Gov. Nikki Haley (R-S.C.) appeared on the April 3 edition of ABC's The View to discuss her new book, “Can’t Is Not an Option.” Liberal journalist and View host Barbara Walters hoped to conduct a relatively positive interview, hailing Haley as a "true American success story."
But doing a positive segment on a successful female conservative Republican politician was just not an option for liberal co-host Joy Behar, who tried to transform the segment into an occasion to further the liberal media's "war on women" meme. (Audio here, video after the jump)
While the rest of the panel asked questions related to Haley's book, and to Haley's rise to the governorship, Behar chose to try and corner Haley on the ObamaCare contraception mandate, and on how it is at all possible, in her mind, for Romney to defeat President Obama, “Things [economically] are getting better, everybody knows it?”
Behar’s unbridled hatred towards the Republican Party seemed to annoy her colleagues, as this exchange shows (emphasis added):
JOY BEHAR: I know Its’s shocking. So when I ask this question, you understand why. President Obama has done a lot, I think, in my opinion. Unemployment is going down, 200,000 jobs just been added in March. The stock market is going up. He saved GM. He caught Osama Bin Laden, he--
BARBARA WALTERS: Ok, ask your question–
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: Do you want a music track to go with this song?
BEHAR: Well, here’s my question. What is Romney's counter argument to that? Things are getting better, everybody knows it.
To be fair, Behar admitted her own bias, confessing she's coming at the presidential campaign as "of course, a liberal Democrat."
The full transcript can be seen below.
April 3, 2012
11:23 a.m. EDT
BARBARA WALTERS, host: You wanna hear about the American dream? Well, South Carolina's Governor Nikki Haley is a true American success story. She overcame a childhood of racism and rejection as the daughter of the first family from India to move to a tiny southern town. Her political career triumphed over a lot of ugly campaign smears and scandals, and today, she could be on Mitt Romney's short list for Vice President. She has written a very interesting book, "Can’t Is Not an Option” and is certainly hasn't been for Governor Nikki Haley. Welcome.
Gov. NIKKI HALEY (R-S.C.): Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
[ Applause ]
WALTERS: You're the first female Governor of South Carolina. You're the youngest Governor in the United States. It may be that Mitt Romney says, I think I might like to have a woman. Would you consider being Vice President?
HALEY: No, I--
HALEY: I'm blessed to be the Governor of South Carolina. I made a promise to the people of this state and they took a great chance on me, so I want to finish my job.
WALTERS: So if he asked you, you’re gonna say no?
HALEY: I'd say thank you, but no.
JOY BEHAR: Very good, very good.
ELISABETH HASSELBECK: But what about at the end of your term in 2015? What’s your plan then? Re-election or-
WHOPPI GOLDBERG: Don’t even worry about that–
HALEY: You know, I don't think that far ahead. I have to take it one day at a time. I say, do the best you can and tomorrow, then let's try this again.
BEHAR: A lot of people are endorsing Mitt Romney now. H.W., the first President Bush, and the second President Bush, and–
HASSELBECK: And Rubio–
BEHAR: And Rubio and a lot of people. But you know, I have to say, and I'm a democrat, of course, a liberal democrat but–
[ Laughter ]
BEHAR: I know Its’s shocking. So when I ask this question, you understand why. President Obama has done a lot, I think, in my opinion. Unemployment is going down, 200,000 jobs just been added in March. The stock market is going up. He saved GM. He caught Osama Bin Laden, he--
WALTERS: Ok, ask your question–
HASSELBACK: Do you want a music track to go with this song?
BEHAR: Well, here’s my question. What is Romney's counter argument to that? Things are getting better, everybody knows it?
HALEY: We have seen more debt in these three years, then we saw in Bush’s eight years.
BEHAR: The debt? But Ronald Reagan, we had a lot of debt!
HALEY: No, you look at–
WALTERS: I love this argument, but I’d really like to talk about the Governor because she's so interesting.
BEHAR: Alright. Do you want to let her answer the question?
HASSELBACK: Well truly people probably aren’t feeling it.
HALEY: We need a business person in the White House, we need someone who knows how to creates jobs and not have the government do it and have the private sector do it.
BEHAR: But even though jobs are increasing–ok.
HALEY: Government jobs.
HASSELBECK: But not fast enough for everyone on unemployment out there.
[ Applause ]
HASSELBECK: You know, I want to talk about your family because you write about it extensively in the book. And it's such an interesting story. Your parents immigrated to this country in 1969 from India, to a small town in South Carolina, 2,500 people, maybe just short of that. And you write about the racism that your family faced there and you experienced. Can you can share with your audience some what you've written?
