Haley to GOP field: 'It's go time'
May 5th, 2011
05:37 PM ET
10 years ago

Haley to GOP field: 'It's go time'

Greenville, South Carolina (CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley urged a crowd of Tea Party activists to hold Republican presidential candidates accountable for their tough rhetoric as they campaign through the early primary state.

"We don't want to hear what President Obama is doing wrong," Haley said of the 2012 candidates. "We want to hear what they are going to do right and how it's going to affect our wallets every day."

Haley was speaking at a day-long Tea Party rally organized down the street from the site of the first Republican presidential debate, sponsored by the South Carolina GOP and Fox News.

Standing before a backdrop of Ron Paul flags and Campaign for Liberty banners, Haley prodded the crowd to "ask the tough questions" of the presidential candidates and "get loud about it."

After her speech, Haley was mobbed by a pack of national and local reporters.

"We are smart in South Carolina," Haley said. "That's what we love to talk about is policy. That's what we're inviting the candidates to do."

Several leading candidates in the GOP presidential field, however, are skipping Thursday's debate, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Haley refused to criticize them, but said they should make appearances soon or risk damaging their chances in the state.

"The candidates that are here have said that they understand that South Carolina is important," Haley said.

The rest of the Republican candidates, she said, "have some time to make up, they've got some extra work that they've got to do."

"It's go time," she added.

Filed under: 2012 • Nikki Haley • Republicans
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. kayla

    all for nought.

    May 5, 2011 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  2. Roscoe

    Do they need passports or birth certificates to enter South Carolina? Or more importantly, can you get out of South Carolina without one?

    May 5, 2011 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  3. LovesIrony

    "We don't want to hear what President Obama is doing wrong," Haley said of the 2012 candidates. "We want to hear what they are going to do right and how it's going to affect our wallets every day."

    Good luck with that

    May 5, 2011 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  4. Clwyd

    Yes governor! It is time for all of them to go. Right to a very hot place!

    May 5, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Don't they say something similar to "It's Go Time!" on the Cartoon Network?

    May 5, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  6. pmk1953

    And SC is important because of 3 electoral votes? They haven't been relevant since the Confederacy. Oops! I forgot, they're still fighting that war.

    May 5, 2011 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  7. Thank God I am a Democrat

    Um Nikki, if you want to focus on what they are going to do right then you are helping Obama win. I am ok with that but it seems like a failed strategy for your side.

    May 5, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  8. clarke

    I have to agree with her statement. I don't want to hear who done what wrong, I want to hear what you are do to do to fix it, I don't want to hear this is what I will do for you, I want to you to tell me how you will do it and how much, how long. No more empty promises from you people. Put your money where your mouth is, I want details.

    May 5, 2011 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. kyle

    If they are waiting to hear what they are doing right, it's going to be a short conversation.

    May 5, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  10. Patrick from Minnesota

    Bye bye Republicans...

    May 5, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  11. here we go again

    "We are smart in South Carolina," Haley said. "That's what we love to talk about is policy

    S.C ranked in the top 5 states every year for the worst reading and writing scores in the country. Well besides that as independent republicans is a complete turn-off, too many personalities.

    May 5, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  12. PacificView

    Since gaining control of the House it is clear that all the Republicans care about is restricting aboritions. They should at least be honest and campaign with that as thier priority issue.

    May 5, 2011 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. lynn

    Why do all the GOP women look so wild-eyed and hysterical? Maybe it's the spiked tea?

    May 5, 2011 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  14. Kara

    'we're smart in south carolina', 'we love to talk about policy'
    Well that's the wrong place for a republican primary debate then isn't it?

    May 5, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. thinkaboutit

    Great stand. Ilike the way this lady thinks.I think the republican candidates have for too long been able to bash President Obama ,and this has kept them from really speaking on issues. Now they will have to do more than use racial overtones ,and bigot remarks.

    May 5, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Isn't this woman from India and is she trying to form a coup against our Government and citizens. Looks like the Repugs are running from her like they should.

    May 5, 2011 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  17. Laura

    I'm surprised that the debate wasn't cancelled because none of them could think of a thing to say if they couldn't just bash President Obama.

    May 5, 2011 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    What a lightweight...

    May 5, 2011 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |

    You don't hear what they are doing right because the answer is nothing. No ideas, no plans, just spread lies and hate, that's the New GOP.

    May 5, 2011 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Sf

    For these potential candidates that is a tall order – "not to hear what President Obama is doing wrong"? What will they say especially now he is smelling of roses? No wonder Mitt and Newt are skipping it, bet a few will give excuses and drop their ambitions come 2012. Obama is winning without campaigning, way to go!

    May 5, 2011 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. A disgusted former Republican

    The republican candidates are all mouth with no new ideas, just warmed over old failed rhetoric. Good luck, Haley, with finding a decent republican candidate who doesn't lie out of both sides of his or her mouth.

    May 5, 2011 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. Decisis

    Nikki Haley-superhot-even hotter than Bachmann and Palin-hopefully, she runs for president in 2016!

    May 5, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Lindsey

    Is Nikki a Ron Paul fan?

    May 5, 2011 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  24. Diana

    I think at least it was step in the right direction instead of bashing. I guess I have to say good job. I wonder how the Tea Party responded. Did they even applaud?

    May 5, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  25. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Who is this Indian lady again and why are her thumbs up? Go Time? what does that mean?

    May 5, 2011 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
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