Nikki Haley Throws Shade At Donald Trump In Her SOTU Rebuttal, Proving That Even The GOP Is Sick Of Him
With a thinly veiled comment, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley threw shade at Donald Trump during her Republican State of the Union rebuttal. Referencing the widespread suspicion of immigrants in America, Haley said we should not "follow the siren call of the angriest voices." Hmm. Who could she be talking about? But that wasn't her last coded reference to the plague of the GOP.
Haley was tapped to deliver the annual rebuttal to the president's State of the Union address this year, riding on a wave of generally positive policy action in her home state. Speaking from Columbia, South Carolina, Haley managed to deliver one of the most memorable GOP responses in the last few years (not that she has a lot of fierce competition). Haley's brief speech was thoughtful, delivered well, and, perhaps most importantly, chock full of shots at Trump.
As The New Republic noted, Haley's response was not only to Obama's speech, but to the increasingly radical face of the Republican Party: Donald Trump. The first "siren call" comment came as no surprise, Haley has been outspoken about the fact that she wants nothing to do with Trump's racist comments. The daughter of Sikh immigrants took Trump's comments on undocumented immigrants to task on Meet the Press in July, so those angry voices she talked about were almost certainly those of Trump and his supporters.
But Haley didn't stop there. She went on to reference (even if not directly) Trump's loud mouth as she detailed her actions to remove the Confederate flag in South Carolina over the summer:
There's an important lesson in this. In many parts of society today, whether in popular culture, academia, the media, or politics, there's a tendency to falsely equate noise with results.
Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.
Turn down the volume, or get Trump out of the race? It seems that Haley believes that getting Trump out of the way would clear room for thoughtful dialogue.
Haley also seemed to nod (or scoff?) at Trump in two instances that the U.S. was the greatest country in the world. At the beginning of her rebuttal, she called America "the freest and greatest in the world." She reiterated that as she rounded out her speech, saying that citizens should do "whatever it takes to keep America the greatest country in the history of man. And woman."
Hear, hear, on the "woman" addition! But it seems as if Haley was trying to paint a contrast between the Republican Party at large and Trump, who keeps telling voters that we need to "make America great again." The South Carolina governor, meanwhile, tried to remind listeners that America never stopped being great, but that its exceptionalism might need a little maintenance.