April 5th, 2012
04:34 PM ET
11 years ago

Haley on Romney's 'golden bullet'

Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Thursday the leading Republican presidential candidate was carrying a "golden bullet" to connect with women voters.

Speaking on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," the Palmetto State Republican said Mitt Romney's wife Ann, along with the candidate himself, would need to answer women with concerns about his platform. Polls released in the past week show Romney trailing President Barack Obama by a large margin among female voters.

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"If Gov. Romney has not related to women, he needs to get out there and talk about the issues they care about," Haley said. "They care about jobs and the economy, and raising their families and all of those things. But they are obviously not relating to him as much as we want them to. That means he has to work harder, he needs to continue to do that, and he needs to bring that one golden bullet he's got, which is Ann Romney."

Haley said Ann Romney's history with battling illness helps her connect with voters.

"When they see how strong she is, the fact that she is an M.S. survivor, a cancer survivor, a great mom, a great wife, strong supporter, and hear her talk about him, I think he'll do a lot better," Haley said.

His wife aside, Mitt Romney will need to answer pressing questions from women on issues ranging from contraception to the economy.

"I think they need the ability to ask him those questions, and I think he needs to look them in the eye and give them the answers," Haley said. "Because that's what this is about. You don't go talk to people who you already have support. You talk to the people that still have questions. If women are questioning him, they have to ask him those questions."

In the CNN interview, Haley reiterated she wouldn't accept a spot on a GOP presidential ticket or as a cabinet official, a position she has staked out repeatedly in interviews this week. Haley said Thursday she wanted to "finish what she started" by serving her term as South Carolina governor.

Haley also detailed experiences, spelled out in her book "Can't Is Not an Option," about her childhood in a small South Carolina town.

"My father had a turban, my mother wore a sari. I was born in that town, and we lived in this small southern town, where they didn't understand us, and we didn't know how to fit in with them," Haley said, laying out how she was disqualified from a beauty pageant because judges didn't know whether to place her in the category for black girls or white girls.

Despite the challenges, Haley said in 2012 her small town in South Carolina had come a long way since her upbringing in the nineteen-seventies.

"What I hope people understand is that town took us in, allowed me to be part of girl scouts, supported my brother when he was deployed to Desert Storm. And that same town now has a sign that says 'Proud home of Nikki Haley,'" the governor said.

Also see:

Santorum enjoys three strikes

Romney makes general election pitch in Pennsylvania, but can't ignore Santorum

Santorum: Romney attacks to fall short in Pennsylvania

Watch The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer weekdays at 4pm to 6pm ET and Saturdays at 6pm ET. For the latest from The Situation Room click here.

Filed under: Nikki Haley • TV-The Situation Room
soundoff (144 Responses)
  1. grammie7girls

    Romney needs Condelessa Rice on the ticket.

    April 6, 2012 04:00 am at 4:00 am |
  2. Tawana

    Selfish selfish selfish. We have an out of control debt, a POTUS that is sniping at the Supreme Court who is unarguably the single most divisive POTOS ever and all you can think about is who is going to pay your $9 birth control pill.

    April 6, 2012 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  3. roxie

    These comments cement WHY I don't watch CNN. The audience is so far looney left they all need to get crutches to hold themselves up.

    April 6, 2012 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  4. nickelodeon2002

    Please, PLEASE let Romney take Nikki off SC's hands....we're ready to move on.

    April 6, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  5. Charles Goines

    I tried to post a comment. I worked on it to get it right and then hit the "post" mark. Now it is gone. Maybe many others had the same experience. I always resent the abuse of my opinion. It tells me a story of distrust and manipulation typical of the old USSR.

    April 6, 2012 05:18 am at 5:18 am |
  6. Marie MD

    The flip flopper might unzip but we already know how limp he is in everything else so I doubt if would be worth it.
    Isn't this SC governor being indicted for ethics violations? Did she learn from her friend from up North?
    When you say you are closing down Planned Parenthood, which is a LOT more than an abortion clinic to so many women, and that said women can go somewhere else does he realize that there is nowhere else to go?
    Car elevator anyone?

    April 6, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  7. Joe Sockit

    I hope all of the women who vote for Obama realize they are voting for $6.00 gas, skyrocketing food prices, no jobs today, and no future for their children. Romney's not perfect, but Obama is a proven incompetant. Four more years of this lack of leadership will finish off the US. Race relations are only one example. As more people go under financially you will see a huge uptick in crime, social unrest, I don't see any improvement for the dwindling middle class, You will either be dependent on the government or one of the 1%. Don't blame all this on Bush, They have been there long enough to show some progress and it is not there. Is this what women want for themselves and their children?

