COLUMBIA, SC (WCBD) — Gov. Nikki Haley’s response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address Tuesday night is getting both praise and criticism, with much of the criticism coming from her own party. “Trump should deport Nikki Haley” tweeted conservative commentator Ann Coulter, responding to Gov. Haley’s comments about protecting legal immigration. In her speech, Gov. Haley alluded to Donald Trump, saying, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”
Trump criticized Gov. Haley, telling “Fox and Friends,” “But she’s weak on illegal immigration, and she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions, ‘cause over the years she’s asked me for a hell of a lot of money in campaign contributions. So, you know, it’s sort of interesting to hear.”
Gov. Haley responded Wednesday, saying, “I consider Mr. Trump a friend. He was a supporter. He supported me in both campaigns, but just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you’re not a friend. And that’s the thing–you shouldn’t take these things personally.”
Charles Bierbauer, former CNN correspondent and now dean of the University of South Carolina’s College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, says, )”She’s selected to give her some visibility and to make the party look like it’s got some rising young stars. There’s been a pattern of that in recent years. That’s what she delivered.”
After the speech, speculation increased that she might be someone’s vice presidential running mate, but Bierbauer says that’s mainly media talking. He says, “You have to think that every candidate who is running is already thinking about, ‘If I’m nominated, with whom would I want to run?’”
Dr. Bob Oldendick, a USC political scientist, says Gov. Haley’s speech was different from previous ones because she didn’t go through the president’s State of the Union address point by point. She also said that Republicans have to take some of the blame for “the erosion of the public trust in America’s leadership.”
Dr. Oldendick says, “What she is I think trying to tap into is that, you know, there is a way to get something done, that we need to recognize that we’re part of this and if we’re talking about we’re dissatisfied with the way things are done now, maybe there is a way to reach some solutions in concert with the other party.”
He said even though she’s taking criticism, in the long run her performance is going to be a positive for her.