Nikki Haley: Damn right I was criticizing Trump in my SOTU rebuttal last night

posted at 11:21 am on January 13, 2016 by Allahpundit

Granted, there’s not much for a Republican to say about Obama’s policies in year eight that hasn’t been said before, but we’re in a weird place when the GOP’s SOTU rebuttal is essentially a rebuttal of the GOP frontrunner. And lest you think that was all Haley, she acknowledged today that her speech, as is customary, was approved by party leaders before she delivered it. It was a group effort.

I, for one, welcome the impending Republican crack-up!

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley defended her response to Tuesday’s State of the Union, confirming to TODAY’s Matt Lauer she was referring to Donald Trump as one of the “angriest voices” she mentioned.

“Mr. Trump has definitely contributed to what I think is just irresponsible talk,” she told Matt in an interview Wednesday…

Haley said that launching a full-scale partisan attack on Obama is not her style: “That’s not me.”

While she blamed the the president for dividing the nation “in ways we’ve never seen before” on issues including the economy, education and national security, Haley said Republicans also need “to look in the mirror” and own up for their role in the nation’s failures.

As usual, I’m with Sean Trende:

Yeah, I don’t see the strategic value of having Haley go after Trump, even if not by name. That’s something you’d want to do if you were worried that he’s tainted the entire party’s image, especially with swing voters and Latinos, and needed a splashy way for the rest of the GOP to say “that’s not us.” But I can’t think of a single poll offhand that demonstrates in a convincing way that voters now equate Trump with the GOP in its entirety. (Which stands to reason. He’s larger than life. When you think Trump, you think “TRUMP!”, not “GOP.”) Ted Cruz, the nearest thing to a Trump populist on the right, has continually refused to side with Trump on mass deportations or barring Muslims from the country despite repeated invitations to do so. Until polls show us otherwise, the solution to the GOP’s “Trump problem” in the general election, to the extent that such a problem even exists, seems to be to simply nominate someone besides Trump. But Republican leaders, for whatever strange reason, decided to be proactive about the “that’s not us” message. Haley’s the perfect messenger for that, not only because of her sex and race but because of her role in bringing down the Confederate battle flag at the statehouse, one of the most ostentatiously anti-anti-PC moves a Republican pol has made in ages. In various ways, from her bio to her governing experience to her friendliness with Republican leaders, Haley is a sort of anti-Trump. Asking her to do the rebuttal without any mention of “angry voices” or whatever would itself have been a symbolic rebuke of Trumpmania. As it is, I don’t know what they think they’re gaining by handing Trump fans a reason to object that the party is meddling in the primary by attacking him on national TV.

And the weirdest part of this is that, by attacking Trump directly, Haley may have hurt her chances to be VP. That was the whole point of GOP leaders giving her this assignment, I thought — introduce her to the country now in the hope/expectation that she’ll end up on a ticket with Rubio. A Rubio/Haley ticket was always going to be a tough sell to the Trump voters that the party is hoping to hold onto for the general election, but the first step in trying is not to ask one of them to attack Trump on a night when they’re supposed to be attacking Obama. Weird. (Then again, maybe Haley is a less likely veep choice than we all think.) Exit question via Joel Pollak: It’s one thing for Obama not to mention the U.S. sailors taken captive in Iran in his speech. He has a political reason not to do so, as awful as it is. What’s the excuse for Haley not mentioning it in hers?

Update: Denis McDonough, Obama’s chief of staff, liked Haley’s speech a lot, which will definitely help heal the rift over it on the right.

Update: Whoops, typo above (now fixed). I wrote “Hillary” when I meant to write “Haley.” Innocent mistake, I swear!


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Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

Again, not a Trump fan, but she can phuck off.

CWforFreedom on January 13, 2016 at 6:39 PM

Right on.. you go Aslans Girl

MrMoe on January 13, 2016 at 6:38 PM

Thank you. I know in the grand scheme of things Nikki is of no importance, but this made me hopping mad. People like her disgust me more than Hillary. At least Hillary has always been honest in her hatred of us, but Nikki lied.

Trump’s WIN will be sweet, sweet revenge on enemies on the Right, Left, Foreign, and Domestic. Can. Not. Wait. 1/20/17.

Aslans Girl on January 13, 2016 at 7:04 PM

With the GOPe orchestrated / Nikki Haley delivered thinly veiled hit directed at Donald Trump, and his supporters, along with the 7 pages of comments, debate, argument, efforts to influence and persuade here, one has to wonder…

…Did the GOPe persuade more people to bail on supporting Trump and move to supporting a GOPe preferred candidate, or did they persuade more people towards supporting Trump (and to a lesser extent, the other anti-GOPe candidate Ted Cruz) by using the ‘Official GOP Response to the SOTU Address’ by President Obama in this unprecedented manner?

