The House’s highest-ranking Republican woman said Thursday that South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley should be judged on her abilities, not her looks, dismissing a remark by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King.
U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who is fourth in leadership as the chair of the Republican Conference, was asked about King’s comment to The Associated Press that Haley wasn’t a “principled conservative” in the GOP. But, he added, “I think she’s beautiful so I’d be happy if she’s the face of the party.”
Haley delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday and called for welcoming legal immigrants to the country as long as they’re properly vetted. She also called resisting the temptation “to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.”
She faced a backlash from some conservatives, who interpreted her remarks as bashing GOP frontrunner Donald Trump and as a call for unlimited legal immigration into the country. King, of Iowa, is a strong conservative foe of efforts to overhaul the immigration system.