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

    I don't no if you realize this but army's are land based. the next war we're planning for is in the oceans and the coasts of a few islands.....

    February 24, 2014 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  2. Willy

    Gov Haley PLEASE!!!!!
    If you are in such denial that the Military is hugely bloated then you should do something else other than govern. And in response to the person that is concerned about Iran. How could we possibly need more weapons than we already have? Do you think that we could attack Iran own? Get a grip. Remember Eisenhower warned of the military complex after WW1 A 5 Starr General, a republican and a President. Do you think he might have known something you don't? Think about the F-35 every time your taxes go up. Major over the top and out of control overages in that program. Remember what brought the Soviet union down. Military spending and corruption. Look in the mirror and know that an economy that bases a very large of its GTP on building weapons is a false economy.

    February 24, 2014 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  3. byegod

    We spend more on military than China, Russia and all of Europe combined! 2 billion per day! Tell me there's not much waste going on! The CEO of Lockheed takes home $72000 per day!

    February 24, 2014 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Willy

    Wouldn't it be better to have great schools and teachers, an excellent infrastructure and manufacturing creating jobs for something else than military equipment? Good roads and bridges rather than the crumbling ones we have currently. How about a better rail system that would equal those of other countries. We should have the best of those things rather than a new airplane that will be outdated by the time that it is fully operable. Our Trillion dollar plus new bad boy weapons system we don't need. Missile's and drones are the future. We do not need to be the policemen and military for the whole world.

    February 24, 2014 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  5. Gurgyl

    How about Medicare expansion cuts. Idiot needs to shut up.

    February 24, 2014 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  6. RWB1956

    Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. Correction!

    February 24, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. penguin

    We do not need large numbers of personnel. Our wars are now primarily fought with tecnology. Boots on the ground are only needed if we invade another country. And it would be extremely idiotic to invade another country

    February 24, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  8. 4usan

    As the rest of the world builds up their military the idiot in the White House is reducing our military to before WW2 levels.has no problem wasting funds on vacations a slew of czars and lucrative contrats for his supporters. People get informed.

    February 24, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom

    NO........ its not a slap in the face! What IS a slap in the face Gov. Haley is your refusals to provide your state with access to the ACA!

    February 24, 2014 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. alex

    What's the first thing a republican says when we cut government spending?

    "Well, I didn't want you to cut that!"

    February 24, 2014 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  11. NC

    Gov. Haley are you saying you would rather have your husband deployed than at home?

    February 24, 2014 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  12. Rich

    @smith You wrote: 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.

    So the government has to support jobs that aren't needed simply because military personnel wish to continue to serve? I thought the military wasn't a jobs program.

    February 24, 2014 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  13. Kelcy

    Oh give me a break. The republican governors didn't campaign against the Sequester cuts except to say they shouldn't cut the DOD. Everything else could be cut though. That is not negotiating to a middle ground. And the DOD is all of it..... not just the active duty side. I have zero sympathy for any of these folks (and this comes as a retiree....and in a community that will also get slammed).

    February 24, 2014 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  14. fedup

    Damn it people! Why the hech should we be paying war budgets when the wars are basicly done! Not to mention in this age of technology that has streamlined every other industry, why shouldn't our nations largest cost also be streamline? Not to mention the fact that we are living on debt partially due to military expense, is actually making us more vulnerable itself!!!!

    February 24, 2014 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  15. S. B. Stein

    I think the bigger slap in the face is when there aren't enough mental health counselors to get those that were wounded in our service get back to normal. It was the fact that George W. Bush and his hawks that had us go into Iraq when it really wasn't necessary.

    February 24, 2014 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  16. Louie

    Republicans hate handouts. Unless it's for big oil, or the deep pocketed defense contractors that are paid for by our tax dollars.

    February 24, 2014 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  17. Saboth

    Weird, Republicans are always crying for spending cuts, and military expenditures is one of our biggest expenses. It's not WWII anymore, and a massive military is not as necessary as it once was. Our country has massive debt incurred from our last 2 wars, the war on drugs, war on terror and umpteen other "wars" as we continue to try and police the entire planet. I don't know about you, but I'd rather see my tax dollars going towards healthcare, education and infrastructure than liberating 3rd world dictatorships that are of no threat to us directly. I'm sure it makes the defense contractors really upset they won't be able to charge $500 for toilet seats and ream taxpayers. We don't fight wars like we used to, and it's not necessary for a huge military. Of course, chicken hawk Republicans would just love to stir more more unnecessary wars in places like Iran, to drum up some terrorist recruitment, since things have died down.

    February 24, 2014 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  18. jg

    Simple, you want a big military??? Vote the taxes to support it.

    You don't want taxes??? You don't want a military. Shut up and deal with the consequences of your rhetoric.

    February 24, 2014 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  19. Dateless Nerd

    The United States' military budget is roughly equal to the rest of the world – combined. America's military is a crutch for foreign governments too cheap to pay for their own defense, and it's a colossal welfare program for the stockholders of defense contractors. Enough! Eisenhower was absolutely right when he warned us about the "military-industrial complex." America is far more likely to implode due to our insane level of military spending than it is from an invading foreign army.

    February 24, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  20. NODAT1

    What the H is she screaming about, Sure the military may cut out some of the dead weight but her husband like many other members of the National Guard or Reserve forces will remain in the military, just not active service they will continual to serve in what is nicknamed the weekend warrior and go back to their civilian, jobs something they have been wishing for. Active duty members will for the most part be allowed to serve to their retirement date.

    February 24, 2014 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  21. Fort Lauderdale

    It is typical Republican hypocrisy. All they care about is protecting their investment portfolios by feeding companies taxpayer money to build weapons that are no longer relevant in today's world.

    February 24, 2014 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. Luis

    Why do the US needs soldiers all over the world? Why this makes you feel safe?

    February 24, 2014 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. vidal808

    President Obama was right! You want cuts, you get your cuts! Just as simple as that. He is so fed-up with the Republicans that he finally is using his pen and phone to make decisions! Congratulations Mr. President, go ahead, make my day......

    February 24, 2014 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  24. Steve

    I do not "hate" the military by any means, but I acknowledge realistically that the Pentagon's budget needs some drastic paring. No nation on earth spends as much on its military as our country does, and we need to stop trying to be the world's policeman. I say, let some other countries carry more of the load, for a change. And no more "nation building" which should not be the military's job at all.

    February 24, 2014 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  25. AceGirlshusband

    Of course, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs endorses it. He likes his job and wants to keep it. This will be the biggest mistake this administration has ever made, and we will reap it in spades sooner than later.

    February 24, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
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