by: Blair Miller Updated:
TAMPA, Fla. - South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley went before a room of 500 delegates Monday morning, mostly from South Carolina and Florida, waiting for the RNC to get under way.
South Carolina has 25 delegates at this year's convention, which is half as many as normal. The state GOP was penalized for moving up its primary to remain first in the South.
And now, that means people like Diane Carr, who's from Rock Hill and has been to three conventions before, can't vote on any party issues. She's just a guest.
“It's a little frustrating,” Carr said. “We'd like to have a full group of delegates to be seated, but that's just the name of the game. Rules are rules.”
On stage, Haley didn't address that, but told Eyewitness News that the penalty was worth moving up the primary.
“Would you do it again?” Eyewitness News anchor Blair Miller asked.
“Absolutely, if the party believes that we should be first, then we should continue to be first,” Haley said. “What I care about is rather than when we have it, is who we actually elect to put in it.”
But even surrounded by her party faithful, a woman named Anna Edmonds, an independent freelance writer, lashed out at the governor over not being able to find a steady job in Columbia.
“It's not ‘a good day in S.C.,’ and (to) have that said chipper to me when I'm begging for money -- it's just humiliating,” Edmonds said.
“It's not intended to be humiliating,” Haley said. “It's intended to let you know it is a good day in South Carolina, because we are adding on jobs every single day.”
But Edmonds wasn't satisfied.
“I don't need to be told it's a great day in S.C. when I can’t afford to feed my kids,” Edmonds said.