Haley's got a line for many 2012 candidates
May 15th, 2011
12:14 PM ET
9 years ago

Haley's got a line for many 2012 candidates

(CNN) - Gov. Nikki Haley, the top Republican in the early presidential contest state of South Carolina, readily revealed her thoughts about the 2012 GOP presidential field, calling the coverage that paints Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ wife as a reluctant spouse “ridiculous.”

“I think it's ridiculous. I think it’s a terrible distraction to a campaign,” Haley said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “He was an amazing reformer in his state. He brought great issues. He showed great courage at times that he needed to. Those are the issues we need to talk about.”

While Daniels weighs a potential bid for the White House, Cheri Daniels appears reluctant to want their life open to the scrutiny that accompanies a presidential campaign.

“I think to go into a candidate’s personal life and to try and attack them and distract the country, people are smarter than that,” Haley said.

But her praise was more tepid for GOP presidential nominee Newt Gingrich. Haley, who has met with potential candidates during swings through her state, said the former House Speaker has always been an ideas man and voters want to hear about “the issues of the day.”

“What we are already starting to see is he’s coming out and showing how his ideas today match the feelings of what we’re dealing with today,” Haley said. “I think that Newt Gingrich has dealt with a lot of issues in the past and I think now he’s going to have to show that he’s got those ideas to deal with the future.”

The first-term governor issued a mixed review to all-but-declared presidential candidate Mitt Romney who this week gave a speech defending the health care reform law passed while he was governor of Massachusetts. There are parallels, including the individual mandate that requires people to have health insurance, between the Massachusetts plan and national health care reform passed last year.

Although Haley said he “absolutely could be a nominee,” the health care issue isn’t going away politically.

“I think that he will have to continue to deal with that issue,” Haley said. “But I think that we are looking for a leader that’s willing to, one, make courageous stands, take strong policy decisions, but two also admit when a mistake was made.”

Haley was elected in 2010 with the early backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin – herself a possible 2012 candidate - who she credited with energizing people around the country about politics. For that she said, “There will always be a place for her. But now it’s time to talk about policy.”

“I think if she chooses to get in, she’ll understand that the policy issues of today are relevant and important right now too,” Haley said.

But there was no sugar coating her disdain for a profanity-laced speech given by real estate mogul Donald Trump, who is also considering a presidential run, in Las Vegas.

“That is not appropriate in South Carolina,” Haley said of the conservative state. “We will give all of our candidates respect, and we certainly expect our candidates to come in and give the people of South Carolina respect.”

Filed under: 2012 • Mitch Daniels • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Nikki Haley • Sarah Palin
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. carlos

    both jindal and haley....look alikes

    May 15, 2011 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Joan

    So Haley thinks it is inappropriate to directly attack an opponent's personal life. Well, then it also wasn't appropriate for Palin, Trump, Bachmann and others to lie and spread the rumour about the President not being an American citizen. It also was inappropriate to spread all over the internet that he was a Muslim and for Palin to say he "palled around with terrorists". It was also inappropriate for the Republicans to smear Mrs. Obama and say she was an "ugly, angry black woman". She is a lovely, classy lady who is doing everything she can to improve the lives of children and military families. During the last election and for the last two years, the Republicans have led a relentless, negative, spiteful campaign against the President so they are going to have to expect some pay-back. The difference though is that the negative things that the Democrats can say about many of these Republican candidates in unfortunately true.

    May 15, 2011 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. The Greedy Oil Pigs have declared class war on America!

    Ms. Haley, the clue phone is ringing. You are irrelevant to national politics.

    May 15, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  4. once upon a horse

    @ Palin Power.....
    too bad you had to play the RACE CARD while endorsing Sarah Palin. If you represent the thinking of her fan base I pray she NEVER sets foot near the White House.Hopefully you are just joking with the threads you post here.

    May 15, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  5. John in Brooklyn

    Dear Tea Partiers,

    Have you demanded to see Nikki Haley or Bobby Jindal's birth certificates? Oh, that's right...they happen to agree with your politics and aren't black.

    May 15, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Republican Robber Baron

    Yawn...the Republican Establishment is boring us to death. Same old broken policies that keep getting recycled are not the solution. When is the Republican Establishment going to give up on their ridiculous agenda of cutting taxes for the uber wealthy or making businesses pay zero taxes...so that the middle-class somehow magically can receive that trickle-down benefit.

