OTR Interviews

Gov. Nikki Haley addresses her swipe at Trump

S.C. governor goes 'On the Record' on her controversial response to Pres. Obama's State of the Union address and sizes up Thursday's GOP debate on FBN


This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," January 13, 2016. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: South Carolina's Governor Nikki Haley gave last night's GOP rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union. The governor's address triggering huge praise, but also getting some backlash. Governor Haley not only going after Democrats, but some Republicans, too.


NIKKI HALEY, SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR: Barack Obama's election as president seven years ago broke historic barriers and inspired millions of Americans. Unfortunately, the President's record has often fallen far short of his soaring words.

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.

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. We must resist that temptation.

No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.


VAN SUSTEREN: Fresh off her GOP rebuttal, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley goes ON THE RECORD.

Good evening, governor.

HALEY: Hi, Greta. How are you?

VAN SUSTEREN: Very well.

So, governor, you are equal opportunity. You took off after the Democrat, the president of the United States, but also you gave your own party a little hell. Were you talking about Donald Trump?

HALEY: Yes, I was talking about a lot of people, certainly Mr. Trump was one of them. But, you know, what we learned last year in Charleston was we went through a lot of challenges, but the way we got through the Walter Scott issue, the way we got through the Mother Emanuel issue, the way we got through the 1,000 year flood was by listening to each other, by making sure that we heard what everyone needed and then getting there.

And so I just worry when we get irresponsible with the way that we talk, our goal is to make everyone feel welcome. Our goal is to make sure we work together. Our goal is to make sure that we have immigrants coming here legally, not illegally.

And so when you talk about that, you have to make sure that Republicans and Democrats know that there are ways of talking, the ways of communicating has to be responsible.

VAN SUSTEREN: I guess I would say that some ways that I thought, listening to you, that the Republican Party may be a little bigger tent. There is some disagreement. Even today, you were talking about the different candidates. You don't agree with all the candidates, is that right?

HALEY: No. And, of course. And they don't all agree with me. I mean, that's part of the presidential process. They were asking me, you know, is this all about Trump? And I said, look, you know, Mr. Trump, I consider him a friend. He gave me donations in the past, but I disagree with the fact that he wants to start using religion as a way to divide people. That's not how we have ever done things in this country.

And, you know, the same I talked about Marco Rubio. I'm against his Gang of Eight Bill. He is not for amnesty, but I was against his Gang of Eight Bill. Governor Bush, he supported Common Core. Certainly didn't pass it, but supported it.

All these things you bring up because you are never going to agree with everyone. And you are not going to agree on all things. But what we want to do is say, look, let's talk about the issues that matter and at the end, who is that right person that can step up on most of the issues that we can all agree on?

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. You mentioned Senator Rubio and amnesty. I think I heard something earlier today. Did you misspeak earlier today about an amnesty remark about Marco Rubio? I thought -- maybe you didn't.

What did you say earlier today?


VAN SUSTEREN: You misspeak?

HALEY: Yes, it's been a long couple of days. What I said was that I didn't agree with him. I meant what I didn't agree with him was on the Gang of Eight Bill. I said that he wasn't for amnesty. That's not what I meant. What I meant was that he supported the Gang of Eight Bill and I did not.

VAN SUSTEREN: OK. Good. All right, tomorrow night is the big FBN debate. Republicans in the great state of South Carolina. Are you going to be there and do you intend to say hello to Donald Trump?

HALEY: Well, North Charleston all abuzz. We are all excited about the debate tomorrow. We welcome all the candidates. We want them to keep coming to South Carolina. We want them to hit every part of South Carolina. And absolutely, I always welcome our candidates to the state.

It's a great time for the South Carolinians to really get to ask the hard questions and get the answers. And I think the fact that tomorrow we are going to have only seven on the stage, it's going to be a time to hear about a lot of good policy so I'm looking forward to it.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, when you see Donald Trump, you might want to duck tomorrow night.

HALEY: No. No ducking for me. You know, this isn't personal. You know, I just want him to understand that, you know, our country is made up of immigrants. That is the fabric of America. And we want to make sure they are properly vetted and we want them to come here legally.

My parents did that. They paid their way; they paid their time and they came here legally and they have been productive citizens. We just want to be careful in the way we talk about people, letting them know they are welcome.

And for the Republican Party, in particular, it's important that they know we want more people in our party, not excluding people out of our party.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, all eyes will be on the great state of South Carolina tomorrow night. FBN debate at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

Governor, thank you for joining us.

HALEY: Thanks so much, Greta. It's always great to be with you.