WATCH: Governor Haley’s Position on National Stage
Governor Nikki Haley has entered the national political arena this primary contest
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) – With closely-watched spats with the Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, and as the leader of the state that holds the First in the South Primary, Governor Nikki Haley has entered the national political arena this primary contest.
Columbia-based Republican consultant Joel Sawyer says the governor first made an impression on a national audience, long before the polling took place, in her handling of the Emmanuel Nine Massacre, and subsequent call to take down the Confederate Flag at the State House.
“That really elevated her in the minds of people nationwide,” he said. That elevation, only grew, Sawyer said, after she delivered the Republican rebuttal to the president’s State of the Union. It’s also when she established herself as a vocal opponent of Trump…as she warned people about the loudest or angriest voices in the room. Sawyer says Haley has emerged through this primary contest as a strong Republican governor.
“There’s a younger generation of Republican leaders coming along, that Governor Haley could very well be a part of,” he said. Sawyer said those are leaders like Senator Tim Scott and Senator Marco Rubio. Haley endorsed Rubio before the South Carolina Primary. He narrowly edged out Ted Cruz for a distant second place behind Trump.
“Right now I can tell you I’m going to support Marco until the very end,” Governor Haley said. “It’s what I do. I fight for who I believe in.”
Trump tweeted Tuesday, “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!” The South Carolina governor responded, “bless your heart.”
Despite party lines, South Carolinians we talked to say they’d take Governor Haley over Trump any day.