South Carolina Tea Party darling Nikki Haley endorses and records robocall for Mitt Romney

posted at 2:15 pm on December 16, 2011 by Tina Korbe

To Twitter cries of “RINO” and “sellout,” Tea-Party-elected South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for president today. In an appearance on Fox and Friends, Haley said she prizes Romney’s proven ability to “turn broken companies around.” She also suggested Romney is the most electable of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates:

“Today is the day that I’m throwing all of my support behind Mitt Romney for president,”Haley said on FOX & Friends.  “What I want was someone who is not part of the chaos that is Washington. What I wanted was someone who knew what it was like to turn broken companies around.”

Haley also argued that Romney was the only candidate that could defeat President Barack Obama next fall.

“Governor Romney is the one candidate that President Obama insistently tries to hit and get out of the way,” Haley said from South Carolina. “That lets me know he’s scared of him.”

Haley — widely described with the likes of Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte and others as “a rising Republican star” — would likely be on any GOP candidate’s shortlist of potential vice presidential running mates. It’s plausible she endorsed Romney in the hopes of moving up in the party, as some top talkers, including Rush Limbaugh, have suggested. It’s also plausible Romney just called in a favor: He was one of Haley’s earliest backers, campaigning for her in what FoxNews.com calls “her historic bid to become the first Indian-American woman governor of the Palmetto State.” His PAC also donated money to her campaign effort.

But a less cynical explanation is plausible, too. Perhaps Haley — upon careful consideration of Newt Gingrich, who, at this point, must be admitted as the most likely candidate to be nominated if Romney is not — decided she wanted to use her considerable weight to do whatever she could to forestall Gingrich’s nomination. If that was the case, she was not necessarily selling out her Tea Party convictions.

A few weeks ago, when I weighed Gingrich against Romney, I tipped the balance in Gingrich’s favor with this sentiment: “Romney’s signature achievement was Romneycare, while Gingrich’s signature achievement was welfare reform.” But, last night, I had a thought that tipped the balance in Romney’s favor. Both Romney and Gingrich have betrayed conservatism. But Romney’s betrayals came in a liberal state surrounded by liberals. As he put it at the debate last night, it’s hard to sneak Republican judicial nominees past a board of Democrats. In contrast, at least a few of Gingrich’s betrayals came in a conservative Congress surrounded by conservatives. It’s possible to make the case that Romney is actually conservative at his core but was circumstantially forced into supporting liberal legislation, while Gingrich is actually more pro-big-government at his core but was circumstantially forced into supporting conservative legislation.

Perhaps that’s far-fetched — and it’s very hard to say for sure what either really believes. (What can I say? They’re both great politicians!) I say this not to endorse Romney myself — clearly, I’m still very undecided about all the candidates (and my views align most closely with the underdogs) — but to try to restore faith in Nikki Haley somewhat. She could actually have made the endorsement based on what she thinks will be best for the conservative movement. At least, that’s what I’d like to believe.


Update: CNN’s Peter Hamby reports Haley has also recorded a robocall to tout Romney.


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All this spitting fury at Haley is laughable – she made exactly the right decision. It’s impossible to unpack the Alice in Wonderland logic that leads anyone to believe that (a) Newt Gingrich is actually more conservative than Romney or (b) that he’s more electable. His record of flipping and flopping is at least as advanced as Romney’s and far, far more damaging given that he was bought and paid for in cold bankable cash whereas Romney – as Tina has smartly noted – was circumstantially cornered into periodic cooperation with a 85% Democratic legislature.

Exit question: Can any of you seriously imagine the absurdity of every vulnerable House Republican who voted for Paul Ryan’s legislation having to run against the vicious attack of their own Party leader, their own nominee? That at every turn they would be slapped with clips of Newt accusing them of signing on for “right wing social engineering”? How ridiculous that any Republican, Tea Partier or other, thinks that nominating Newt Gingrich would be anything less than an outright disaster.

InVinoVeritas on December 17, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Governor Nikki Haley is doing a good job and is popular with the TPers I know.

She will help Mitt R.

