June 21st, 2010
07:52 PM ET
11 years ago

South Carolina GOP hopeful Haley supports off-shore drilling

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) – As oil continues to gush from the worst environmental disaster in the nation's history, South Carolina Republican gubernatorial hopeful Nikki Haley said on Monday that she would support oil drilling off her state's coast as governor.

"But before we go forward I think we need to be very careful going forward that we know exactly what we're walking into and how we're going to do that," she added.

The rising conservative star is widely expected to win Tuesday's run-off with Republican congressman Gresham Barrett. Joined by her husband at a brief campaign stop in Florence, Haley referred to the barrage of personal attacks against her during the campaign.

"It has been a brutal few weeks leading up to the primary. We have had a lot to go through," Haley said. The 38-year-old has denied two separate allegations of extra-marital affairs. She's also faced ethnic slurs and questions about her religion. Haley, who is Indian-American, converted to Christianity in her 20's after growing up in the Sikh faith.

In an interview with CNN, Haley said she wouldn't wish accusations of infidelity on "her worst enemy." But in light of the sex scandal that nearly brought down current South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, Haley said the public had a right to answers about her marriage.

"I think public officials have to answer to the voters. What's sad is when public officials have to answer to negative false accusations. That's where all this went wrong. There was no proof, nothing that validated it. Yet all of the sudden it became a story," Haley said.

Instead, she hopes for a victory that will change South Carolina's cut-throat political climate. "I think everybody will look back at this election as what not to do," Haley added.

Long-time political observers in the state believe the attacks against Haley actually helped her campaign. "It obviously backfired at the polls," said former South Carolina GOP chairman Katon Dawson. He added, "Republican primary voters will only tolerate so much."

Barrett, who campaigned across the state before Tuesday's run-off, has a new ad saying he won't "embarrass" South Carolina voters.

Filed under: Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Nick

    Of course she will. People like her don't care whether the oil companies have the "knowhow" to handle emergencies. They answer to a bigger "call", the big oil.

    June 21, 2010 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  2. Pragmatic

    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.

    Sunshine and accountability can be so painful!

    June 21, 2010 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  3. DorisV

    This woman sounds to have a really diverse background. Was she a Sikh because of her parents? Can't believe voters in SC could support such a person. Not really sure what the SC voters are made up of, as for intelligence or diversity. If Palin supports her, she is not someone that I would want to be a governor of where I live!!!!!!!

    June 21, 2010 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  4. Michael from Ventura

    Of course she does!! #1- she's republican, #2 – she lives in South Carolina, home of the demented Jim "Waterloo" DeMint....Something in the air down there.

    June 21, 2010 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  5. welches, oregon

    Hopefully, no one is for offshore drilling anymore

    I don't understand why this gov'mt and it's people don't do more to encourage alternative fuel. What's the matter with everybody! Good Grief – and I do mean grief.

    June 21, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. ib

    smart person; we need the oil and it can be done with safeguards. It should be done in shallow water and on land. If the tree huggers hadn't pushed so hard that forced the deep water drilling we wouldn't be in this mess. Shallow water and land leaks can be stopped quickly.

    June 21, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    "The rising conservative star" the party of NO really doesn't expect much of its spawns do they?
    Do these people watch TV or, better yet, take a trip down to the Gulf to see what oil drilling has done to the environment and the fishermen. Let's not forget the 11 lives lost thanks to the GOBPers greed.
    Of course cheating stories backfired in SC. They are all probably doing the same thing as her. The moral majority is neither!!

    June 21, 2010 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  8. JonDie

    Of course she does.

    June 21, 2010 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  9. vegage

    What a surprise that she supports off shore drilling, all republicans do, they do not care about environment, they do not care if future generation receive a planet in ruins.

    June 21, 2010 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  10. John

    How does the good lady plan on paying for the mess offshore drilling causes? Should we American taxpayers foot the bill?

    June 21, 2010 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  11. Daniel

    She may as well support drilling off the South Carolina coast. By the time the general election rolls around the waters off South Carolina will already be sullied by the BP Gulf of Mexico tragedy. But, meanwhile, she can get herself some oil industry campaign contributions.

    June 21, 2010 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  12. S.C. wins the dummy award

    they have learned nothing from BP, Sanford and all

    June 21, 2010 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  13. Jacob

    endorsed by Palin...she can't be GOOD!

    June 22, 2010 12:01 am at 12:01 am |