South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley took herself off the short list to be Mitt Romney’s running mate months ago, but she’ll still have a headline speaking spot at this month’s Republican National Convention in Tampa.
Haley is among the first speakers announced for the convention, along with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez. RNC organizers didn’t give an exact schedule for the August 27-30 event at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, where Republicans will formally nominate Mitt Romney for the presidency.
Gov. Haley’s inclusion on the RNC speaking slate is not without some controversy. In December, Palmetto Public Record reported on allegations that the governor approved a controversial ports deal with Georgia in exchange for a prime speaking spot at the RNC — of which the Georgia Ports Authority’s chairman is an organizer. While Gov. Haley’s staff categorically denied that any deal took place, it’s certainly apparent that the end result was the same.
Either way, the governor wasted no time in launching a fact-free preview of her RNC speech. “While Americans work to build their businesses and create jobs, leaders of the Democratic Party have spent more than three years raising taxes, increasing spending and taking away our health care choices,” she said.
Looking at this quote, it’s easy to wonder whether Gov. Haley has been paying attention at all since President Obama took office in 2009. Let’s briefly examine the governor’s statement:
- “Raising taxes” – President Obama’s stimulus plan contained over $200 billion in tax relief and benefits for lower- and middle-class families, and most Americans have seen their tax rate drop under Obama. Fact. Mitt Romney’s tax plan would raise taxes on the middle class, while giving wealthy Americans a huge tax break. Fact.
- “Increasing spending” – The emergency stimulus measures taken by the Obama Administration were unavoidable, and rescued the country from an economic nosedive begun under the previous administration. Fact. The Affordable Care Act, which Republicans like Gov. Haley frequently criticize for increasing federal spending, is actually projected to lower the deficit in the long term. Fact.
- “Taking away our health care choices” – The Affordable Care Act specifically made sure that no one would be forced to give up their private insurance plan if they choose. Fact. The law actually gives Americans more health care choices, because those without insurance will now be able to buy it under state health care exchanges. Fact.
The Romney campaign has made something of a modus operandi out of stretching the truth well past the breaking point, so it’s no surprise that Haley would follow suit as a campaign surrogate. But if we were able to find so many flaws in just one sentence of the governor’s pitch for Romney, imagine how error-ridden her actual speech will be!