Most of the expected field did not take part in the first debate of the 2012 Republican presidential race in Greenville Thursday, but S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley sure did.
Just five candidates in a GOP field expected to grow to twice that size took part in the debate, the first official event of the 2012 campaign season. The debaters were former Godfathers Pizza chief executive Herman Cain, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
With so few candidates at the debate, Haley played a supporting role as the Fox News moderators took up her challenge to presidential candidates to weigh in on a National Labor Relations Board complaint against Boeing Charlestons plant.
Pawlenty jumped first, claiming President Barack Obamas administration crossed a new line in opposing Boeings decision to locate outside of its home base of Washington.
Its a preposterous decision, he said.