Nikki Haley bucks Donald Trump in State of the Union response – CNN

“It defies everything that this country was based on,” she said. “It’s just wrong.”

The apparent digs at Trump aside, Haley’s speech was light on partisan attacks and sought to spread the blame for the perceived ills of government.

“We need to be honest with each other, and with ourselves: while Democrats in Washington bear much responsibility for the problems facing America today, they do not bear it alone,” she said. “There is more than enough blame to go around.”

“We as Republicans need to own that truth,” Haley continued. “We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership.”

Haley, 43, is the daughter of immigrants and the first Indian-American woman to serve as governor of a state below the Mason-Dixon line. Her status as a rising star and steely politician was solidified during a trying summer, as she managed her state’s response to the church massacre in Charleston and championed the removal of the Confederate flag, which she described on Tuesday as “a symbol that was being used to divide us” from state grounds.

Haley framed her experience in the aftermath of the shootings in contrast to what she described as “chaotic unrest in many of our cities.”

“Our state was struck with shock, pain, and fear,” she said. “But our people would not allow hate to win. We didn’t have violence, we had vigils. We didn’t have riots, we had hugs.”

First elected in 2010, Haley’s performance in South Carolina has earned her a place atop the list of potential Republican presidential running mates and fans across the country, including the most powerful man on Capitol Hill.

“If you want to hear an inclusive leader who’s visionary, who’s got a path for the future, who’s brought people together, who’s unified, it’s Nikki Haley,” Paul Ryan, the Republican House speaker, told CNN’s Jake Tapper Monday on “The Lead.”


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