Athos on January 13, 2016 at 7:21 PM

…Did the GOPe persuade more people to bail on supporting Trump and move to supporting a GOPe preferred candidate, or did they persuade more people towards supporting Trump (and to a lesser extent, the other anti-GOPe candidate Ted Cruz) by using the ‘Official GOP Response to the SOTU Address’ by President Obama in this unprecedented manner?

Athos on January 13, 2016 at 7:21 PM

I don’t give the GOPe enough credit to assume they have the intelligence to even know what the theory of reverse psychology is, let alone an implementation of same.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 13, 2016 at 7:44 PM

Bye bye Nimroda. You’re done….

Brock Robamney on January 13, 2016 at 8:26 PM

Whatever the GOPe hoped to accomplish against Trump with this abuse and misuse of their rebuttal to the SOTU, they have failed. The backlash is going to be devastating. Stupid party indeed.

blackgriffin on January 13, 2016 at 8:29 PM

Lindsey Graham in a skirt. bu-bye Nikki, nice knowing ya!

De Oppresso Liber on January 13, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Mr. Cruz’s reception was even more surprising: the elegant home of the longtime Bush loyalist Mary Matalin and her husband, James Carville, the Democratic strategist.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/us/politics/ted-cruz-starts-to-crack-gop-establishments-wall-of-opposition.html
Belle on January 13, 2016 at 4:28 PM

Very interesting. Guess Mr.Conservative is a lot more Establishment than he’s been given credit for. That would explain why McConnell, Ryan,
and the RNC have not had any negative comment to say about him that I can recall.
In fact it seems to me that they have went out of their way to support him in a round about way.

Now according to that article, S. Scott Sewell, seemed an unlikely figure to be attending a fund-raiser for Senator Ted Cruz. Some other big $$ Andrew Puzder, chief executive of the conglomerate that owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., Carla Sands, a California investor, and many more listed in the article.

Yeah, Senator Ted Cruz is looking more GOPe from fund-raiser to fund-raiser.

Donald J. Trump on the other hand is holding Rallies and talking to the American people and being attacked from everyone that you can think of.

Thanks Belle for posting that link.

Oh and Senator Ted Cruz is getting a lot of free campaign support from Mark Levin, in addition to a point by point defense of any criticism leveled at Cruz.

bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 8:43 PM

The Libertarian Party isn’t the answer. One, they just have a different laundry list of things they want the govt to do. They also are very anti-federalist. So no thanks. And with Iran acting as they are Rand Paul was never going taken very seriously.

I’m seriously considering voting for Hillary. I’m not convinced Trump will be much different than Obama in the way he acts in office – and what he actually supports is more dem lite than conservative. His immigration stance is almost the same as Cruz’s stance, so I don’t see him doing what the Trump fans think he is going to do – Cruz and Trump’s plans will have about the same impact – I think Trump may get some quicker self deportation but I do not expect it to be much.

No – Hillary will be just the one to push it completely off the ledge, break it so bad there is no chance to save DC. Let it burn. It is time, while it can be rebuilt.

Oh and Haley – she is done in GOP politics. SC hates her because of the capital battle flag stuff. Hillary’s HHS secretary is her next stop.

Zomcon JEM on January 13, 2016 at 4:16 PM

You’re going to have to defend that statement. Libertarians only want the government to prevent violence, theft, and fraud.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

You’re going to have to defend that statement. Libertarians only want the government to prevent violence, theft, and fraud.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Or to get rid of your enemies.

RickB on January 13, 2016 at 9:03 PM

Or to get rid of your enemies.

RickB on January 13, 2016 at 9:03 PM

Only if those enemies tend to engage in unprovoked violence, theft, or fraud.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 9:15 PM

Again, not a Trump fan, but she can phuck off.

CWforFreedom on January 13, 2016 at 6:39 PM

The whole GOPe can GFTs.