    The wealthy and Corporatists simply sock away the tax savings and reinvest it or do stock buy-backs to make themselves even more wealthy. Where are the jobs?

    May 15, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  7. mitch

    Haley needs to actually do SOMETHING here in SC before anyone should call her a 'star' or 'rising star'. She is unethical, she's done nothing for SC since taking office and refuses to release information that she'd scream about to another candidate.

    May 15, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  8. Toad

    South Carolina makes me sick! Everybody has to be a perfect angel to have a chance in S.C.. Grow up haley and face the real world! You can't be president these days because you said a bad word? Why don't they start calling you sister Haley!

    May 15, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. John in Brooklyn

    I'm a Democrat...and admired Governor Daniels' early call for civil discourse and setting aside the culture wars that the radical right and Tea Partiers have been advocating. Rightly, he argued, the fiscal and economic future of our country needs grown ups, not ideologues, to find solutions.

    However, by signing the legislation that cut all funding to Planned Parenthood in Indiana, he demonstrated that he is nothing but a radical right, politics-as-usual, Republican. Despite the fact that Planned Parenthood in Indiana provides more birth control, pregnancy counseling, pap smears to detect cervical cancer, and mammograms to detect early stages of breat cancer than they ever perform abortions...Daniels endorsed the radical anti-woman, anti-family, and, indeed, anti-child legislation that will ultimately lead to needless deaths and unwanted births across his state.

    Such irresponsible and 180 degree pandering is NOT someone who is qualified to lead the country.

    May 15, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Bill

    "Palin Power" is either the most out-of-touch, delusional person on Earth, or his/her post is pure sarcasm. I can't tell which.

    May 15, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. Lisa Brennan

    This Gov was whisked into place by a Palin frenzy, which has now soured. She finds herself over her head and so she spouts the talk of the GOP. Having said that, she like Palin, is a small-minded, exclusive, white-guy type in a skirt, unintelligent, and she resides in the right fringe. That being said, I agree that attaching a candidate's personal life is not a good thing UNLESS, the candidate votes one way and acts out in others such as we saw with schtupping the wife, having the parents pat 96,000$ as gifts to the family, or playing toesies in a men's bathroom, etc...all the while voting against GLBT issues, and screaming Family Values from hallowed halls. This makes me sick. Haley fits into this category. And as far as Daniels goes, I agree with the earlier post: HE WAS BUSH"S BUDGET DIRECTOR. Enough said.

    May 15, 2011 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  12. Wise1Speak


    If the shoe were on the other foot and it was (as an example) Gov. Barack Obama's wife Michele calling the shots on whether she would divorce Barack for the second time because (Barack) forced her (Michele) on to the presidential campaign trail; then the Republican Tea Party would be all over this story.

    If the Obama's were in Daniel's shoes, the evangelical religious-right would make Barack out to be a weak wimpy henpecked spineless pretender and would have made Michele out to be a ghetto slut.

    So based on Republican Tea Party standards, the henpecked Mitch Daniel's issue is public campaign fodder.

    May 15, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  13. Clwyd

    Hailey is just another republican zombie talking the talk and giving the walk they were told to say and do! No independent thought process takes place in republicans. They are like animals!

    May 15, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  14. Ada mount pocono, pa

    5 words for her and her bigoted state, shut up, and go away. And, please take the other bigots, palin, newt, Trump and bachman with you... did I forget anyone- oh yeah McCain.

    May 15, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    "Ms. Haley doesn't understand voters have a right to talk about any candidate and his family, it's called FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THIS COUNTRY"

    Oh I'm all for freedom of speech, Claudia... and I agree with your statement. So why is it when someone talks about Obama and his family, it's not called freedom of speech... it's called racism?

    May 15, 2011 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Jill-IN

    Nikki Haley can speak for her own state but not ours. She knows little of how people in Indiana feel about Daniels. Amazing reformer? Hardly, and many of us are glad his term is near an end.

    May 15, 2011 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  17. Kara

    This is a woman who changed her name and religion to be accepted in conservative circles.
    How can anyone expect her to make any sense?

    May 15, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Busted2010

    How can any fiscal defense minded republican support Daniels? Look at the job he did under Bush. I also get a kick out of all the republicans saying their family or private lives shouldn't be judged in their ability to lead... which is consistent to how they themselves reacted to Clinton.

    May 15, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  19. annie s

    I agree. We shouldn't attack Daniels wife. But seriously, who is their right mind would vote for Bush's budget director for President?

    May 15, 2011 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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