Governor Nikki Haley's American Story

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina and now author of her memoir, Can't Is Not An Option: My American Story, talks about her background as a child of immigrants who has become a rising star in the Republican party, and today's political news headlines.


Nikki Haley

Comments [44]

AcuBill from New Paltz


I'd like to second several of the comments. You were too friendly, too inviting, too easy on this woman. Only at the end, when you expressed surprise at her health policy claims, did you display your analytical and passionate qualities. I've heard this too often on the show. One guest who comes to mind is Paul Browne, the NYPD flack who is willing to lie -- I mean, shade the truth -- at every turn in order to whitewash the department. (You interviewed him about OWS.)

Are kid gloves the price you're willing to pay for access, or to win the blue ribbon for "balance"? Will you fail to get the big-name guests if you gain a reputation for asking hard questions?

I LOVE the show. But for Pete's sake, this is a Tea Partier! Many commenters in this thread suggested important lines of questioning: contraception and abortion, women's rights, history of Jim Crow in SC, alleged ethics investigation. How did she feel about the ultrasound requirement legislated in Virginia? How did she feel about Obama taking out Bin Laden? Not warrior enough for her? Teenage birthrates? What about Glass-Steagall? Is she a birther? Why didn't you get her to disavow that prior to her own run for national office?

How about discussing the myth of the free market? I'm not religious in any sense, but I'm growing fascinated by the notion that the "Free Market" flies in the face of the Second Commandment: Thou shalt have no other gods before me. How about asking her about the myth of the goodness of an unregulated market. What more important role in commerce does a government have other than to regulate markets? And I'm purposely not bringing in other important government functions.

So much of what the governor said was cant and script. Why did you let her get away with it, Brian? It was all feel-good, with little substance, other than to let acquaint your audience with another example of Republican cloud-based thinking.

Hope your staff brings this post to your attention.

Apr. 12 2012 01:29 AM
dfat from nyc

BL, poor interview!! U let this women of the hook!

Apr. 11 2012 11:21 PM
tom LI

To Greg - The Obama's will never be able to do right by the Right. They could cure all illnesses, find a huge surplus and put nearly every American in a job that pays a great salary and the GOP would find fault.

To Olivia - agree - to a point. What we get with youth is exuberance and a certain fearlessness to try NEW things that we dont and wont get from the staid, status quo sorts that we have now. Where deliberation after deliberation is what they want, and where now opposition to the other party in full - even when they borrow your ideas - is considered good governing.

To Haley and her and others tiresome cliche about Romneys Biz experience. Phooey! Running a Business is not the same as running a Govt. I run a Business, my brothers in Politics. They do not match up in any way. The rules and the powers are all different. And to keep up this lie that Romney, or whomever, will Do X, Do Y when he walks in the door is what keeps getting us in trouble each election cycle. No one walks into the Oval and can do what they want when they want...not yet. And with another GOP'er that monarchy might not be far away...

Vote GOP and you can guarantee the Middle Class will shrink even more within the first two years of that reign, er there will be a new word in the News. Ghetto-ization. Middle class Suburban enclaves will be ghetto-ized in huge numbers.

Apr. 11 2012 05:51 PM
Olivia from New York

My comment has nothing to do with political stands or ethnicity. Haley was introduced and touted as the youngest governor. Why is youth being so lauded in the media. What about experience - especially in positions of leadership. It's one thing in sports, where the youngest to master a particular physical feat is certainly to be admired - (though it often leads to early burnout) - but in governing, for one, experience should be a prerequisite for being elected to a lofty position of leadership. Real lives depend on good judgement which develops over time. Our love affair with youth is misguided; though I do envy their figures and smooth skin!

Apr. 11 2012 04:42 PM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

I've been keeping track of Gov Haley since she ran for governor and I am not favorably impressed by her. It is interesting to me that both she and Louisiana Governor Jindal, both Indian, are so conservative when they come from a culture that is, for the most part, so impoverished. I think the deal is that they support the rich and powerful in their effort to keep the "third world" in third place. What a shame.

Neither Governor Haley nor Governor Jindal is impressive in any way. It is also interesting to me that both governors converted to Christianity, so they are not merely republican, but part of the Christian Right. Hmmm....

Apr. 11 2012 11:45 AM
Greg from Jersey City

I found it striking Ms. Haley said Americans should look toward Governor Romney's wife for leadership because of her battle with multiple sclerosis. While her struggles with MS are certainly difficult (MS is a very serious health condition), where does this leave Michelle Obama's leadership in promoting a healthy lifestyle? Her work with Let's Move! and the Childhood Obesity Task Force is an area South Carolinian's need to look for leadership, especially after Ms. Haley openly expressed her state's obesity problem.

