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South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Friday, May 27, 2011

HH: Pleased to welcome back South Carolina’s great new governor, Nikki Haley. Governor, good to talk to you again.

NH: Oh, it’s great to be back on with you as well.

HH: Now Governor, I want to spend some time on your agenda inside South Carolina, but I want to start by talking about the outrageous attack of the NLRB on the Boeing plant in Charleston. How have you responded to that? I know you went up to D.C. And where is that controversy today?

NH: You know, I will tell you it was funny the first day, because it almost seemed comical. It was not funny the next day, because you realized it was real. I mean, what the NLRB is basically saying is that we no longer can create jobs anywhere that we want to. You have an all-American company like Boeing that has jobs in Washington. They chose to create a new line in South Carolina, creating a thousand jobs, did an amazing thing for South Carolina. While they created the thousand jobs in South Carolina, they expanded their operations in Washington, created two thousand more jobs there in Washington. Not one person was hurt, and yet the NLRB’s going to sue Boeing and say that they shouldn’t done it. You know, we have already seen what the federal government’s trying to do with mandatory health care. When they start to regulate where our companies can and can’t do business, that’s a direct assault on everything we know America to be. And all they are doing is pushing companies to go out of the country, and keeping any companies from coming in that would want to do business. So what we did was we immediately let Washington and the President know this was not okay. I said this may start in South Carolina, but I’m not going to let any other governor go through this process. We have Boeing’s back. We went to D.C. and spoke with the members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We told them we need it to be loud, we need it to be clear, and then we issued pretty much a question to the President and said explain to us, do you think this is okay. And I promise you, this is going to be a strong policy discussion for our presidential election, because if we have a president that thinks this is okay, we’ve got a real problem for our country.

HH: Well, I’ve talked about it with Governor Palwenty, I’ve talked about it with Lamar Alexander, and with Mitch McConnell. I’ve had Jim DeMint on, I talked about it earlier today, about getting appropriations riders in there. Have any Democrats, any Democrats at all, Nikki Haley, stepped up to tell you that they are with you in the creation of jobs in the South?

NH: You know, they haven’t, and we’ve reached out to governors. And that’s my job, is to reach out to as many governors as I can and say this is not just right to work states. This is right to work states and non-right to work states. It effects all of us. And you know, I really don’t think this is partisan. This is American. This is if you believe in creating jobs in this country, if you believe in expanding and doing what we know our country to be, then we need to take direct actions on how we’re going to deal with this. And President Obama put these members on this board, is allowing this board to do this, and he owes the people of this country an explanation.

HH: Now I’ve been following it closely, getting the press releases from Boeing. Are you in touch with Boeing? Are they committed to staying there and fighting to get this plant open on time?

NH: Yes, I am in constant communication with Boeing. Boeing is great, they are still in production, they are ahead of schedule. They continue to be the great company we know them to be, and they have great relationships with their employees in both South Carolina and Washington. The thing is, we’re going to win the lawsuit. I think that it’s so ridiculous, we’re going to win it. The problem is they’re going to end up spending millions of dollars in the process, which is so incredibly wrong. And we are stalling companies that are going to actually hold their breath, because they don’t want to take the same chance of being sued.

HH: I talked to one of your suppliers in Greenville who provides parts, or who will hopefully provide parts to Boeing. And it’s not just Boeing jobs that are being lost. It’s across the state and across the region, and indeed across the country. So good luck in that. Now Governor, tell us about your budget, and about your agenda in the South Carolina legislature. How have your first four or five months in office gone?

NH: They have been great. I really believe I represent the best state in the country. We have already passed a law that requires all of our legislators to have to show their votes on the record. They didn’t have to do that, and on top of having to show their votes on the record, they actually have to show their vote on every section of the budget, which has been an amazing thing for our state. We passed Medicaid reform, which is actually causing providers to have to negotiate with our agencies, dropping costs out of the system. We just signed a bill into law where photo ID is now required before you can vote, which just makes sure that we keep the integrity of the election process in place. We are debating tort reform right now. Unemployment’s down for the fourth time in a row, tourism is up, exports are up, all is going very, very well in South Carolina.

HH: And Governor, will you be able to balance the budget this year?

NH: Yes, we absolutely will balance the budget this year, and not only that, we are looking at those things. We went back to the basics and said what is the role of government, what do we have to have, and what do we not have to have. And it was a reminder of government was intended to secure the rights and the freedoms of the people. It was never intended to be all things to all people. So we, you know, I have proposed things like getting rid of our arts commission, which 77% of that was going to salaries. I proposed getting rid of $10 million dollars for public television, which in this day in time, we no longer need. And we need to strip that out of the process. All of these things are a great way to evaluate our progress.

HH: Amen. Governor Haley, great start, great to have you back, thank for being on the Hugh Hewitt Show.

End of interview.

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