With the 2016 race heating up, presidential hopefuls are making their way to the pivotal state of South Carolina. Since 1980, all but one of the state's primary winners went on to win the Republican nomination. That means backing from Gov. Nikki Haley could change the political dynamic, reports "CBS This Morning" co-host Norah O'Donnell.
Haley says she hasn't decided just yet whether she'll endorse a candidate before the primary, but she did last time.
"I'm not ruling it out," she said. "You know, if there's somebody that I really wanna fight for, I'll definitely get out there."
Four years ago, Haley was dubbed the new face of the Republican Party; the first female minority governor in the South and the youngest in the nation. Today, she stands poised to narrow the field of GOP hopefuls.
Haley has strong ties to all the GOP governors thinking about jumping in but, ever the politician, she's been careful not to choose sides -- yet.
"Jeb Bush was very kind to me in a time when I needed it," she said. "He's always kind of been that person I could call whenever something came up."
She called Gov. Scott Walker a dear friend.
In terms of the Republican primary race, Walker currently leads the polls in her state. Haley said that doesn't surprise her.
"He's come in, he's rolled up his sleeves, he's gone out there and he's talked to people. And I think he's going to continue to do that," she said.
Haley is one of only three female Republican governors nationwide and will no doubt play a larger role in her party's efforts to attract new voters. The last presidential election saw the largest gender gap ever -- Mitt Romney lost female voters by 12 percent.
But Haley said she doesn't think the Republican Party has a problem with women in general.
"I mean, you look at the Republican women governors that are all fantastic," she said.
Even if the Democratic Party has a woman on their ticket, like Hilary Clinton, she said she doesn't think the Republicans need a woman on theirs.
"I think it's fantastic that we're going to have a woman on the ticket," she said. "I don't have a single policy that I think I agree with Hillary Clinton on, but I respect the fact that she's put herself out there. I respect the fact that she's going to do this."
Haley's parents were immigrants from India who moved to the tiny town of Bamberg, South Carolina, in search of the American dream -- at a time when, she said, people there only knew two colors: black and white.
Her experience taught her how quickly people categorize others.
"Labels meant something. And I always grew up not wanting to be a label," Haley said. "And so very quickly, it was about proving. And I learned that it's not what you say, it's what you do. And results can change all labels."
It's that ability to work through differences that served Haley well last month when a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black man in North Charleston.
Tension remains high in Baltimore after a black man was fatally injured in police custody, sparking violent protests, and the issue of race and politics is not lost on Haley.
"The difference between South Carolina, and the difference between what is happening in Baltimore is it was all hands on deck. It was transparency and communication," Haley said. "There's always going to be someone that disappoints us, but what we can do is how we respond to it. And responding to it with transparency and communication is what's needed in every state. Every person deserves to know the truth."
Now 43, and a two-term governor presiding over one of the fastest growing states, Haley is proud that her whole life has been about defying expectations.
"I've never known what it's like to not be the underdog. I've never known what it's like to not have people underestimate me. It gives you a passion to want to prove things. And it gives people the element of surprise when you do. So it makes it fun," she said.
Haley's already had some major accomplishments: eliminating the budget deficit, transparency reform, lowering taxes, and creating tens of thousands of jobs by attracting major corporations with her pro-business mantra.
Critics say she hasn't done enough to address her state's poverty and unemployment, which are above the national average.