Apr. 11 2012 11:00 AM

Nikki Haley, as a good Republican, cannot actually say anything abuot Romney's stands. To say he is conservative will chill the indie and Dem voters to the bone, and to to say he's moderate will drive the Repub base crazy angry. Now begins the Pretend state go campaigning: Pretend to be all things to all people and hope they don't notice the discrepancies. (Obama will do the say thing.)

But, she did give me a chance to laugh, however derisively: Health issues in SC are somehow different than in CA...because...uh...because...ummm...because there's obesity and prostate cancer in SC and...the rich need more tax cuts.

Oh, c'mon. She wants block grants so the rich will taxed ever less and those living in poverty will just have to diet. Having less to eat will assist them in that objective. It's the Republican Way of health non-care for the poor.

And women didn't have to care about contraception --except for, of course, the poor and working classes who found the presecription costs too expensive-- because they believed it was securely legal and lots of insurance plans do cover contraception. But, without it, even Republican women can't control their rate of pregnancies. Rich Republican women would get the pills or whatever else they needed to manage their reproductive choices; the poor would not.

Contraception permits women to pursue not only motherhood but also life and career goals. Without it, they are at the whims of...chance encounters of sperm and egg.


Apr. 11 2012 10:55 AM

I really wish BL had followed up with how prostate cancer and diabetes is different in SC than it is in the other 50 states. Now if that were true, it would be a real story. But alas, it's not. Just talking points.

Apr. 11 2012 10:47 AM

Brian, your listeners are presumably educated enough to already know Haley's story. The starting point of that interview, following 1-2 minutes of pleasantries/book hawking, might have started with your last question. Otherwise what's the point of having the intelligent, well-prepared and significant journalist Brian Lehrer give her air time?

Apr. 11 2012 10:46 AM

P A T H E T I C !!!!

Apr. 11 2012 10:46 AM

note all the RED states on that list

Apr. 11 2012 10:46 AM
orla from NYC

I would not trust that woman as far as I could throw her.

Apr. 11 2012 10:45 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

That tears it.

Ms. Haley's view that Obama EXTENDED the recession is confusing the cure for the cause.

Just another case of SOEPO - Sic Obama Ergo Propter Obamae

The GOP mis-handling of the budget (stimulatory) and securities regulation (banking implosion)and oil prices caused the recession.
Under-sizing the stimulus made the 8% unemployment rate pledge a non-starter...Just another GOP liar.

Apr. 11 2012 10:45 AM
RAI from NY, NY

Just another wing-nut living in an alternate reality and spouting right-wing cant (Cant obviously IS an option!).

Apr. 11 2012 10:45 AM

State list with birth rate (per 1,000 teenage girls):
1. Mississippi 55
2. New Mexico 52.9
3. Arkansas 52.5
4. Texas 52.2
5. Oklahoma 50.4
6. Louisiana 47.7
7. Kentucky 46.2
8. West Virginia 44.8
9. Alabama 43.6
10. Tennessee 43.2
11. South Carolina 42.5

Apr. 11 2012 10:44 AM
Nick from UWS

Get government out of the way. And I'm a career politician. To put it bluntly, are you crazy?

Apr. 11 2012 10:44 AM
Robyn from Brooklyn

Deciding what kind of health care SC needs, see: no contraception or planned parenthood.

Apr. 11 2012 10:44 AM

put it to her man! let's learn something!

Apr. 11 2012 10:44 AM
Jack from Brookly

Please please please challenge the governor about statements like Obama's deficit! Educated adults should know better than to think that the 2008 economic crash, rising unemployment, the need for gov't bailouts, and .... come from the previous administration (and congress), not from Obama.

Apr. 11 2012 10:44 AM

My niece in NC (who was born on LI) is constantly harassed in school by "good Christians" who tell her she will go to hell because she's not Christian, just like your family. How can you be part of a religion that bullies people? Your holier than thou conversion, is opportunistic and convenient. You are Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann in another form. Brian, why do you say she is a rising star? - because she's not white?

Apr. 11 2012 10:43 AM

Hey NIKKI!!!

Let's not forget that a "conversion" to Xtainity is also very politically convenient!!!

How else would the racists of South Carolina consider electing a woman to Gov??

It's one thing to be a woman but... a woman and a Sikh??

... can't "convert" your gender, so... you convert what you can, eh???

C'mon!!! Cut the BS!!!

Making us sick!


Apr. 11 2012 10:43 AM
john from office

We lost our credit rating because of the Tea party, not because of Obama!!!!!

Apr. 11 2012 10:42 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

"What have Republicans done for minorities?"

Wow, if that doesn't tell you how the Democrats have addicted minorities to being infantilized.
Minorities just can't make it without the government doing it fot them?

LOL......and I don't think that you were talking about Asians.

Apr. 11 2012 10:42 AM
Karla from Brooklyn

This woman is clearly an immigrant success story, however she does nothing more than spout the same old Republican rhetoric. If she wishes for government to "get out of the way," why did she run for governor and why is she now running to be Romney's running-mate?

