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. craigorie

    Haley doesn't know what she's talking about. We have to streamline the military, especially these days when so much is accomplished by drones.

    February 24, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  2. Andrew

    Too bad for Haley and her petty self interest. It's time, We simply can't afford the demands of her military industrial complex job programs for upper income republicans anymore. It's over. They've sapped the US Treasury long enough.

    February 24, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  3. allenwoll

    Fiscal Responsibility is for thee - but NOT for ME ! ! . Odd how quickly the concept becomes a stranger when it roosts close to one's home. . These GoPers are REALLY a riot : They have no shame at all ! !

    February 24, 2014 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  4. jim

    What cuts. Sequestration mandated the cuts. Hagels actually asking for more funding then sequestration provided.

    February 24, 2014 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  5. Fred Jones

    Just another whiny crybaby republican who refuses to make the filthy rich pay their fair share of taxes complaining when cuts have to be made somewhere. If it were up to me, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas would get no funding at all from the Pentagon.

    February 24, 2014 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  6. Budley

    Everyone whines and snivels about our debt and when they cut expenses its more whining and sniveling.We spend more on defense than the next 10 countries and we don't need it.
    Even if Iran gets a nuke what are they going to do with it?They are not stupid and know they would cease to exist the minute they used one.
    Follow the money. Thats what this is all about.

    February 24, 2014 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  7. Smeagel4T

    Governor Haley: Yet another fiscally irresponsible "spend spend spend" Republican.

    February 24, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. J Robinson

    The South's economy is dependent on military funding. Having perpetually ongoing conflicts throughout the world, troop deployments, drone jockeys, military training facilities and subcontractors all predominantly supported by Southern personnel means that it's a big hit if they cut the DoD budget. Highly trained specialists with, in many cases, non-transferable skills will become unemployed.

    February 24, 2014 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. futureman

    "Beware the Military Industrial complex"! Dwight D. Eisenhower. 5 Star General. Supreme Allied Commander WW2, Europe 1943 to 45. Two term President Of The United States of America. 1952 to 1960.. This was no guy who hated the Military.

    February 24, 2014 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  10. Jimh77

    You all do have to understand that technology is a dual blade sword. We no longer need as many boots on the ground or men in the air. The newer technology is taking over and this eliminates persons. I designed a machine to make it safe for the women that operated those machines. Several weeks later they were laid off. The machines replaced them. All I was trying to do was make their job safer, not replace them. I stopped making automated machines for the company. It was all for naught, The company was sold to Mexico several years later.
    So technology is really making these cuts. Which will put so many people in wa wa land when benefits dry up as well.
    We are becoming a 3rd world country. We will get America back. I think that day is getting closer every day with these stupid un Americans in Washington. They are the true traitors. I'll bet the graves of our forefathers are rolling around. Things are far deeper than just the military. The cuts are just a background cover.

    February 24, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  11. Keith

    cut the military by half, shut down all contractors and bring back the draft.

    February 24, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  12. Jim

    About damn time!! Should have been done 50 years ago. Now lets get our military out of everybody else's country! Use the billions and billions saved to provide health care, education and rebuild our crumbling cities and infrastructure.

    February 24, 2014 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. North

    "more important than ever for States to maintain a militia." From the heart of banjo country, such wisdom! No lets go find some intelligent life.

    February 24, 2014 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  14. William Miller

    I "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."
    Ah, so it was the tone that ticked her off. Not the fact that S.C. is highly dependent on military (read: Federal) spending, despite all the small government nonsense Republicans like her usually spout. I guess Republicans are only for small government and spending cuts when it doesn't affect their own particular political priorities.

    February 24, 2014 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. jeff

    These cuts don't go even close to what should be cut. We do not need to be the police for the world and we are a nation that is surrounded by two oceans, two friendly countries and have a populace that is armed. That means that we are the least likely country to ever be attacked, invaded and occupied. So then what is our military actually for since we've built it up way beyond defending our sovereign lands. What our military has become is a security force that benefits large multinational corporate interests but is paid for by us taxpayers. And every time we get into a conflict overseas, we skyrocket our debt and then the corporate interests blame the debt on programs that actually help the people of this country.

    February 24, 2014 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  16. Carl

    Cuts to the military? Its about damn time. Of course I think Kennedy wanted to do the same thing and look what happened.

    February 24, 2014 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  17. manu

    cut the military budget and feed more lazy bums! i would have liked if that would get me lower taxes ! but i live in quasi socialist authoritarian rule!

    February 24, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  18. Carl

    Laying of soldiers? Whatever . Laying off teachers now that will come back to haunt us.

    February 24, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  19. elvinmerij

    Nope. She's wrong. How does cutting back on unnecessary deployments represent a "slap in the face"? Does she think it's ok to continue to waste taxpayer money? Is not THAT a slap in the face? To taxpayers??

    Doesn't her husband pay taxes? As a returning vet, would he not rather see scarce and precious taxes spent on services to vets rather than on continuing to maintain a level of military readiness far beyond what is currently justified?

    Or maybe she believes in Palin's "bridge to nowhere" principles of Republican budget management. Yeah, that's it.

    February 24, 2014 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  20. April Moreno

    We do not need to "POLICE" the world, and we have in war for the past ten years. We need to mind our country. m

    February 24, 2014 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  21. TMZleasy

    I am an American Army veteran and it is time for people like Haley to shut up. They want to gut domestic programs, but toss money at a bloated military. We can afford responsible cuts to our defense. Since Chuck Hagel is a decorated Vietnam vet, I don't think Gov. Haley should be flapping her gums on something she doesn't understand. Maybe if we cut back on unneeded military we can afford to fix our roads and bridges and give food to children in need. Time to defend America.

    February 24, 2014 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  22. Brian from DC

    I love it! The Republicans keep saying that Government is too large and needs to shrink but when it comes to downsizing the incredibly bloated military they scream foul!

    February 24, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. Olaf Big

    Smaller, more effective and less expensive military- you bet it's a slap in the face of every politician who has military installations in their districts and need votes of people working there.

    February 24, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  24. Scott

    I'm waiting to hear from Republicans such as Nikki Haley that they are willing to raise taxes to pay for all the military spending they want. I don't see a need given the costs involved. Cutting military spending does not mean people hate the military.

    All the military threats to the US are overrated. It is suicidal to get into a military conflict with the American government, and that is even before we start accounting for all the military allies the US has.

    February 24, 2014 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  25. Steve Smith

    The right wingers make no sense. They want a big army but they just don't want to pay for it. The GOP may want to recall that a large part of the cause of the fall of the old Soviet Empire is that they could not afford the arms race with America. Now America can no longer afford more military then we need. If the GOP is serious, then raise taxes. You cannot both have a big army and lower taxes–you need to choose unless you live in fantasy land.

    February 24, 2014 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
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