South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley took aim at GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in addition to condemning President Barack Obama’s policies during the Republican response to the State of the Union Tuesday evening.
While the governor didn’t specifically name Trump in her speech, the Republican politician alluded to issues with the billionaire businessman’s plan to bar Muslims from entering the country, saying she Americans should resist temptation to follow the “siren call of the angriest voices.”
“My story is really not much different from millions of other Americans. Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America,” Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, said. “They wanted better for their children than for themselves. That remains the dream of all of us, and in this country we have seen time and again that that dream is achievable.”
While she said no hard-working, law-abiding person should feel unwelcome in the country, the governor spoke out against opening the borders and the president’s call to allow 10,000 Syrian refugees to settle in the U.S.
“We cannot continue to allow immigrants to come here illegally,” she said. “And in this age of terrorism, we must not let in refugees whose intentions cannot be determined.”
Addressing the fatal shooting at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston this summer, Haley said the tragedy led to vigils, not violence in the state and applauded the states removal of the Confederate flag.
“We removed a symbol that was being used to divide us, and we found a strength that united us against a domestic terrorist and the hate that filled him,” she said.
Pivoting topics, she said a Republican in the White House would lead to positive changes for the nation.
The governor said Obama has not lived up to the promises he made and has failed to adequately address the terrorist threats the country faces. Haley, who many speculate could be a potential vice presidential contender, said changes need to be made to repeal Obamacare, protect religious liberty and strengthen foreign relations.
Going after the president’s foreign policy positions, she said a Republican would create policies that support Israel, not Iran.
“Our forefathers paved the way for us. Let’s take their values, and their strengths, and rededicate ourselves to doing whatever it takes to keep America the greatest country in the history of man. And woman,” Haley concluded. “Thank you, good night, and God bless.”