IlikedAUH2O on December 17, 2011 at 9:21 AM

QUOTE: “In an appearance on Fox and Friends, Haley said she prizes Romney’s proven ability to “turn broken companies around.” She also suggested Romney is the most electable of the 2012 GOP presidential candidates …”

C’mon, Tina, are y’all back to supporting a RINO, any RINO, who can beat President SmartPower? That’s just sad.
IF Governor Haley were consistent re: her convictions, she’d be backing Governor Rick Perry.
Y’all can have the pay for play endorsement game, but that aint worth squat to real conservatives.
;-´)>

Perry / Bolton 2012
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on December 17, 2011 at 10:39 AM

Nikki Haley is a sellout and she has turned her back on those who supported her and put her in office. I would like to know what Sarah Palin has to say about this agenda-driven move, on Haley’s part.
sinsing on December 17, 2011 at 7:46 AM

This is flipping insane. How is it a “sellout” to support a fiscal conservative who brings a wealth of private sector business experience, a history of successful turnarounds, and proven leadership skills to the table? Isn’t the “Tea Party” supposed to be about fiscal restraint? As for this move being “agenda driven”, what the hell does that mean? Haley’s “agenda”, like Romney’s agenda, like my agenda, and hopefully your agenda, is to defeat Barack Obama and restore fiscal sanity to this county.

Buy Danish on December 17, 2011 at 11:31 AM

Paul Ryan voted for TARP, the auto bailout, at least one of the stimulus bills, the prescription drug bailout, and several other pieces of legislation with big price tags.

How is this conservative hero? I don’t get it? How can you use Paul Ryan, who is a liberal Keynes guy on the big fiscal issues, as a weapon against Gingrich?

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Buy Danish wants to argue that RomneyCare is an example of fiscal conservativism, although it required ROmney working with Ted Kennedy to secure a large federal subsidy just to to put it into play. From the start, it’s a fiscal disaster, but never mind that, Romney’s a conservative because the Romney cultists have repeated this to death despite no proof that he is. The man could not even vocally support the Bush tax cuts, he suppoorted a federal tax hike on gasoline, and he increased all sorts of fees in Mass. Fiscal conservative? C’mon man.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Haley also argued that Romney was the only candidate that could defeat President Barack Obama next fall.

“Governor Romney is the one candidate that President Obama insistently tries to hit and get out of the way,” Haley said from South Carolina. “That lets me know he’s scared of him.”

That is the problem. The mainstream media have touted and promoted Romney as “The inevitable nominee”, “the one to beat” and “the candidate that Obama is most afraid of” over and over and over again. This is their strategy. They want him to be the nominee. They are trying to make him the nominee. (That way, Republicans will have a hard time running against Obamacare and, even if the Republican wins, he is still mostly a liberal.)

Stop believing their lies. Just because they repeat it for months does not make it so (i.e. Man-made global warming).

Governor Perry is the man for the hour. Not Newt Romney.

Theophile on December 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Nikki Haley endorses and records robocall for Mitt Romney

Future news headline:

“I regret endorsing him. Romney isn’t a conservative, a Christian, or a member of the Tea Party. After years of reflection, I don’t know what I was thinking at the time, but I know I have learned that I will never do it again. ” – Nikki Haley

apocalypse on December 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Sounds like Nikki is supporting Willard in the same manner that Sarah supported Juan. Both owe favors.

joecollins on December 17, 2011 at 5:15 PM

Governor Perry is the man for the hour. Not Newt Romney.

How can anyone support a candidate who does not believe in evolution? There is no excuse for being scientifically backward today. Try watching Nova, TED.com, national geographic, or peruse all the scientific links on foxnews.com about evolutionary biology if you don’t get it and stop with all the creation and intelligent design myths already. Romney is far from perfect but at least he acknowledges evolution. Rick Perry, on the other hand, wants to teach creationism in school. You want to teach supernaturalism, do it in church, but keep that nonsense out of schools. Rick Perry belongs in the ministry, not the Presidency.

Bandit13 on December 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

What is the proof of evolution?

TO believe in evolution, you need to believe that all these random mutations occured simultanteously in such a sequence that could lead to something useful like a wing or a eye.

All Darwin documented was an example of natural selection and then extrapolated natural selection as being a mechanism for cross species evolution, a theory he never proved and admitted he it was one he just “fancied”. Natural selection can only perserve or eliminate genetic traits that creatures are born with.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 5:37 PM

Why would you rule out somebody based on a skepticism of evolution? To me, these are people that have critical thinking skills and question things.

The Darwinists are the worst sort of dogmatists in America today, along with the global warming alarmists.

Dr. Tesla on December 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

What is the proof of evolution?
TO believe in evolution, you need to believe that all these random mutations occured simultanteously in such a sequence that could lead to something useful like a wing or a eye.

All Darwin documented was an example of natural selection and then extrapolated natural selection as being a mechanism for cross species evolution, a theory he never proved and admitted he it was one he just “fancied”. Natural selection can only perserve or eliminate genetic traits that creatures are born with.

