley: Cuts to National Guard a 'slap in the face'
February 24th, 2014
04:40 PM ET
9 months ago

Gov. Haley: Cuts to National Guard a 'slap in the face'

Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, whose husband is in the National Guard and recently returned from a one-year deployment to Afghanistan, blasted the Obama administration's decision to make cuts to the reserve military force.

"It really is a slap in the face to anyone who has served over this past decade multiple times and left their life to do this," the Republican governor said Monday. "We have active duty, but the active duty hasn't felt the pain that the National Guard has felt, and this is not how you show your thanks."

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel unveiled the department's spending plan for 2015 and beyond, which reduces the size of the Army to its pre-World War II size. All military forces, both active and reserve, would be cut under the budget plan.

Haley was making her remarks at a press conference by the Republican Governors Association following a bipartisan meeting of governors at the White House.

She said the White House meeting largely had a respectful tone until the discussion turned toward military cuts at the end.

"It automatically went into an aggressive nature by (President Obama), implying that 'many of you have asked for cuts, this is what you said you wanted...now you're going to get it, you're going to have to live with it,' Completely different change in tone," said Haley, who's up for re-election this year.

"It chilled the room quite a bit," she added.

Under the proposed budget, Hagel said the military would become a smaller, more tactical force capable of fighting on one war front and maintaining effective defenses for a second while shifting to more specialized capabilities. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey also endorsed the plan.

White House press secretary Jay Carney defended the proposal Monday, saying "for the first time the Defense Department's submission will now, specifically, show what DoD must do if Congress cannot reach additional compromise on deficit spending and sequestration level cuts."

CNN's Tom Cohen, Halimah Abdullah and Jennifer Liberto contributed to this report.


Filed under: Chuck Hagel • Military • Nikki Haley
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. Josh

    For her to say “We have active duty, but the active duty hasn't felt the pain that the National Guard has felt, and this is not how you show your thanks." is a slap in the face of anyone who is and has serve active duty, myself included. The active side has been taking cuts for years now compared to the measly scraps you take away from the reserve. To be honest it’s about time they share the cuts. As our active side grows smaller we have to sustain the same mission requirements as if we had the same size force we had pre cuts. It’s hard on everyone and she needs to realize it as well.

    February 25, 2014 04:17 am at 4:17 am |
  2. oh

    lol, the GOP hates spending unless its on the military industrial complex....and its not Obama's idea....can't have it both ways boys and girls...and you can pout in your room....the grownups will handle it from here on out....

    February 25, 2014 04:48 am at 4:48 am |
  3. scott

    i am a leftist....and i love the military...heck i served 7yrs in the army from 1998 to 2005 and i volunteered a 2nd time by going airborne,,,the fact is the military got bloated after 9/11. i am sorry govenor haley but u are going to have to deal, like the rest of us with a reduced military and spending.....gov haley, i thought the republican party was the party of smaller government.. oh thats right, smaller government when it comes to rich white straight guys....if it comes to minorities, women, gays, big government is ok...gimme a break...hey gov haley, maybe u should talk to your buddy rand paul, who said in 2012 that the DoD budget has grown 137% since 2001 and that just is not sustainable or your other buddy grover norquist who says he wants to make government so small he can strangle it in the bathtub

    February 25, 2014 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  4. Savik

    Obama is cutting the military but buying armored vehicles, weapons for Department of Homeland Security.

    February 25, 2014 05:26 am at 5:26 am |
  5. FloydZepp

    I find it hilarious how the Republicans that screamed for 4 years for budget cuts are now the ones weeping in shock, 'No WAIT! We didn't mean cut US! Cut someone else! I shouldn't have to suffer or sacrifice! Only other people should!"

    February 25, 2014 05:39 am at 5:39 am |
  6. FloydZepp

    This is what Republcians screeched for – cuts. Now live with them.

    February 25, 2014 05:40 am at 5:40 am |
  7. josh

    Yes because there is NO way that anyone in our government could be corrupt and use the system to subvert the rights in this nation. Get a clue. Domestic tyranny is not some make believe boogeyman it is an ever present threat that must be guarded against. Quit underminding the cause of freedom.

    February 25, 2014 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  8. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    HILARIOUS watching Guns Over People tea potty wingnuts lie as they walk the plank toward another November.

    February 25, 2014 06:00 am at 6:00 am |
  9. The don

    Dang....good thing the pres does not cut welfare! Imagine the majority of recipients who do not contribute to society (like service to country) receiving cuts in handouts. Makes sense to me!

    February 25, 2014 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  10. MrRickinNH

    Finally some common sense out of the DOD... that our military spending doesn't need to be 10 times the next guy... and the GOP (the cut spending party) starts crying... go figure!

    February 25, 2014 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  11. Reflecto

    We have about ten times he number of Generals and Admirals that we need. Start cutting at the top of the rank structure, it brings greater savings quicker. Then move on to the Pentagon itself. Let's see the Secretary cut his ridiculously bloated OSD staff by 30% before he starts cutting forces that actually matter to the defense of the US.

    February 25, 2014 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  12. Dave - Phx

    We don't need as many people in the military anymore due to the fact that the Tea Party has been kind enough to organize thousands of militias here in the states. Let them play soldier in future wars.

    February 25, 2014 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  13. JNG

    Active Duty didn't feel any pain, Ms Barber? How wrong you are. And they are continuing to do so, and will continue to do so, with good people being forced out by these drastic cuts, gutting and demoralizing the military.

    February 25, 2014 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  14. stormchaser101

    Repubs and tea baggers have been screaming cut cut cut for five years.you got what you wanted now live with it! Can't have it both ways.

    February 25, 2014 07:19 am at 7:19 am |
  15. David Hoffman

    Interesting move by the President. The Army National Guard(ANG) and Army Reserve are somewhat of a mess as far as missons go. Why are tracked armor units assigned to the Army National Guard? What state govenor needs to control M-1 tanks? Howitzers? This arraignment was done mainly to because of the Vietnam conflict. The idea was to tie up major battle resources in the ANG to reduce the ability of the President to engage in significant conflicts wwithout the explicit approval of the US Congress or the individual states. But what do state governors really need? They need civil affairs, medical, transport, helicopters, infantry, communications, and civil engineering. The Army Reserve should have control over the tanks and artillery.

    There has been for years refusal to correctlthis situation because it surprisingly involves two different pay systems, promotion systems, and retirement systems. Yes, you have at least three different pay, benefit, prmotion, and retirement systems in the US Army. The realignment of the AR and ANG would result in the loss of several higher ranking positions in the ANG or the AR.

    The US Navy has mostly a USN Reserve component to draw from with very little US Navy National Guard, Thus it was not targeted.

    The Air Force ANG may be next. How many state governors really need control of F-15s and F-16s? C-130s maybe.

    February 25, 2014 07:44 am at 7:44 am |
  16. Thomas

    Everyone wants cuts to government spending....unless it impacts them or a program they support. Its always the "other" programs that really need to be cut.

    February 25, 2014 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
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