June 24th, 2010
04:02 PM ET
10 years ago

South Carolina GOP targets Haley's rival

South Carolina GOP calls Nikki Haley's rival 'a liberal in a moderate's clothes.'

South Carolina GOP calls Nikki Haley's rival 'a liberal in a moderate's clothes.'

(CNN) - Less than two days after South Carolina Republican Nikki Haley captured her party's gubernatorial nomination, the state GOP has begun an effort to cast her rival as "a liberal in a moderate's clothes."

Haley will face off in November against Democratic state Sen. Vincent Sheheen. In a statement Thursday, the head of the South Carolina GOP took issue with Sheheen's views on illegal immigration as just one example of what the state party says is a larger pattern with the candidate.

"When it comes to illegal immigration, Senator Sheheen was too busy trying to appease ultra liberals to realize that South Carolinians expect tough action," South Carolina Republican Party chairwoman Karen Floyd said in a written statement.

"Unfortunately, this is part of a larger pattern with Senator Sheheen – a voting record that doesn't reflect South Carolina values, and instead follows the Washington liberal model of more government, more spending and more debt."

Floyd added, "Senator Sheheen is a liberal in moderate's clothes. But we are going to make sure that voters know the truth about his voting record come November. Today is just the tip of the iceberg."

A representative for Sheheen hit back hard and sought to link Haley to South Carolina's current Republican Gov. Mark Sanford.

"Vincent Sheheen voted for the toughest immigration bill South Carolina has ever seen and one of the toughest in the nation," Sheheen spokesman Trav Robertson said to CNN in an e-mail. "Most importantly he favors and supports strict enforcement of this law. Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford simply can't tell the truth anymore."

Robertson also said, "We deserve better than the failed leadership of Nikki Haley and Mark Sanford."

Speaking Wednesday with CNN's John King, Haley praised Arizona's tough, controversial immigration law which has caught the attention of President Obama himself.

Related: Haley weighs in on immigration, border security

"What we saw Arizona do was say, we can't wait on the federal government anymore. We're going to go ahead and turn around and protect our state," Haley said on CNN's John King, USA. "I applaud what Arizona did. I applaud the governor. And I think that every state in the country is going to turn around and start looking at what they need to do to take care of themselves. I think that's part of states' rights and that's what we want to do."

Filed under: 2010 • Immigration • Nikki Haley • South Carolina • Vincent Sheheen
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I can care less about the politics of South KaKalaKi. Who will do something to fix the broken school system there? I still have flashbacks and think of the young girl from there who sat with the 1st Lady during one of the President's addresses and he mentioned how this girl's school was crumbling apart. It looks as if you put a republican in power in South KaKalaKi, they are hell bent on making minorities a permanent underclass. But that state will reep what it sows.

    June 24, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. Ben in Texas

    The long-range strategy of the Repugnant Party has been to move the center to the right for many years. We see this with Haley, a far right candidate being portrayed as more centrist and her opponent being painted as far left.

    It is difficult to see this push to the right in the short term, but in the case of Extreme Court justices, we can clearly see that those who were appointed by Repugnants in years past are now clearly on the left of those who were appointed by Bush. Even Obama's appointees would have been considered middle-of-the-road thirty years ago, and now they are cast as "ultra-liberal" by Repugnants.

    At the same time, conservatives harken back to a "golden age" when things were better in the U.S. The irony is, when things truly were better, politics were a lot more liberal than they are now. We seem to be marching to a precipice, and it is on the right.

    June 24, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  3. Paul Ernest Show

    Why is it that Republicans are still calling anyone tax and spend liberal.? And who is listening to this junk. I rather be more humane toward my fellow men and women, who are basically on our borders trying to find meals to eat, than selling my constituency, selling my conscience and embracing greedy, heartless corporations, as Republicans have a tradition of doing. Haley and her party should rather get tough with these big corporations, instead of apologizing to BP and trying to stop any measures to curb corruption and exploitation of the average American. Politics is about representing the voters and everyday people and not corporations.

    June 24, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  4. Andrew

    A liberal? In South Carolina?? What are the Republicans smoking down there?

    June 24, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Pragmatic

    When the GOP stops talking in labels and sound bites, I'll listen. Labels & name-calling replace intelligent discussion of the issues! But what can you expect from the party whose "alternative budget proposal" was 19 pages and had no numbers! Guess that's why they have to recruit in strip clubs. A shout out to FL GOP: do you know what Rubio did with your hard-earned donations?

    June 24, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Lori in St Pete

    It's south carolina, one of the dumbest states in the union, so it's not like the dem has a snowball's chance in Hades of winning there anyways.

    June 24, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    "follows the Washington liberal model of more government, more spending and more debt."

    As opposed to the Ronald Reagan model of less government, more spending, and more debt, or the GWB pattern of way more government, way more spending, and way more debt.

