Columbia — During her book blitz Tuesday, Gov. Nikki Haley repeated that she would not accept an offer to become the Republican nominee for vice president, then added that she would not take a Cabinet position in a GOP administration either.
However, the rollout of Haley's national book tour was not without one bobble.
In an interview on “The View,” a syndicated talk show, Haley said, “Women don't care about contraception. They care about jobs and the economy and raising their families and all of those things.”
Challenged, Haley retreated, saying, “While we care about contraception, let's be clear, all we're saying is we don't want government to mandate when we have to have it and when we don't,” adding that other issues are important as well.
Afterward, Haley would not say whether she will run for re-election in 2014. “We haven't talked about re-election one way or the other. I need to sit down and talk to Michael about it,” Haley said, referring to her husband.
Haley is on the road this week, touting her new memoir, “Can't Is Not An Option.” She will follow it up with book signings around South Carolina next week.
Haley's autobiography went on sale Tuesday. Sales figures were not available, but Midlands book stores anecdotally reported brisk sales.
Haley said she had a collaborator in writing the book, Jessica Gavora, the former chief speechwriter for former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft. Gavora also helped former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin on her book, “America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag.”
“(Gavora) was able to pretty it up, but it's my words,” Haley said Tuesday. “I sent her too much, and we spent a lot of time cutting it down.”
Proceeds from the sale of the book, including Haley's $550,000 advance, will go to the governor's recently created charity, The Original Six, which aims to help rural S.C. communities.
The nonprofit — a reference to the six members of Haley's family when she was a child — held its first event in Allendale County last month. It offered free screenings and care by doctors and dentists, and a job fair. The charity is also working with Christ Central Ministries to set up a residential home for those grappling with substance abuse, Haley said.
“I did this because I grew up in a small town and I know small towns face challenges,” Haley said, adding that a second charity event will be held next month in Marion County.
Haley said she hopes her memoir inspires others to run for office or follow whatever dream they have.
“After ... the campaign, people were coming up to me, saying, ‘After all that you went through, I would never run for office.' And that was the exact opposite from what I wanted to hear,” she said. “I hope (the book) inspires people to take on challenges.”
Haley also sees the book as a way to tout the Palmetto State.
“(It's so) the country can see how great South Carolina is. My job as someone who just loves her state is (to convey) that this is not the state you have talked about and made fun of.”
Haley added that while she is out of state this week, she still is on the job. “We do a lot of emails and phone calls to make sure everything is going great,” she said. “Work continues.”
One longtime supporter, Allen Olson, a Midlands tea party activist, said he has ordered a copy of Haley's book and is looking forward to reading it, especially after seeing a TV clip about Haley's challenges, growing up in the only family from India in the small town of Bamberg.
“They were a minority family trying to fit it,” Olson said. “It was neat how her family ultimately did it.”