The Obama administration appears pleased by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s response to the president’s State of the Union address – especially after she urged her party to avoid the harsh tone of presidential candidate Donald Trump.
White House chief of staff Denis McDonough praised Haley during a breakfast meeting with reporters in response to a question about a line in her speech that was directed at Donald Trump and his political supporters.
“I have a lot of admiration for the governor,” McDonough said, praising the South Carolina governor for her “remarkable” leadership of her state. McDonough made his remarks during a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters this morning in Washington D.C.
He said that he hadn’t watched Haley’s speech, but read the transcript and followed some of the news coverage surrounding it.
“By no means am I trying to endorse everything she is doing but I do think that a lot of this, including parts of the speech last night, were admirable,” McDonough said.
“There’s a tendency to falsely equate noise with results,” Haley said during her speech. “Some people think that you have to be the loudest voice in the room to make a difference. That is just not true.”
McDonough singled out Haley’s leadership to remove the Confederate flag from her state capitol, praising the governor for her “very brave and admirable role” in the process.
“I’ve been impressed by the governor’s work,” he said.
McDonough specified, however, that he still disagreed with some of Haley’s conservative positions including her decision to block the Obamacare Medicaid expansion.