Haley talks leadership, courage in vulnerable speech to Citadel

VIDEO: Haley talked leadership, courage during dark moments in 2015

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley revealed some of her most vulnerable leadership moments of 2015 Thursday morning.

2015 brought two very public shootings, the first, of motorist Walter Scott in April and the second, of nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel AME Church in June; as well as a thousand year flood in October. Each one tested the governor.

"South Carolina didn't show one time. They didn't show two times. They showed three times what the heart and soul of this state looks like," she said at The Citadel's annual Principled Leadership Symposium.

Haley said she relied on her husband the days leading up to the Confederate flag coming down at the State House in Columbia.

At a Q&A portion of her address, cadets asked her to bring down another historic flag.

"How do you feel about the Confederate Naval Jack hanging in Summerall chapel?" one cadet said.

"Truthfully that flag belongs in your museum," Haley said in a response. "It can get the respect it deserves and everything that it needs if it's in a museum."

Gun rights have also been a hot topic over the last year. Austin Lee asked Haley to change the conceal carry policy on campus and was met with applause.

"Gen. Rosa and I discussed what the situation was for the cadets," Haley said. "I would suggest that y'all sit down and talk with him. I think what you'll find is a welcome ear listening to what you have to say," she said.

The group did not seem pleased at her response to that question.

But they were pleased with another: one cadet asked if she could get the air conditioning turned on in the barracks. After a roaring applause she said it will be turned on Thursday night.

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