First on CNN: Graham gets support from Nikki Haley
November 21st, 2013
02:26 PM ET
8 years ago

First on CNN: Graham gets support from Nikki Haley

Scottsdale, Arizona (CNN) - One day after Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina declined to endorse his Republican colleague Lindsey Graham's Senate re-election bid, Gov. Nikki Haley took a different track - weighing in with some with hearty praise for Graham, who is facing a primary challenge on the right next year from four different candidates.

While Haley stopped short of formally backing Graham, she made clear that she considers Graham a conservative ally.

"I have made it very clear I am not going to be involved in any South Carolina races," Haley told CNN on Thursday at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Arizona.

"But I want to say this: on any issue that I have had to deal with Lindsey on, whether it was the NLRB issue, whether it was voter ID, whether it's been on the fight that we've had with Obamacare, or whether it's been fighting for our businesses in South Carolina, Lindsey has dropped everything to help with those fights," she said. "And so for that I'm very grateful for him."

Asked if her comments qualified as an endorsement of Graham, Haley declined to say.

"It's my answer," she said.

Scott, another influential conservative voice in the Palmetto State, appeared on CNN's "Crossfire" on Wednesday. Pressed twice on whether he would support Graham, Scott hesitated.

"I'm going to allow for all the other folks on the ballot to represent themselves very well," Scott said. "I'm going to continue to work hard for my election."

Haley appointed Scott to the Senate late last year to fill the seat left vacant after GOP Sen. Jim DeMint stepped down to take over the Heritage Foundation, one of the nation's oldest and most influential conservative think tanks. Scott is running next November to fill out the final two years of DeMint's second term in the Senate.

Haley, along with Graham, is also running for re-election next year.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser and CNN's Dana Davidsen contributed to this report.

Filed under: Lindsey Graham • Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    She will be disappointed........because the voters of Sc will NOT re-elect graham. They want a true conservative, and not Graham.

    November 21, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Well that's nice seeing how not even Tim Scott would get behind Ms. Thang (Graham).

    November 21, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    The same Lindsey Graham who swore to block all of the President's nominees based off of a false CBS report on Benghazi? That guy? The same Lindsey Graham that found out the report was false and still sticks by his guns to block all of the President's nominees? The good old boys club needs to find some new members.

    November 21, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  4. Bill

    Who cares. She is irrelevant.

    November 21, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Interesting. It would seem that Sen. Tim Scott can be bought. Haley picked him. Now he's saying thank-you.

    November 21, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. S.B. Stein

    It sounds like Graham isn't getting all the love that he wants from other conservatives. Is he likely to lose in 2014? I can't tell you but it won't help if they won't back him.

    November 21, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, who would be the alternative to Graham, should he be primaried? I'm reminded of the old quote about SC: " Too small for a republic, too large for an insane asylum." Graham, as flawed as he is, is a better choice than anyone else they have because he at least knows how the process in DC works.

    November 21, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  8. Tampa Tim

    The republican health care website has been down for 60 years. But have no fear, Cruz, Boehner, the Kochs , And Fox will have it up and running in the year 2150.

    November 21, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  9. CB FL

    What is Ms Graham going to do now that he can't block these judges. I guess he will stomp his feet and cry foul.

    November 21, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    Who cares? Your ticket to being elected is another bimbo.

    November 21, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Who cares. She is irrelevant.

    I feel the same about the ticker. Well, to be clear ... I feel the same way about TeaPerville ... er, I mean CNN.

    November 21, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  12. Tampa Tim

    Tim Scott may have put a 'hold' on Lindsay's reelection.

    November 21, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  13. Tampa Tim

    You would think Lindsay would know that you can' trust a bagger.

    November 21, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. Tampa Tim

    Can't trust a bagger.

    November 21, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. anonymous

    Lindsay Graham, like McCain, is far too squishy as a Republican when faced with a far left Democrat Party. It would be better to have a rock solid conservative in that office, HOWEVER, I don't want this seat lost because some unqualified whack job gets nominated in the primary. Graham is far better than any Democrat so don't screw this up like you did with other Senate elections in the past.

    November 21, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Al-NY,NY

    gee, thanks Nimrata. I'm SO glad YOU'RE behind me......the Tealiban will primary this guy out. He's not pure enough

    November 21, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |