South Carolina Gov. Haley to give Republican response to Obama

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
SC Gov. Haley: GOP Approach to Minorities 'Cold'

WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (AOL and Reuters) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has been tapped to deliver the Republican Party's response to President Barack Obama's Jan. 12 State of the Union address to Congress, congressional leaders announced on Tuesday.

Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, is the first female and the first member of a minority group to serve as South Carolina's governor. She has been mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential candidate this year.

SEE ALSO: Sanders to lay out plan to break up big banks in first yea

The annual State of the Union address is an opportunity for the U.S. president to lay out his legislative priorities for the coming year.

See photos of Haley in action:

21 PHOTOS
Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina
See Gallery
South Carolina Gov. Haley to give Republican response to Obama
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 19: Escorted by staff and security, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (C) moves from one television interview to another across from the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church June 19, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Haley called for the death penalty for Dylann Storm Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina, if he is found guilty of murdering nine people during a prayer meeting at the church Wednesday night. Among the dead is the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the church which, according to the National Park Service, is the oldest black congregation in America south of Baltimore. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Gov. Nikki Haley addresses a full church during a prayer vigil held at Morris Brown AME Church for the victims of Wednesday's shooting at Emanuel AME Church on Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Charleston, S.C. Dylann Storm Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in the slayings of several people, including the pastor, at a prayer meeting inside the historic black church. (Grace Beahm/The Post And Courier via AP, Pool)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 21: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, right, greets U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, at the first church service four days after a mass shooting that claimed the lives of nine people at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church June 21, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Chruch elders decided to hold the regularly scheduled Sunday school and worship service as they continue to grieve the shooting death of nine of its members including its pastor earlier this week. (Photo by Paul Zoeller-Pool/Getty Images)
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley speaks to press outside the Emanuel AME Church June 19, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina.US police arrested a white high school dropout Thursday suspected of carrying out a gun massacre at one of America's oldest black churches, the latest deadly assault to fuel simmering racial tensions. Authorities detained 21-year-old Dylann Roof, shown wearing the flags of defunct white supremacist regimes in pictures taken from social media, after nine churchgoers were shot dead during a Bible study class on Wednesday evening. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 19: Escorted by staff and security, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (C) moves from one television interview to another across from the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church June 19, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Haley called for the death penalty for Dylann Storm Roof, 21, of Lexington, South Carolina, if he is found guilty of murdering nine people during a prayer meeting at the church Wednesday night. Among the dead is the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the pastor of the church which, according to the National Park Service, is the oldest black congregation in America south of Baltimore. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, center right, joins hands with Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley, left, and Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., right, at a memorial service at Morris Brown AME Church for thepeople killed Wednesday during a prayer meeting inside the historic black church in Charleston, S.C., Thursday, June 18, 2015. Police arrested 21-year-old suspect Dylann Storm Roof Thursday in Shelby, N.C. without resistance. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signs the state's new domestic violence bill into law on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. The new law increases penalties for domestic violence and has a gun ban for batterers. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, right, sits with her husband Michael, center, and daughter Rena during her inauguration ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 23: South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley holds a news conference with fellow members of the Republican Governors Association at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce February 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. Republican and Democratic governors met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House Monday during the last day of the National Governors Association winter meeting. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - MARCH 17: Former Florida Governor and potential GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush walks with South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley during a visit to Sistercare, a non-profit that aids domestic violence victims and their children on March 17, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Bush announced in December that he 'actively explore' a presidential run in 2016. He is currently on a two day tour through South Carolina and will attend several fundraising events. (Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 28: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley waves on stage during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Today is the first full session of the RNC after the start was delayed due to Tropical Storm Isaac. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, on March 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
DARLINGTON, SC - MAY 12: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks to the media prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on May 12, 2012 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - JANUARY 20: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives a birthday cake to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley during a campaign rally at Charleston Area Convention Center on January 20, 2012 in North Charleston, South Carolina. Romney continues to campaign for votes in South Carolina ahead of their primary on January 21. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 22: Nikki Haley speaks to supporters as she comes onto stage during an election party for Republican South Carolina Governor candidate Nikki Haley at the State Museum on June 22, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina. Haley defeated Rep. Gresham Barrett in a runoff election. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images)
COLUMBIA, SC - JUNE 22: Republican candidate for South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley (R) smiles along with her husband Michael Haley (L) and daughter Rena (C) as they watch the runoff election results at the Columbia Sheraton on June 22, 2010 in Columbia, South Carolina. Haley defeated Rep. Gresham Barrett in a runoff election. (Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley address a crowd of supporters during an election night party, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Columbia, S.C. Haley beat Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen to win a second term. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki R. Haley, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, arrive for a news conference at the Republican Governors Association's quarterly meeting on Wednesday May 21, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley announces her candidacy for a second term at the Bi-Lo Center Monday, Aug. 26, 2013, in Greenville , S.C. Supporting Gov. Haley were Perry, Bobby Jindal-La. and Scott Walker-Wis. (AP Photo/ Richard Shiro)
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley waits for President Barack Obama to speak before the National Governors Association, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

Then-incoming freshman Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa held the distinction of giving the response to the president's annual address last year.

Haley will be closely watched and will open herself up to criticism, as Ernst learned in 2015 as she took on a role that has been jokingly referred to as a "cursed" position in recent years after a string of emerging Republicans saw their political stock sink shortly after giving the address.

Both Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal were on the rise when they gave the official GOP response to Obama's speeches in 2009 and 2010, only to see their careers take a turn for the worse shortly thereafter. Marco Rubio is now a top contender for the Republican nomination for president, but he earned criticism after his speech in 2013 which included an awkwardly-timed water break.

SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton vows to get to the bottom of mysteries surrounding UFOs, aliens

Haley, a fierce gun rights advocate with a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association, will likely counter any remarks the president makes about his recently unveiled proposal to expand gun control restrictions in America.

(Reporting from Reuters by Richard Cowan; Editing by David Alexander, additional reporting by AOL News)

More on AOL.com:
French president honors Charlie Hebdo, kosher market victims
More than 89,000 pounds of beef recalled, product could contain wood
Shares of gun makers soar as Obama tightens firearm rules

Read Full Story

People are Reading