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. AK

    So how does this work? If you belong to the Sikh faith – or any faith other than Christianity you're not good enough to run for office?

    June 18, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Darth Vadik, CA

    Who the heck cares what her religion is?
    It is her policies and ideas that worry me, not whether she is a Sikh, Muslim, Jew or Buddhist. You Republicans are really like scared little kids, anything slightly different than yourself scares the heck out of you.

    Booo, now go home and hide under your rock.

    June 18, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Nick

    WHY would RELIGION play ANY role in politics??

    Is this the Middle-Ages or the 21st century?? It DOESN'T matter what religion she follows, what matters is whether she is a good leader with the right ideas!

    June 18, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. James

    She just needs to wait a few more years for the old racist whitetrash that makes up the core of the GOP to die off.

    I can't stand the Democrats, but the Republicans (at least, in the South) are like the Taliban.

    June 18, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Yuo read an article like this and have to ask- why does anyone support Republicans? I realize that this is just a lunatic making this statement but there are crazy statements and accusations made on almost a dialy basis by member of this party and they are across the spectrum of nonsense.
    If it is these people that put the men and women that claim to be Republicans in office, what does it say about the Republicans in office?

    June 18, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. miller

    Let’s give someone the third degree about every aspect of her religious beliefs, and then, if we find any microscopic inconsistencies, let’s call her a lying, heathen b*tch because, hey, you know, what would Jesus do?

    June 18, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. Bob

    I'm not from South Carolina and I won't vote for her anyway, but these concerns by the evangelical right are ridiculous. The woman says she converted – take her at her word. What would be her agenda for lying? If she had changed her religion from one main line Protestant religion to another no one would question her word. This whole thing smacks of the Birthers at it again. She made the primary cut as the Republican candidate. Do they think the "Liberals" put her up to it? When are the evangelicals going to wake up and realize theirs is not the only game in town?

    June 18, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  8. Capt. Snarky

    Hmmm, I thought we came here FOR freedom of religous choice?

    I"m all for Haley to run, and win. If I lived there, I'd vote for her. I just think there is a big "good ole boy" contingent in SC that are against her.........

    June 18, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  9. Pragmatic

    Afraid of her ideas? Haley made herself one of the least popular politicians in the Capitol by introducing a bill that would require elected officials to disclose publicly how they vote on legislation.

    South Carolina is one of the few states that let lawmakers do so in secret. This allows them the luxury of voting, pain-free, to give themselves perks, such as the generous retirement benefits they approved in 2008.

    By the way, Mitt is not "Christian enough" for some ... maybe now being Methodist is "not Christian enough" –

    June 18, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |

    So as the GOP eats their own, over all things religion, I have to agree with "Anonymous", read an article like this and have to ask- why does anyone support Republicans?

    There is a very simple answer to all of this;

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 18, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. Ben in Texas

    Yes, they're right about Haley's religion. She's not a Christian. She, like all Repugnants, worships the Almighty Dollar.

    June 18, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  12. Don of Iowa

    The totally bigoted Republicans show their true colors once again as they lash out and eat one of their own in a disgraceful and bigoted attack on anothers religion. How can anyone with even a hint of a conscience support Republicans in any manner when it is so obvious that they wish to do nothing less than shove Christianity down the throats of every living and breathing American, if you are not a dyed in the wool bible slapping christian you are not good enough to run for office, to vote or even to breathe, these are the true bigoted and despicable beliefs of the most malignant party in the history of the USA, the GOP=Greedy Old Pigs

    June 18, 2010 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Bill

    I cannot believe how medieval the Republicans are. It's unreal to me that here in the 21st century...in 2010 for crying out loud....that these people say the things they say. The republicans stay in power by routinely appealing to the most uneducated elements of our society with utter tripe. It's unreal!

    June 18, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  14. Rick McDaniel

    Her religious affiliation has no bearing on the race. We have separation of church and state.

    June 18, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  15. Ndubueze Chuku

    Where have I seen this game played before? Oh! during the 2008 presidential elections. Barack Obama's religion was questioned then. And did that work? HELL NO IT DID NOT. I am not a Republican and will never be but I think they should leave Haley alone. The more they do this, the more the drive people to her.

    June 18, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  16. Ruth

    Bob, who ever you are!!!!!You can NEVER take a politician at their word. Truer words were never written than GOP=greedy old pigs.

    June 18, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. Conservative Democrat

    The Republicans are such a joke. All they care about is whether someone is the right color. The right religion. The right nationality. The right pedigree. Being capable of doing the job never enters into the equation.

    June 18, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  18. Ben Dover

    Who gives a rip. Only James cares...

    June 18, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  19. Amazed!!

    This be bible thumping country y'all and we don't like anything NEW and or DIFFERENT! If you ain't at church meetings on Sunday marnin then you ain't no good christian and we don't bother with your kind.

    Only racists, bigots, and fools who pretend to be good christians and go to Sunday marnin meeting are good enough for us!!

    June 18, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  20. AJ

    I hate republicans in general and particularly loathe Haley but really, her religious beliefs are her own business.

    June 18, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  21. Steve (the real one)

    There is a very simple answer to all of this; Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.
    It is a simplel answer;

    Vote No in NOvember to the party of (in my best Homer Simpson Impression) Dooh! In other words, bye bye liberals!

    Now to the story at hand. The lady said she was a Christian. Leave it at that! I though only God could look into a human soul!

    June 18, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. Fed Up!

    I am confused, exactly what difference does her religion make?

    It seems that conservativess are so fixated on candidates being the "right" religion that Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, and others should have no illusions. They may donate to Republican causes, they may vote for Republicans, but they will never be accepted as Republican leaders or candidates.

    June 18, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  23. kimberly

    DISGUSTING! when will the IGNORANT right learn to STOP the hate using religion as a ploy! They are getting worse and worse trying to brain wash this country, and now even the holly rollers of their party are not GODLY enough! CHURCH AND STATE MORONS!!!!!!!!!!

    June 18, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. wayne

    This is nuts. If the religions think they should have a say in what happens in the government, then make religions pay taxes!

    June 18, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Joyce in South Carolina

    Welcome to Bigoted, Racist, and Ignorant South Carolina!!!!

    June 18, 2010 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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