    April 6, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  8. sailordude

    This won't happen but thanks for talking about a woman in the GOP, CNN! I thought only the Democrats had women and a minority one also! The VP is going to be Rubio, can you imagine the liberals be crazy about a Biden compared to Rubio? Oh man thats a slam dunk for the GOP.

    April 6, 2012 07:02 am at 7:02 am |
  9. Ed

    Liberal elitists.... so predictable. Commenting about South Carolina residents as being "toothless, barefoot, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, uneducated".... these Elitists have never visited SC but they love to perpetuate stereotypes of those they consider "inferior". They are dying to call Nikki Haley uppity "colored girl".... As long as it suits their elitist purpose they can justify it. In truth, they are everything they rail against....vile bigots, misogynists, willing to divide Americans by economic class, education, geography, age.... They are everybody's "betters".... just ask them....

    April 6, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  10. Peace

    So Romney is depending on his wife Ann to hear what the women say????? Is he going to make her his VP?? This goes to show how out of touch Romney has been and still has. Women have also brains. They do know who is fighting for them and who is not. Treating them like little kids who can not think for themselves is really absurd.

    April 6, 2012 07:46 am at 7:46 am |
  11. diridi

    I think we need to cut immigration to India too...she does not know what is she talking...may be under Bung..."Bung".

    April 6, 2012 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  12. D. Scott

    How did Government funded abortion, which is a nice way of saying killing your baby before it becomes too much of a bother, become the number one issue for women voters? Is it the number one issue for Mothers, or just those who need a wedge issue to compensate for a lack of evidence, that their policies will do anything, other than increase the debt, and enslave the children that escape the abortionist's knife?

    April 6, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  13. Troy

    Wolf is awesome. He's geniune and one of the main reasons I still listen to CNN. Go wolf. Ignore the Dems and Reps. Be a journalist.

    April 6, 2012 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  14. A Man

    SC has no electricity, no plumbing, no health care? Good grief! Ignorance obviously is still flourishing outside SC.

    Nikki Haley is fantastic for us here and I'm relieved to hear that she wants to finish what she started. She's actually busy building a very clever business infrastructure here that will continue to bring in businesses to our state for decades to come. Haley has already done more for our state than Obama has for the entire country! I selfishly hope she stays in SC for a second term.

    April 6, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  15. illbuymyownpillsyousniffit

    funny how all you "progressive" women are for pro choice except when I'm choosing not to pay for your contraception and abortions. How about this? You take care of yourself like a big girl and I won't tell you to keep your legs together like the lady you aren't so I don't have to pay for what you conceive – and like to refer to as "the mistake". It's a concept called "self responsibility". Which is as foreign to you as the audacity of some people to become wealthy in a free market and spend their own money the way they choose. And this is progress? Stupid girls.

    April 6, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  16. John

    Wolf Blitzer should do some research into Haley's record in South Carolina before fawning all over her...her abysmal polling (even among Republicans and Tea Partiers) arising from her scandal-plagued administration, her sellout of the Port of Charleston to the Port of Savannah for campaign contributions and a chance to speak at the Republican National Convention, and the utter lack of honesty and transparency of her office. Nikki Haley is the new Sarah Palin...another unqualified political celebrity who stumbled into national prominence by dumb luck and not because of any innate intelligence or leadership ability. Selling her book for cash and fame is yet another example of this.

    April 6, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  17. 1trickpony

    Wolf brings up the subject of race, then the subject of race, then the subject of race. Is there anything else this racist is interested in?

    April 6, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  18. Kilroy

    Speaking as a baby and human advocate, I hope someone does cut PP altogether as they're responsible for the murders of millions. You can get your head around that, I feel sorry for you.

    Getting back to the article here, why doesn't Romney consider Condi Rice as his VP running mate. She's got all the qualifications – far more than that FRAUD in the Oval Office. Romney/Condi in 2012 would be unbeatable even if the SHREW Hillary is the FRAUD Obama's running mate.

    April 6, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  19. Lee

    Romney would choose her only to get the woman vote.

    April 6, 2012 09:02 am at 9:02 am |
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