Jaibones on January 13, 2016 at 9:34 PM

You’re going to have to defend that statement. Libertarians only want the government to prevent violence, theft, and fraud.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 8:49 PM

Tell that to Gary Whatshisface Johnson from his 2012 campaign. I think all he seemed to truly care about was pot legalization. He couldn’t even run a campaign that stayed in budget and he wouldn’t go after the corrupt bankers.

oryguncon on January 13, 2016 at 9:39 PM

Oh and Senator Ted Cruz is getting a lot of free campaign support from Mark Levin, in addition to a point by point defense of any criticism leveled at Cruz.

bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Seem to remember Levin did some heavy duty promotion of Orin Hatch for re election. I pretty much stopped listening to the guy after that.

therightscoop.com/mark-levin-reads-gop-amnesty-votes-apologizes-for-endorsing-orrin-hatch/

entagor on January 13, 2016 at 9:46 PM

Tell that to Gary Whatshisface Johnson from his 2012 campaign. I think all he seemed to truly care about was pot legalization. He couldn’t even run a campaign that stayed in budget and he wouldn’t go after the corrupt bankers.

oryguncon on January 13, 2016 at 9:39 PM

What? What does any of that have to do with trying to make the government do things for/to people?

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 10:08 PM

First rebuttal I’ve ever seen that basically amounted to “What he said.”

Rebuttal, you keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Ok, for persons such as Haley and the GOP that seem unfamiliar with the concept of a rebuttal, the idea is to counter your (opponents) arguments with facts. ISIS is not a threat-talk about the terror attacks in Europe and the US. the economy is growing. Talk about all job growth since 2001 going to immigrant labor, stagnation of the economy, record numbers out of the work force, increases in healthcare costs-Obama’s screwed up everything he touched and the rebuttal is an attack on Trump. Inane.

Bland platitudes have no impact.

You need to show Hillary and Obama’s policies are hurting Americans-lots of Americans, with facts. f you can’t turn around a biting attack like Cruz can you need to get better, faster, speechwriters with guts. This speech made Republicans look like weak and ineffective Democrats.

talkingpoints on January 13, 2016 at 10:15 PM

bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 8:43 PM

Seem to remember Levin did some heavy duty promotion of Orin Hatch for re election. I pretty much stopped listening to the guy after that.

therightscoop.com/mark-levin-reads-gop-amnesty-votes-apologizes-for-endorsing-orrin-hatch/

entagor on January 13, 2016 at 9:46 PM

I remember that and Palin supported him as well. I did also. Now, I don’t trust any politician.

Mark got taken in by Paul Ryan and Rubio this past year too. Now it’s Senator Ted Cruz. He doesn’t seem to do enough research and believes what the person says. Rubio’s record as Speaker of the House in FL was available. Paul Ryan’s support of Amnesty was well known.

Senator Ted Cruz is not what he’s being portrayed to be either.

Hopefully, Mark will learn.

bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 10:20 PM

Haley’s gone GOPe.

But I think her teeth were carved from the purest white marble by Michelangelo.

Most distracting.

Sherman1864 on January 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM

A special kind of stupid.

Hell, trump isn’t my number one guy but this nonsense has to stop. They are so willing to attack Republican candidates before doing what is necessary and talking about how Obama should be removed before he does any more damage.

Jason Gillman on January 13, 2016 at 11:16 PM

Sherman1864 on January 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM

I can’t think of any of those elected in 2010, 2012 or 2014 that haven’t gone GOPe.

bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 11:18 PM

Jason Gillman on January 13, 2016 at 11:16 PM

Those in office that betray our Country and the American people were most likely dis-honest when running for office. It’s hard for me to believe that an honest person can get elected and then turn on a dime and be a traitor. That tells me their motive for running was not honorable.

Maybe we should give them all lie detector tests first:-)

bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 11:32 PM

Sherman1864 on January 13, 2016 at 10:47 PM
I can’t think of any of those elected in 2010, 2012 or 2014 that haven’t gone GOPe.
bluefox on January 13, 2016 at 11:18 PM

I didn’t think of things this way but your comment rings so true that it pains me to think of it:((

Washington life corrupts absolutely!

Sherman1864 on January 14, 2016 at 2:09 AM

For the Libertarians, every vote counts. They got 1% of the vote in 2012. If they can get 5%, they will at the very least be a “spoiler” in the eyes of the media, and will get massive publicity.

TBSchemer on January 13, 2016 at 4:15 PM

The simple fact is, you are DELUSIONAL

The media you think would give libertarians “massive publicity” is the PR wing of the Democrats. They despise libertarians and republicans equally. Anything that is a threat to their progressive agenda is reviled.

Grow up

deadrody on January 14, 2016 at 7:06 AM

That woman should just shut up and enjoy her stay in the governors mansion. . . . can it Nikki!

rplat on January 14, 2016 at 7:33 AM

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