Nikki Haley Calls For Bipartisanship In Rebuttal
In the Republican Party's official rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley echoed the president's bipartisanship call, and issued a meek apology on behalf of her party for the political gridlock that has plagued Washington in recent years. Sharp partisanship in Congress has come to characterize much of Obama's presidency, with bickering between parties leading to one legislative impasse after another, which culminated in a dramatic shutdown of the federal government in 2013. "It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency — that the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better," Obama said in his annual State of the Union address.
In her rebuttal, Haley also touched on the issue of bipartisanship and Washington's recent history of political gridlock, and echoed Obama's emphasis on the importance of fixing this issue:
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. There is more than enough blame to go around.
We as Republicans need to own that truth. We need to recognize our contributions to the erosion of the public trust in America's leadership. We need to accept that we've played a role in how and why our government is broken.
And then we need to fix it.
But the pseudo-apology ended there, as Haley transitioned into how the Republican Party would continue to "stand up for our beliefs" in the "new era" that awaits the American government. "If we held the White House," Haley said, before launching into a list of legislative dreams held by the Republican Congress.
However, hints that bipartisanship may become a priority for both parties continued. While Obama spoke to listening to the diverse voices that make up the nation, Haley cautioned against following "the siren call of the angriest voices." While Obama spoke of the need for rational debate, Haley recommended turning "down the volume" (Donald Trump, are you listening?) in order to actively listen to what others say.
If rumors that Haley's selection to give the official Republican SOTU rebuttal could potentially lead to her named as a vice presidential candidate are true, then the 2016 election would benefit from a little bipartisanship talk.