We both know you have no idea what you are talking about. Do you realize there are evolutionary biologists that do nothing but study how eyes have evolved over the last several million years? The results of which are available for anyone, including you, to read about. I find it funny that you are quoting Darwin and research that is over 100 years old to attack evolution. I am happy to continue this conversation through private email or over the phone and will be glad to refer you to thousands of scientific studies and papers that support evolution. Its easy to pop off in a post. Its a lot harder to actually take someone up on an offer and actually commit yourself to learning something. Let me know if you’re interested.

Bandit13 on December 17, 2011 at 6:12 PM

How can anyone support a candidate who does not believe in evolution? There is no excuse for being scientifically backward today. Try watching Nova, TED.com, national geographic, or peruse all the scientific links on foxnews.com about evolutionary biology if you don’t get it and stop with all the creation and intelligent design myths already. Romney is far from perfect but at least he acknowledges evolution. Rick Perry, on the other hand, wants to teach creationism in school. You want to teach supernaturalism, do it in church, but keep that nonsense out of schools. Rick Perry belongs in the ministry, not the Presidency.

Bandit13 on December 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

So, because he is a fundamentalist (or a literalist, if you prefer) Christian, you think that he is unfit for the Presidency?

Interesting.

I wonder if I claimed that Mitt shouldn’t be president because of some of the (more fantastical) Mormon beliefs, what would people say? They would probably call me names (prejudiced, bigot, whatever).

Anyways, I came to believe in God and to the Christian faith through a personal several study of the science of evolution. Simply put, it doesn’t hold up. At all. Period. It is like “Man-made Global Warming” junk of the last 20 years; it looks good as a theory if you only look at the tip of the iceberg, but it completely falls apart once you actually dig really deep.

Note: (And I am not saying that I am correct because of this fact, but) many, many smarter men than I have come to Christianity in the exact same fashion as I did: C.S. Lewis, for example.

Theophile on December 17, 2011 at 6:47 PM

In contrast, at least a few of Gingrich’s betrayals came in a conservative Congress surrounded by conservatives.

Excellent point Tina.

Has Haley governed well as a limited government Republican? All the rest is strategery.

AshleyTKing on December 17, 2011 at 6:59 PM

I think South Carolina will be a close election and this may put Mitt over the top. Gov. Romney was one of the first out of the gate to endorse Nikki when she announced her candidacy and had strong Tea Party backing so this endorsement makes perfect sense. I would have done a double-take if she had endorsed Ron Paul.

SleightOfHand on December 17, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Listen to yourselves! If George Washington endorsed Mitt Romney you’d all be screaming out for his blood, “TRAITOR! BENEDICT ARNOLD! CRUCIFY HIM!” Good grief. And yet through it all, you cannot bring yourselves to reconsider: “Why is that we all want Mitt Romney to die a horrible bloody death? Why is that again? Because Ed Morrisey tells us he’s evil?”

Crefonso on December 17, 2011 at 8:35 PM

I’ve tried to tell my friends over at C4P that Haley’s decision was shrewd politics, but they’re too much into betrayal to listen.

Haley had no choice. There’s no Sarah Palin in the race to provide a port in the storm for her, and Mittens gave her forty grand back in 2010. Yes, Palin put her over the top, but Palin’s not in the race, is she? Mittens is, and Gingrich and Perry haven’t given Haley a dime.

Mitt is the one who brung her to the dance, then.

Besides, Haley knows that Mitt is going to get his bell rung by Obama next fall. This isn’t about angling for a VP spot on the Mittens line. She knows he’s going to lose. Mitt Romney couldn’t beat Hitler if Jesus Christ Himself came down and performed the Laying On of Hands. The man is that phony and toxic.

She wants to be Jeb Bush’s VP choice in 2016. So Haley made the right, shrewd choice for her political future. She’s building up her Establishment Street Cred with the American Crossroads crowd so she can get the Sewer Money for her reelect and get a nod and a wink from Jeb at the 2016 Convention.

She’s an ambitious young girl, and I don’t blame her one bit.

victor82 on December 17, 2011 at 10:48 PM

I’ve never heard Ed Morrissey make such an utterance. (I doubt you could even get Ed to say that Obama is evil.) But this insistence by a lot of commenters here and elsewhere on the web that he can’t be trusted is getting sillier by the day.

Like it or not, this is a closely divided nation, and nobody is likely to get a veto-proof Congress. Between Romney and Gingrich, I find far more reason to trust Mitt and campaign for him.