Apr. 11 2012 10:42 AM
Gabriel from NYC

I'm so sick of hearing "get our country back on track". Especially from radical republicans that don't seem to understand anything of what our country was founded on or the progress that was fought for over so many decades.

Apr. 11 2012 10:41 AM
C.E. Connelly from Manhattan

"How business fail and how government plays a role"! Oh my. What a load of baloney. This is useless, she's just repeating the Republican talking points we've heard again and again from the presidential contenders.

Apr. 11 2012 10:41 AM
jmurphy from long island

Wow, you can't even see the hand up her back. Government is not in the way of business. Businesses have plenty of money to hire (as stated on this very show), they just don't want to spend it in an uncertain global economy and there is nothing any US president, republican or democrat, can singularly do to stabilize the rest of the world.

Apr. 11 2012 10:40 AM
Larry W

How does she feel that Obama LED the way to taking out Bin Laden???

Apr. 11 2012 10:40 AM
tony from manhattan

does ms. haley, as a christian, believe as her parents did (which led her to christianity), that each person has their own way to god, that they must find the way that speaks to them?

Apr. 11 2012 10:40 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

Does she suppor Bush's bailout or Romney letting Detroit go broke?

Apr. 11 2012 10:39 AM
Nick from UWS


Apr. 11 2012 10:39 AM
CL from NYC

I'm going to go way out on a limb and suggest that this biography is little more than an attempt to get media attention in order to flog the GOP agenda. Now, let's see whether BL bores in (or settles for discussing the details of the author's bio).

Apr. 11 2012 10:38 AM

"Getting govt out of the way" = code word for being "above the law"

Apr. 11 2012 10:38 AM
David Labate

Why an interview with Nikki Haley.
The republican party is the only party to back a person who has been a disaster in office.
NYPD is much more important

Apr. 11 2012 10:37 AM
john from office

This woman must have really deep race issues. White but not white, black but not black. Married white and has mixed kids.

Apr. 11 2012 10:37 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

She sounds a reasonable person but I would have trouble getting past a person who kept the books for a small business in South Carolina at thirteen.

My uncle, J.I., owned a poultry farm near Orangeburg, S.C., and I worked there for part of a summer relaxing everyday after work in the pool at the country club that he and other minority business men HAD TO BUILD because of segregation.

I admire her experience but don't hear enough knowledge of the American Experience to ever vote for her.

Apr. 11 2012 10:37 AM

Sikh or Methodist, please keep your gods out of our government.

Apr. 11 2012 10:36 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

What have republicans done for minorities?

Apr. 11 2012 10:34 AM

Brian, PLEASE ask Gov. Haley where she stands on contraception and abortion and women's ability to access both. Grill her Brian: does she think contraception should be covered by insurance. Does she think viagra should be? The morning after pill?

Apr. 11 2012 10:33 AM

Brian -

Please ask your listeners why they aren't even remotely as critical of liberal guests on your show.

Apr. 11 2012 10:31 AM
the_hme from Jersey City, NJ

Why do you think women do not care about birth control?

Don't you think that the racial criticism you have received because of your religion use of turbans stereotypes your people and therefore shouldn't you be more conscious about immigrants? I should not have to carry around documentation that no-one else has to carry just because like you, I am also not white, which doesn't mean you are not an immigrant.

Why should we, women, be proud of someone like you who doesn't care to protect women rights to their bodies and who doesn't care to possibly separate immigrant families who possibly have undocumented members in their families?

Apr. 11 2012 10:28 AM


Please ask how she feels about the ethics investigation that was launched against her because her campaign incorrectly reported more than $1.3 million in contributions.

Apr. 11 2012 10:25 AM

"How would you compare and contrast your own political positions to those of Sarah Palin?"

"In your book, where do so-called values issues, such as abortion rights, stand in comparision to economic issues, such as providing social safety nets for the poor and economic safety nets for the rich?

"Can you name an example where you have changed your mind?"

Apr. 11 2012 10:12 AM
Robert Taylor from New Hyde Park, N.Y.

Please ask Ms Haley if she has read Isabelle Wilkerson's "The Warmth of Other Suns"; I think its chapters on the conditions of the races in the South in the first half of the last century might give her some insight into the current conditions in the state she governs.

Especial attention needs to be paid to the lesson perhaps learnt by our African-American citizens when Jim Crow clamped down on them just as they were starting to accumulate capital (and so, status): it's not even worth trying---and the amazingly disparate funding and concern that made an absolute sham of 'separate but equal'.

Attention should also be paid to how popular this all was with the white citizenry, who (no matter how low their state) take comfort from not being black, and take out their frustrations on black people, who (and this might be hard to believe) could be killed with impunity.

Apr. 11 2012 09:42 AM

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