June 18th, 2010
04:57 PM ET
12 years ago

Barrett supporter questions Haley's religion

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/24/art.nikki.haley.youtube.jpg caption ="Some supporters of Nikki Haley's GOP gubernatorial runoff challenger are questioning if Haley is being straightforward about her religious beliefs."]

Charleston, South Carolina (CNN) - A supporter of Gresham Barrett emailed Republican activists in South Carolina on Friday questioning whether Nikki Haley, Barrett's opponent in the GOP gubernatorial runoff, is being straightforward about her religious beliefs.

Haley was raised Sikh but became a Methodist at the age of 24.

The email, circulated by Pickens County GOP chairman Phillip Bowers, was provided to CNN by a Haley supporter.

Pickens County is in the heart of the South Carolina upstate, where most of the state's evangelical population resides. Barrett also hails from the region and is relying on heavy turnout from his home base in the June 22 runoff.

Bowers provided links to two articles about Haley's religious background, and noted: "There seems to be something strange going on here."

"Haley can't seem to make up her mind about her faith," wrote Bowers, who is Barrett's Pickens County campaign chairman.

One of the articles he linked to – a piece from the Christian Broadcasting Network – examined why Haley has appeared to downplay her Sikh heritage in the governor's race.

"Haley can't seem to make up her mind about her faith," Bowers wrote. "There are lots of contradictions to her story. It's not my place to question her faith, but I do question her honesty. If anyone finds the truth, please let me know."

He concluded: "Again, I'm not questioning her faith, but I absolutely can't stand a liar."

The Barrett campaign, which earlier this week circulated a CNN article about Haley's faith, denied having anything to do with the email.

"Our campaign is focused on the issues that matter to South Carolina voters, like Representative Haley's failure to disclose her income from a company involved with numerous state government contracts," said Barrett spokesman Robert Hughes.

Haley disclosed Friday that she was paid $2,000 in 2008 to do consulting work for an engineering firm in her home county, income that was not previously disclosed on her official state ethics filings.

Filed under: 2010 • Gresham Barrett • Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Donna

    I'm neither a SC resident nor a member of the GOP, but I hope this lady wins just so we can sit around and watch these idiots' heads explode.

    June 18, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  2. Sanity in Arizona

    Please read the last clause of Article VI of the US Constitution: "but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

    June 18, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. Debbie from Arizona

    Just another reason to make me so happy I do not live in South Carolina. Haley's religion should not have anything to do with her being or not being elected. If so called Christians want to judge people on their beliefs, maybe churches should start paying taxes for their involvement in politics.

    June 18, 2010 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. Bob (Illinois)

    Are all the crazy people in South Carolina? Evangelical nitwits should go back to their teachings.

    June 18, 2010 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  5. rickymo

    Who cares? Why do people think that only "christians" have a place in elected office. Where are the lions when we need them...

    June 18, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. George of the jungle

    I guess to be a good republican christian you need to be able to document your conversion and have approval from the party of No. Who cares what her religion is. No where in the constitution does it say you have to be a christian. So all these patriots who keep hollering need to read up on what our founding fathers said. What happened to religious freedome??

    June 18, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  7. JWN in SC

    South Carolina Christians=Bigoted Little People

    June 18, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  8. Roscoe

    Can you see Russia from South Carolina?

    June 18, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  9. NC

    Bobby Jindal should take note of this. Who cares what religion she is.
    S. C. please stay out of the major newspapers, cable tv and network tv. Some people are starting to mix us up with you. Of course we have some political nuts up here too, but not in our cities.

    June 18, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  10. kimberly

    Indiana voter ARE YOU INSANE???? THis is two repukes! One is calling the other NOT Christian, therefore can not be a senator! IDIOT! Yes, at this time Dems are DONE listening to the VILE disgusting lies you people spew and the damage it has caused this country, so YES we are NOW finally standing up to you LOONS!

    June 18, 2010 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  11. A keen observer

    At least she has religious beliefs. It seeems that most South Carolina republicans have no religious beliefs unless the KKK is deemed a religion.

    June 18, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  12. thor

    Why in the world would you bring religion into politics?Just shameful !!!!

    June 18, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  13. A disgusted former Republican

    Indiana Voter

    It isn't Democrats that claim to have "family values" while they are screwing their neighbor's wife.

    June 18, 2010 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  14. Tilly

    Sarah Palin doesn't question this womans religion? Funny Sarah said and boosted all over the country in her FAILED run for VP with McCain that Obama was muslim and a Terrorist.......but she believes this woman Whole Heartily that this woman is Christrian.......what a FOOL PALIN IS AND THE PEOPLE WHO SUPPORT HER......

    June 18, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  15. Gary in San Diego

    Ah Ha ...... it would seem that the South Carolina Republican 'activists' have fallen for the old "hide and go Sikh" trick!

    June 18, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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