Gingrich was never serious about really becoming President. If he were he would have foregone his trip to the Greek Islands, raised money and built an organization. He’s getting donations now, but not enough to challenge Obama and the Democrat machine. Gingrich is not a leader. He’s a bomb thrower who lets power go to his head and brew like stagnant water until it burps out something really idiotic, which he can promote by citing cherry-picked historical details.

The real dishonest one here is Gingrich when he claims he took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac for strategic advice. The only thing he knows about that Freddie Mac would pay that kind of money for is the inside workings of Washington and Congress. Bachmann has his number. He’s a typical corrupt Washington insider, no matter how smooth his rhetoric and debate skills. His appeal is the same as Donald Trump’s and the GOP should consider itself well rid of him.

flataffect on December 17, 2011 at 11:01 PM

Romney is a disaster for the party. He’s a consistent flip-flopper. Who can trust that nonsense?

Conservchik on December 17, 2011 at 11:37 PM

We both know you have no idea what you are talking about. Do you realize there are evolutionary biologists that do nothing but study how eyes have evolved over the last several million years? The results of which are available for anyone, including you, to read about. I find it funny that you are quoting Darwin and research that is over 100 years old to attack evolution. I am happy to continue this conversation through private email or over the phone and will be glad to refer you to thousands of scientific studies and papers that support evolution. Its easy to pop off in a post. Its a lot harder to actually take someone up on an offer and actually commit yourself to learning something. Let me know if you’re interested.

Bandit13 on December 17, 2011 at 6:12 PM

Ok, you can point to all the scientists you want, but logic tells me that an eye cannot be the result of random mutations. Nothing complex that has a certain purpose is the result of random mutations.

I think you confess that Darwin never proved his own theory but you claim other ppeople have proved it for him. Happy coincidence, again!

I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m not ignorant fool. My general impression is the most passionate evolutionists were told in their liberal arts program in college that it’s true so they all say it’s true because they were taught that in college. It’s science!

No, science isn’t repeating something is true, it’s about proving it’s true and I don’t think cross species evolution is something anybody can ever prove. The reality is, it doesn’t matter, one way or another. It’s fun to talk about but if you are disqualifying candidates because they have a skepticism of evolution, you are the fool, not them.

Dr. Tesla on December 18, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Ok, you can point to all the scientists you want, but logic tells me that an eye cannot be the result of random mutations. Nothing complex that has a certain purpose is the result of random mutations.

I think you confess that Darwin never proved his own theory but you claim other ppeople have proved it for him. Happy coincidence, again!

I’m a mechanical engineer, and I’m not ignorant fool. My general impression is the most passionate evolutionists were told in their liberal arts program in college that it’s true so they all say it’s true because they were taught that in college. It’s science!

No, science isn’t repeating something is true, it’s about proving it’s true and I don’t think cross species evolution is something anybody can ever prove. The reality is, it doesn’t matter, one way or another. It’s fun to talk about but if you are disqualifying candidates because they have a skepticism of evolution, you are the fool, not them.

Resorting to name calling does not help your argument. I do tend to use belief in human evolution as a litmus test for the presence of rational thought, but I could just as easily use the age of the earth and universe to disprove biblical supernaturalism. Do you also believe that the science that proves the age of the earth to be several billion years old is also illogical?

The Catholic church now accepts the theory of human evolution, and Mormon college, BYU, also teaches human evolution in its science classes. Many main stream christian colleges and churches also acknowledge and embrace the irrefutable facts of human evolution. DNA testing alone has substantiated that ALL species on earth are descended from the same source. As long as a man is afraid to shed his primitive superstitions his “logic” will always be flawed.

Bandit13 on December 18, 2011 at 11:14 AM

nikki wants to drug test people collecting unemployment insurance.drug testing is ”social regimentation,”which falls under what political philosophy? nikki wants to test the very people who fund,thru their work,this very insurance. just another big government social conservative.

svs22422 on December 18, 2011 at 3:02 PM

This is great news. Haley understands like the majority of us do who can defeat Obama. Certainly, any of our contenders is better than the Socialist who occupy our WH. Kudos to Gov Haley!

Redford on December 18, 2011 at 4:56 PM

This is another example of how Politicians do not speak for the tea Party. The najority of Tea Party members I know in SC are behind Newt and are NOT happy with Haley! Haley is just another reason. also, why I could care less who endorses someone. Haley has 1 opinion – and more importantly 1 vote, just like I do. I think for myself, thank you, and so are the SC Tea Party members. Haley doesn’t speak for anyone but Haley.

easyt65 on December 19, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Follow the money.

kens on December 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

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