HALEY: You know, we were the first Indian family in a small town called Bamberg. They didn't know about us. We didn't know about them, and so we faced a lot of challenges but the story behind all of it is they got to know us, and I got to know that town and the way we all grew. And what does it say about the great state of South Carolina? That they elected a 38-year-old Indian-American female for Governor? Pretty amazing.
HASSELBECK: That’s what this country is about. It really is. It’s, you know, the American story–
WALTERS: You went through a lot of that. You also, this was something that was in all the papers, so it’s a tough question, but I’m going to have you answer it, you spent five years as a state representative before you ran for Governor. And then things got very messy. You were accused of having extramarital affairs that nearly crippled your campaign. You were accused of having affairs with two men. You were married. How do you survive–by the way, not only is she married, she's been married for 15 years to a terrific guy who is sitting in our audience, Michael Haley. Okay?
[ applause ]
WALTERS: So I'm not sure this would have happened with a man, although Governor Sanford who was the Governor had not a few problems as we know and his wife left him. Fine. How do you survive this kind of thing?
HALEY: Well first of all, you see for what it is. It happened after Rasmussen came out, and said I was in first place. Nobody talked about it for 16 months, and suddenly a month before the election, two of these things pop up. But the interesting thing is, that's the problem with the media. Don't listen to these unaccountable, anonymous bloggers that are going to go there and throw these things out when we have no fact. There was never–
BEHAR: Anybody can throw anything out these days
HALEY: Exactly. What we've got to make sure we do is don't listen to people who have no fact. Or their unaccountable, let's make sure we put facts on the table and let them fall where they may. But it says–
WALTERS: It must have been tough, wasn’t it?
HALEY: It was incredibly tough. And it was something that we didn’t see coming. What I did do and what they didn't realize, all it did is motivate me more. It was everything I wanted out of politics. It was everything I wanted out of government.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Are you, so you're a fan of getting rid of all this negative campaigning that people do?
HALEY: No, the public doesn’t want to hear about it.
GOLDBERG: On both ends?
HALEY: They want to hear about jobs and the economy and families, and what we're doing raising our kids. They don't want to talk about that.
WALTERS: I’m sorry, dear. I just wanted to ask you, the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, still flies the confederate flag. As someone who has experienced discrimination, why don't you tear down that flag?
HALEY: You know, the flag went through a bitter compromise debate. They brought it off the top of the state house, now it's on the grounds, along with an African-American monument as a part of history. But I will tell you, I want South Carolina to be defined that they just elected a 38-year-old Indian-American Governor. That is South Carolina. That’s the greatest of our state.
BEHAR: Except you say you still have to fight the good old boys down there. And are you still fighting the good old boys?
HALEY: Listen, I don't wear heels for a fashion statement. That's ammunition. I mean, you know that’s part of what happens. But it’s also why women need to get involved in office. Its why we need real people running for office.
BEHAR: We need women–
HALEY: Because we need to make sure that we're getting our experiences out and that we're telling our story. And in the book you hear, yes, I went through a lot of challenges but we overcame them. And what a blessed country we are that we can do that. And that my parents can now see this happen.
HASSELBECK: How did you, quickly before we go, a lot of times people associate women's rights with liberals, right? And not Republican women. So how do you say, yes, I–we are here representing women. I'm working right now for government. How do you put that out there in terms of Republicans versus liberals?
HALEY: All of my policy is not based on a label. It's based on what I lived and what I know. Women don't care about contraception. They care about jobs and the economy and raising their families and all those things, and so we–
BEHAR: Well, they care about contraception, too.
HALEY: Well that’s not the only thing they care about. The media wants to talk about contraception–
BEHAR: Well no, but when someone like Rick Santorum says he's going to take it away, we care?
[ Applause ]
HALEY: Well, while we care about contraception, let's be clear, all we're saying is we don't want government to mandate when we have to have it and when we don't. We want to be able make that decision. We don't need government making that decision for us.
WALTERS: First of all, thank you for being with us–
HALEY: Oh, thank you.
WALTERS: I don't think we've heard the last from you. Your term is up in 2015. You probably–Are you going to run again?
HALEY: We haven't thought about that, but-
WALTERS: Well, that means yes.
[ Laughter ]
WALTERS: and we're going to be looking to you for the future–
HALEY: Thank you–
WALTERS: You have quite a story. It's called "Can't Is Not an Option: My American Story.” Your parents are alive to see your success. That’s really a wonderful story.
HALEY: They’re very proud.
WALTERS: This is so nice. Everybody in our audience is going to be going home with a copy of this book. Thank you, Governor. Appreciate it.