Nikki Haley skips White House dinner to meet friends

February 28th, 2012 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Feb 28 (IANS) South Carolina’s Indian-American Republican Governor Nikki Haley criticised President Barack Obama’s “failure to handle America”, but said “personal plans” kept her and husband Michael from attending Sunday’s White House dinner.

Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host the dinner annually for the governors to coincide with the National Governors Association conference in Washington.

“We were meeting with friends,” Haley told reporters Monday, following a press conference organised by the Republican Governors Association (RGA).

Haley said she and her husband “were honoured” to attend the White House dinner last year — her first as governor — but wanted to see friends Sunday night.

Haley attended Monday morning’s meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, where the president stressed the importance of education policy.

Haley later joined fellow Republican governors, Indian-American Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Bob McDonnell of Virginia, at the RGA press conference to blast Obama’s policies and urge the election of a Republican president.

In addition to stressing the Republican message on business and education issues, Haley, who has endorsed Republican Mitt Romney, said Obama was coming in the way of development in her state.

“In South Carolina, we can’t even pass our own bills without him getting in the way,” she said. “We pass illegal immigration reform, he stops it. We pass voter ID, he stops it. We get Boeing, he stops it.”

“I mean, I’d just like to be a governor and be able to take care of my state. The president’s trying to handle the entire country, and he’s failing,” Haley said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at

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