CHARLESTON, S.C., Jan. 13 (UPI) -- South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley surprised many in her GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address for taking as many shots at Donald Trump as she did at the president's policies.
Gov. Haley, an Indian-American, took issue with Trump's anti-immigrant speech as much as the president did, earning her praise and criticism within her own party. Her response touched the usual opposition points on Obamacare and national and economic policies, but Haley clearly tried to distance Republicans from his rhetoric, though she never said his name.
"Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory. During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices," Haley said, stating she is "the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country."
"We must resist that temptation," Haley continued. "No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country."
Haley is seen as a possible running mate for the 2016 GOP nominee, but has also courted controversy in the South when she backed the effort to remove the Confederate flag from the South Carolina statehouse after several African Americans were slain in their church in a racially motivated massacre.
"There's a tendency to falsely equate noise with results," Haley said Tuesday. "Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true. Often, the best thing we can do is turn down the volume."
Though she received praise for her remarks from both sides of the aisle, some conservatives were not pleased.
"Too bad @NikkiHaley missed her oppty to stand w/ working ppl who want borders enforced, American workers put first, govt shrunk," tweeted radio talk show host Laura Ingraham.
Too bad @NikkiHaley missed her oppty to stand w/ working ppl who want borders enforced, American workers put first, govt shrunk.— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 13, 2016
In multiple tweets, Ann Coulter harangued the governor, declaring: "Trump should deport Nikki Haley," in one tweet, and in another quoted Haley's "turn down the volume" statement, saying it translated into "voters need to shut the hell up."