TAMPA — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s speech to the Republican National Convention Tuesday was a balancing act.
It was a mix of touting Mitt Romney, who officially became the Republican Party’s candidate for president hours earlier, and her state’s own resume.
“Anyone still thinking the United States has lost its manufacturing chops hasn’t been to South Carolina,” said Haley, who was quoting an April column by the Wall Street Journal’s John Bussey.
After touting the resume unique to South Carolina, Haley got to many of the same talking points that speakers used throughout the second day of the convention.
“American businesses deserve a federal government that doesn’t stand in their way, not one that tries to chase them overseas,” she said.
The night’ lineup included seven Republican governors, including a keynote address from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
South Carolina gave 24 of its 25 delegate votes to Romney, with the remaining vote going to U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas. The state’s vote count was announced on the floor of the Tampa Bay Times Forum by state treasurer Curtis Loftis.
Earlier in the night, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, R-S.C., got some laughs after giving the mostly empty arena a brief recap of his childhood growing up in a poor, single-parent home.
“But I did have a couple of things. A mom who believed in tough love; and that love comes at the end of a switch,” he said. “And my mom loved me a lot.”
He gave his remarks early in the day during a time reserved for members of Congress and congressional candidates from across the country.
The North Charleston Republican took a shot at President Obama’s 2008 campaign theme, “Hope and Change.”
“Our only hope is to change the current resident of the White House,” he said.
Scott received applause after closing his speech by serenading the president with a Ray Charles song.
“Hit the road, Jack. And don’t you come back no more, no more, no more,” he said.