Gov. Nikki Haley deftly dismisses Trump in powerful State of the Union response

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South Carolina's Haley Urges Tolerance in State of the Union Response

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley delivered an emotional response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Thursday, working in a dismissal of GOP candidate Donald Trump's fearmongering about Mexicans and Muslims.

Haley said that as a daughter of immigrants, she not that much different from millions of other Americans.

"Immigrants have been coming to our shores for generations to live the dream that is America... Today, we live in a time of threats like few others in recent memory," she said. "During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation."

Click through Twitter reactions of the 2016 State of the Union address:

14 PHOTOS
Twitter reactions 2016 SOTU
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Gov. Nikki Haley deftly dismisses Trump in powerful State of the Union response
.@BarackObama's speeches are like @TSA pat downs, Arab relations & untreated rashes. Painfully bad. But it will get worse. #SOTU
The #SOTU speech is really boring, slow, lethargic - very hard to watch!
The economy might be the best this President can do. But it's not the best America can do. #SOTU https://t.co/3s6HCb8348
.@POTUS is right: Progress isn't inevitable. We have a choice between pushing forward—or undoing all the work we've done. #SOTU
Obama thinks education should be controlled by the federal government, I believe we must take the fed out of education. We must #ReviveEdu.
I couldn't agree more, @POTUS. #sotu #ActOnClimate https://t.co/dwnPx5L23A
.@POTUS on keeping speech short: "I know some of you are antsy to get back to Iowa." Even Speaker Ryan smiled at that one. #SOTU
Pres. cracking jokes straight off the bat... #SOTU
.@POTUS has so much to be proud of: health care reform, taking on gun safety, marriage equality, global progress on climate change. #SOTU
So is @JoeBiden going to cure cancer? #SOTU #TheBlazeSOTU
Man this is long even without being there.... #SOTU
President Obama should be talking less about global warming and more about how we can defeat #ISIS and protect the homeland. #SOTU
Too often, I find myself agreeing with what #Obama says. More often, it's what he does that's the problem. #SOTU #tlot #tcot
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READ MORE: Don't Forget Who Killed Bin Laden: 5 Takeaways From Obama's Last State of the Union

CNN's Jake Tapper surmised that Republican leaders may have chosen Haley to give the party's State of the Union response because of her past criticism of Trump.

Haley didn't mince words when talking about the president, saying that his "record has often fallen far short of his soaring words. As he enters his final year in office, many Americans are still feeling the squeeze of an economy too weak to raise income levels."

"Even worse, we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since September 11th, and this president appears either unwilling or unable to deal with it," she said. "Soon, the Obama presidency will end, and America will have the chance to turn in a new direction."

READ MORE: Obama's Last State of the Union Address: Here's the Full Text

Haley also talked about what she said were the differences between the president and the GOP.

"If we held the White House, taxes would be lower for working families, and we'd put the brakes on runaway spending and debt," she said. "We would make international agreements that were celebrated in Israel and protested in Iran, not the other way around."

But Haley started her remarks by saying Republicans bare some of the responsibility for the gridlock in Washington.

"We need to be honest with each other and with ourselves," she said. "While Democrats in Washington bear much responsibility for the problems facing America today, they do not bear it alone. There is more than enough blame to go around."

In a particularly emotional moment, Haley talked about the Charleston shooting that rocked her state last summer.

"Twelve faithful men and women, young and old, went to Bible study. That night, someone new joined them. He didn't look like them, didn't act like them, didn't sound like them. They didn't throw him out. They didn't call the police. Instead, they pulled up a chair and prayed with him. For an hour."

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