Mitch Perry Report for 1.13.16 – The right hates Nikki Haley’s response on the SOTU

Mitch Perry

The Republican Party tapped South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to give the official response to President Obama‘s final (and very boring) State of the Union address Tuesday night, and if anything, it exposed the fissures that are ongoing with the GOP nationally.

Although the first few minutes of her speech bashed Obama in ways that shouldn’t alienate any conservatives, she then shifted gears, referring to the very obvious fact that she’s “the proud daughter of Indian immigrants who reminded my brothers, my sister and me every day how blessed we were to live in this country.”

She then pivoted from that to discuss the era we live in now, where there are tremendous concerns about radical terrorism — but was an unmistakable bash at Donald Trump and his harsh and incendiary rhetoric about Muslims and Mexicans.

“During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation,” she said. “No one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”

She said that in the age of terrorism, the U.S. shouldn’t allow refugees in “whose intentions cannot be determined.”

Later she said, “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. When the sound is quieter, you can actually hear what someone else is saying. And that can make a world of difference.”

Sensible, no?

No. Not according to critics.

“Trump should deport Nikki Haley,” Ann Coulter tweeted part way through Haley’s speech. She later added: “Nikki Haley says ‘welcoming properly vetted legal immigrants, regardless of religion.’ Translation: let in all the Muslims.”

“Nikki Haley’s speech would’ve been good except for the GOP self-loathing,” tweeted Amanda Carpenter.

While Laura Ingraham tweeted that she had seen Van Jones praise Haley’s speech. “Enough said,” she wrote.

Haley has been mentioned as a potential VP nominee for the GOP this year.

Not if Donald Trump is the presidential candidate, though.

In other news …

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that Florida’s controversial system that allows judges, and not juries, to decide whether or not convicted criminals deserve the death penalty, is unconstitutional.

• • •

On the opening day of the 2016 Legislative Session, House Speaker Steve Crisafulli advocates for ride-sharing legislation. 

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Bernie Sanders is the candidate of choice for the members of, and it wasn’t a close vote between him and Hillary Clinton.

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Jim Norman still has a financial advantage over the rest of the field in the Hillsborough County Commission District 6 race, but he spent thousands more than he raised last month.

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Meanwhile in the Hillsborough Clerk of the Courts race, Pat Frank had a robust month of fundraising last month.

Mitch Perry

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at [email protected].


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