    June 24, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Jeff in Virginia

    This is truly amazing.

    During the primary, they couldn't make Haley look more white.

    Now that she's in a race against a Democrat, she suddenly looks Indian, like her actual heritage.

    Playing the race card much, Republicans?

    June 24, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  9. stevetall

    This seems to be part of what's wrong with South Carolina Republican politics, and why the state is a laughing stock in the rest of the country, and possibly the world.

    The word 'liberal' does not carry any inherent negative connotation. If 'liberal' is so bad, it's worth noting that without it, America would never have been possible in the first place.

    Suck on that for awhile, all you right-wing nuts, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin fans, and any other suspected facists out there!

    June 24, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  10. billybob 'n NC

    From SC GOBP: "Yes, he is a liberal in sheep's clothing... he is also a 'rag head'... has had at least 15 affairs (some with women)... was endorsed by the Communists, Nazis, Socialists and Atheists... he is married to a man and a woman... and is a Southern Baptist Muslim... educated at Harvard... can both read and write...owns a Volvo and drinks French wine... He was also the father of John McCain's 'love child' that was used against McCain by Bush!

    June 24, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Wayne

    OMG!!! A Liberal? Get a rope!

    These CHILDREN are hopeless.

    June 24, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  12. Steven Edwards

    Nicky Haley is a part of the current morally corrupt leadership in South Carolina. Does South Carolina politics needs more scandal.
    She never publically denounced Mark Sanfords actions while supporting his failed policies for the state.

    June 24, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. normajean

    Considering all the unfavorable publicity surrounding South Carolina and some of its politicians, I wasn't aware that South Carolina had any "values" You could have fooled me!

    June 24, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  14. Wisconsinite

    "When it comes to illegal immigration, Senator Sheheen was too busy trying to appease ultra liberals to realize that South Carolinians expect tough action," South Carolina Republican Party chairwoman Karen Floyd said in a written statement.

    And what "tough action" , pray tell, has the South Carolina Republican Party taken with regard to illegal immigration??? Ok . . . . nothing. So what "tough action" has the GObP on the federal level taken with regard to illegal immigration???? Deafening silence.

    June 24, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Mitch

    Considering the right wing in South Carolina has the intellectual capacity of Sara Palin....Haley should do well.

    She's empty...she's a nothing. There is no substance, there is nothing there but a smile, an affair and yet another stark failure ready to lead this dismal state towards it's impending doom.

    See you in Argentina!

    June 24, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. ed fl

    Best way for him is to say he had an affair[He doesn't have to say who it was[ Get the drift]

    June 24, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    See...this is also part of the overall "say anything strategery." It's called mirror image accusations. While everyone in the country has been watching the GOP and conservatives respond to America voting them out of control in November 2008 by saying "oh yeah??!??! we'll show you extremism...you just wait and see!!!" they run around claiming that policies and legislation that are at most slightly left of center are "ultra liberal" and "radical" and "socialist," despite the fact that the leftmost wings of the Dem party and liberal base...progressives et al...are actually extremely p-ssed because most of it represents more handjobs for corporate America. Just more playground politics from the right..i.e., "I know you are but what am I?"

    It's almost like they've become suddenly aware of the political version of the theory of relativity: move yourself way to the extreme wing of your political base while claiming that the other side is the one moving, becoming more radical and extremist, and hope to god that enough morons in the country are fooled by the relative increase in the gap to fail to notice that it has only increased because of your own movement to the extreme, while the other remained relatively static. That is PRECISELY the trick the right has been attempting for the past year and a half.

    June 24, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  18. Lynn

    A Sarah Palin clone.

    June 24, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  19. George

    New face, same old mud slinging and name calling and scare tactics. The sad thing is, that the GOP doesn't even have to do this in South Carolina. They would elect Jeffrey Dahmer if he was a Republican in that wacked out state anyway. Nikki Haley is a good candidate, but so is her opponent. They have no faith in the voters, so they have to smear him, even though there is no need. I guess they learned well from the national party machine.

    June 24, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  20. Peter E

    Amusing... After the GOP spent their money and efforts in the republican primary supporting her opponent, and propagating malicious rumors about her affairs and religion, NOW the republicans suddenly switch sides to the winning horse?

    June 24, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  21. jackson

    Hmmm, interesting....now the GOP is *for* her? Funny how factions were doing their best to call her religion into question, and now, all of a sudden, they are backing her.

    You have to love the hypocrisy.

    June 24, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. NC

    SC, please stop sending your uninsured to our emergency rooms. Stop dumping your homeless in our state.

    June 24, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  23. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why does Nikki Haley refuse to produce her original birth certificate for public scrutiny?? What is she hiding?

    June 24, 2010 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |