The Republican response to President Obama’s final State of the Union address on Jan. 12 will be delivered by popular South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the news in a statement Tuesday afternoon:
“Nikki Haley has led an economic turnaround and set a bold agenda for her state, getting things done and becoming one of the most popular governors in America,” Speaker Ryan said. “In a year when the country is crying out for a positive vision and alternative to the status quo, Governor Haley is the exact right choice to deliver the Republican Address to the Nation.”
Haley thanked both Ryan and McConnell for their votes of confidence in delivering an effective response.
“I was honored to be asked by Speaker Ryan and Senator McConnell to deliver the Republican address to the nation,” Gov. Haley said. “This is a time of great challenges for our country, but also of great opportunities. I intend to speak about both.”
Haley is widely respected by conservatives for her success in bringing jobs to her state, driving down the unemployment rate and refusing to raise taxes. She also acted as a unifier for both Republicans and Democrats after tragedy struck in Charleston this past summer. When Dylann Roof, motivated by a white supremacist group, killed nine people in a predominantly black church in June, residents asked for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state courthouse. Haley promptly called for the flag to be taken down.
Haley’s name has also been thrown around as a potential vice presidential pick. Will her rebuttal next week give her more than a fair shot at that title?