Nikki Haley 'Beautiful' Remark Slammed by Top Woman in House

PHOTO: S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley delivers the Republican Partys response to President Obamas State of the Union address on Jan. 12, 2016.PlayABC News
WATCH President Obama's Last State of the Union Gets Unexpected Response From Some Republicans

The highest-ranking Republican woman in Congress said today South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s looks should not factor in to her suitability to represent the Republican Party, as conservative Rep. Steve King said Wednesday.

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“Nikki Haley is a proven leader. And that is what she should be judged on,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, said.

The Washington state Republican was responding to King’s comment, as reported by The Associated Press, that Haley is not a “principled conservative” but that he thinks “she’s beautiful so I’d be happy if she’s the face of the party.”

McMorris Rodgers took exception.

“Many look at [Haley] and believe she should be on anyone’s short list for VP based upon her record, based upon her leadership, her record as governor in SC and what she represents for the future,” McMorris Rodgers said today, speaking to reporters after a press event at the congressional Republican retreat in Baltimore.

A spokesman for King, an Iowa Republican, did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment.