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

    Obama and the leftist Democrats HATE the military and show it every chance they get. Making cuts while Iran develops nukes tells then that Obama is the paper tiger eveybody knows he is.

    February 24, 2014 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. John in Brooklyn

    So, according to Ms. Haley, the primary way that we show patriotism and support for our troops is to build up a massive military budget? Wow! Why exactly did those men and women serve, fight, and die? Peace, Ms. Haley, PEACE!

    February 24, 2014 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Ah yes, let the warmongering armchair generals squeeeeeeeeel like the little piggies they are.....clearly, the Joint Chiefs Chairman, the best minds in the military etc. all know nothing about this unless the answer they come up with is what the GOP/Teatrolls want to hear: "we need more guns and bomb, more planes and tanks and yes, we'll use defense spending to help buoy your failing red state economies so you can pretend your plutocratic economic policies aren't actually a giant failure. How would you like all that tax money from the blue states? Check or cash?"

    February 24, 2014 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    A Slap In the Face was when Rumsfeld/Cheney screwed up the Iraq War AND the Afghanistan War & yanked National Guardsmen out of their Domestic Support Roles & threw them into meat grinder of IEDs w/out proper equipment & training. They were trying to prove that US Military could be streamlined & subcontracted out to Brown & Root.

    February 24, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    ""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,'"

    Good for the president for exposing the hypocrisy the phony right wing "cut spending" talking point.

    " show what DoD must do if Congress cannot reach additional compromise on deficit spending and sequestration level cuts." This is why the GOP position of do-nothing-to-hurt-Obama program hurts everyone. It is why we got the sequestration.

    February 24, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. rs

    Well, Gov. Haley, the reality is we no longer need soldiers in place for wars that have ended or are ending. Do you propose to make such positions permanent regardless of whether our nation is at war or not? If so to what end? I'll remind you that the U.S. military budget is the biggest in the world, and easily bigger than the next 10 nations combined. It approaches 50% of the budget total in the U.S.. Being a good TEA Party radical that you are, who should pay for that and why? Really? Just so you and your husband can draw a salary? That chilling effect you felt is the impact of your misguided policies lived out on the national stage.

    February 24, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  7. jinx9to88

    "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." Sorry Haley in order to get the deficit down EVERYONE must feel the cuts not just the people at the bottom. I know you and your GOP clowns would like the poor to only feel the cuts but to bad. Suck it up!!

    February 24, 2014 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  8. Pk duster

    If you cut any benifits fr6 any military person no body will join from a vietnan veteran

    February 24, 2014 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  9. smith

    Haley is right. It`s disgraceful that military personnel who wish to continue to serve will be forced out. I have no problem with cutting hardware but personnel is wrong. The Obama admin. has been doing this since 2009.

    February 24, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. Len

    Let us not forget under sequestration, which the GOP was for, included across the board cuts including military. GOP has cut Food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid benefits, and education funding so please get over the military cuts. We spend more money than any nation on the military ( and that is with the cuts). So please stop the bashing of
    President Obama. He wanted to revise the tax code. He wanted to end or cut back on Big Oil tax subsides and other tax subsides for the top 1% but the GOP said NO. So folks it is across the board!!!! That is what happens when you voted these folks into office in 2010!!!! Better vote in 2014 or it will get worse.
    GOP and Tea Party folks are a bunch .........

    February 24, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    Aren't the teaklans all about smaller more efficient less spending government?
    Oh right, it's just okay when it's cut to the middle class, seniors, veterans, the poor.

    February 24, 2014 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    These proposed cuts are a direct result of the repubs' two unfunded wars (waged by a bunch of chicken hawks who ignored the generals' calls for an initial force of 400,000 troops and who told us not only would we be greeted as liberators and would last about 6 weeks to 6 months, but that the Iraqi oil would pay for it) and unfunded Medicare Part D.

    Don't even get me started on the Bush tax cuts – during wartime which had NEVER been done before in our nation's history (newsflash: If you're spending money to wage war, the last thing you should do is reduce the revenue source).

    And before you say Dems voted for the Bush tax cuts, let's all remember this FACT: Those tax cuts were passed by reconciliation. (Which, BTW, is good enough for tax cuts for the rich, but is the mark of a dictator when the Dems used it to pass Obamacare).

    So, Ms. Haley, you don't like these cuts to the military? You and your tax cut and spend cohorts should have thought of that! But then again, that assumes you folks know how to think (let alone know what the heck you are doing).

    February 24, 2014 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    Republicans do realize we need to address the huge debt that unfunded wars, unfunded drug programs, tax cuts for the wealthy, TARP, and government shutdowns cost? We have an obligation to our veterans, and we need to streamline our military.

    February 24, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    " Making cuts while Iran develops nukes tells then that Obama is the paper tiger eveybody knows he is."

    Right, because Iran is shaking in its boots that we're going to attempt a ground war. Take your meds, dear.

    February 24, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Sniffit

    "(newsflash: If you're spending money to wage war, the last thing you should do is reduce the revenue source). "

    Unless part of the goal is to run up giant deficits and debt in order to use them as a bludgeon to demand plutocratic austerity measures and cuts to programs that the middle-class relies upon.

    February 24, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, yes, Nikki. We ARE winding down from two (ten plus years) of war. Generally troop wind downs follow when wars end.

    No doubt there will be other wars; other troops. Lets give it a few years break first ... yes?

    February 24, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. American Worker

    It is now more important than ever for States to maintain a militia.
    To protect from foreign threats and a domestic tyranny.

    February 24, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    @ Dominican mama: "Lynda Minnesota re: getting some work done from the GOPers,from your mouth to God's ears, but NOT before 2014."

    No. Not when Cantor set the working calendar for 113 days House of Representatives total in-session days.

    February 24, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. don in albuquerque

    American Worker

    "domestic tyranny??" You just lost your whole argument and became another screaming meme. And tom I, I would really go easy on calling others liars. Really the pot calling the kettle......

    February 24, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  20. Lynda/Minnesota

    Donna
    Obama and the leftist Democrats HATE the military
    -----------–

    No, Donna. No hate for the military on my end.

    February 24, 2014 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  21. Rick McDaniel

    Obama sacrifices our military capability to continue his wasteful spending on global warming......all of which has been entirely unproductive.

    February 24, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  22. Rob

    Why is the right narrative always focused on the deficit and the national debt if they don't want to cut the most obvious moneypit in the budget?

    February 24, 2014 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. Len

    Folks....TARP was signed in 2008 under the Bush Administration. Gets your facts straight. President Obama did bail out the car industry and if he did not the recession would have gone into a depression. He saved hundreds of thousand of jobs. Another fact that you really did not tell the truth......8 million jobs were lost in 2008 before President Obama took office. He took office in January of 2009! Need to read up on your facts instead of watching ... and listening to ....!!!!

    February 24, 2014 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. Len

    TO Donna,

    Obama does not hate the military. He ended the war in Iraq and is ending the war in Afg.!!!!

    Looks like he wants to save lives....

    February 24, 2014 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  25. Me

    He wanted to revise the tax code. He wanted to end or cut back on Big Oil tax subsides and other tax subsides for the top 1% but the GOP said NO. So folks it is across the board!!!! That is what happens when you voted these folks into office in 2010!!!! Better vote in 2014 or it will get worse.
    GOP and Tea Party folks are a bunch .........
    ____________________
    He wanted to end this, he wanted to end that, BS, if he really wanted to, HE WOULD HAVE!!!! He has been in office for 5+ years now, time to do something if that really what he wants!

    February 24, 2014 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
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