But the truth is Gov. Nikki Haley — with her record of supporting Trumpian anti-immigrant policies — is as right-wing on immigration as anyone else in the GOP. As governor, Haley signed the extreme, anti-immigrant bill SB 20 to “require police officers to check the immigration status of people they stop for another reason.” The bill’s sponsors even touted that they used Arizona’s “Papers Please” law as inspiration.
That’s how far to the right Donald Trump has dragged the GOP on immigration. Supporting discriminatory, anti-immigrant legislation that encourages racial profiling makes her an “open borders” liberal, by comparison.
Here’re some of the GOP’s angry reactions to Haley’s response:
After the State of the Union, Ann Coulter, the conservative gadfly who thrives on extreme rhetoric, unleashed a punishing tweetstorm targeting the South Carolina governor during her moment in the spotlight.
Coulter’s takeaway: “Trump should deport Nikki Haley.” For some on the right, the governor was just a mouthpiece for the GOP establishment. She even dared blame Washington dysfunction on Republicans.
“65% of conservative voters say the United States should not let in any refugees from the entire Middle East — the point of view Republican leadership is presumably attacking with its State of the Union rebuttal,” Julia Hahn wrote at Breitbart. “Yet Ryan’s strategy for the Republican Party’s State of the Union response seems consistent with GOP leadership’s longstanding practice of demeaning its own voter base.”
Laura Ingraham blasted the GOP and Haley for the rebuttal, which she said was more of a rebuttal to Donald Trump than President Barack Obama.
“To the glee of our corrupt media, Nikki Haley is attacking our own frontrunner. The GOP Establishment is garbage,” tweeted Breitbart columnist John Nolte.
And, lastly, here’s Trump’s own response, via Business Insider:
“I respond a couple of ways. No. 1, she’s very weak on illegal immigration. I’ve known that for a long time. But she’s weak on illegal immigration. And she certainly has no trouble asking me for campaign contributions. Because over the years, she’s asked me for a hell of a lot of money in campaign contributions. So it’s sort of interesting to hear her,” Trump mused.
Published: Jan 13, 2016