The state’s distinction for always picking the GOP candidate for president and Gov. Nikki Haley’s increasing national presence has made her opinion valuable to primary candidates — and to, of course, the national press. On Sunday, ABC News “This Week,” anchor Christiane Amanpour called her endorsement “one of the biggest prizes of primary season.”
Amanpour asked Haley about each candidate in the race and she had advice for them all, while endorsing none. For example, on Newt Gingrich, she opined: “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.”
On her former favorite in 2008, Mitt Romney, Haley said, “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.”
The “mistake” she says is his choice to adopt a state health reform plan much like that of the Obama Administration.
She said, in essence, that the media, campaign strategists and the candidates themselves would have to be on their best behavior when they come to South Carolina.
The one thing about the people of South Carolina—they showed it in my election, they will show it in the presidential—is that we will ask the hard questions but we will show every candidate respect and the second a political consultant tries to play dirty tricks, it will backfire and it will hurt that candidate.
That includes Donald Trump, who will be appearing in Columbia on May 19. Trump used profanity in a taped speech. Haley says,”That is not appropriate in South Carolina.”
The ABC “This Week” host asked Haley if she is interested in running for vice president, she dismissed that as “silly,” saying “The people of South Carolina took a chance in electing me. It is my job and my family’s job to prove to them that they made a good decision.”