Richland Democratic Rep. James Smith delivered the official rebuttal to Gov. Nikki Haley’s State of the State address Wednesday night. Smith called for more action on issues close to the hearts of the sate’s Democrats: the expansion of Medicaid, long-term funding to fix the state’s roads and bridges, conservation, early childhood education, development of new energy sources, and support for the arts community.
Smith, an attorney, has taken on ethics cases against Haley and is often a critic of her policies. In Wednesday night’s televised response, he echoed the campaign claims of his friend Sen. Vincent Sheheen, who once again is challenging Haley for governor.
“You cannot order your administration to say, ‘It’s a great day in South Carolina’ and make it so. It takes leadership, real leadership that keeps faith and trust with the people of South Carolina and accepts responsibility for the office you hold.”
Smith hinted at Haley’s rising political prominence out-of-state, including fundraising and speeches:
“You must know and share in the challenges we face together as South Carolinians. To do that, you have to be here, present in South Carolina. You must care more about doing your job as governor than keeping your job as governor,” Smith said.
AUDIO: Smith rebuttal – large excerpt (3:43)