Politics & Government

September 30, 2013

Haley: DC leadership woes to blame for shutdown threat

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley blamed a lack of leadership in Washington for the threat of a federal government shutdown Monday.

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley blamed a lack of leadership in Washington for the threat of a federal government shutdown Monday.

Congress argued over budget deals Monday that differ in funding the sweeping Affordable Healthcare Act. Haley, a Republican, has opposed the national healthcare plan.

"When it comes to D.C. I have never been more frustrated with a group of people in my life because Republicans and Democrats are both wrong in this," Haley told the Columbia Rotary Club on Monday. "If that (S.C.) State House ever shut down, you would have me stoned. ... What leader allows a government to shut down. You can't do it because you're putting so many many other people in the balance. Why does it get to this point?"

Haley said she is upset about talk about raising the federal debt ceiling.

"What about balancing our budget? Leaving within our means?" she added. "They are having the totally wrong conversation in D.C."

Haley also said she was unhappy about getting messages from the White House and President Barack Obama on the eve of a shutdown.

"Where were you three and four weeks ago?" she said. "Why weren't you pulling people into a room -- and I have had to do it at the State House before, pull Republicans and Democrats in a room and say, 'Stop. At some point, we're going to act like adults today.' That is why I've been so hard on President Obama: This is all under your watch. I get blamed for every bad thing that happens, and I don't get any praise for any good thing that happens. ... He could have fixed this before it got to this point."

Andrew Whalen, manager of Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen's campaign for governor, said Haley's criticisims were "rich given that she has spent three years making Columbia more like Washington, DC."

"We need a governor who focuses on improving South Carolina rather than rehashing national political battles while the economy lags and middle-class families struggle to keep their heads above water," Whalen said in a written statement.

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