The son of longshot Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley referred US senator Tim Scott – their fellow South Carolinan – as “senator Judas” while criticizing Scott’s endorsement of Donald Trump.
“Senator Judas – excuse me, senator Scott,” Nalin Haley said during a campaign rally in Gilbert, South Carolina.
Haley herself reportedly joked later on stage at the event, “Nalin, I will deal with you later.”
According to Washington Post reporter Dylan Wells, a spokesperson for Scott responded by issuing a statement which referred to the senator’s mother and said: “You’d never hear Ms Frances or anyone from the Scott family talk like that.”
Haley when she was governor of South Carolina appointed Scott to the US Senate in 2012 to fill the seat of Jim DeMint, who retired.
Scott dropped out of the Republican presidential primary in November and in January announced his official endorsement of Trump, who is seeking to defeat Democratic incumbent Joe Biden to return to the White House.
Haley said in an interview with Fox News on the endorsement: “South Carolina is a bloodsport. Everyone has a decision to make, and they have to live with their decision. He’ll have to live with his.”
She added in response to Scott being floated as a possible running mate for Trump: “He’s going to be disappointed when Trump doesn’t win.”
South Carolina is set to hold its Republican presidential preference primary on 24 February, where Haley is currently trailing in polls by double digits behind Trump in her home state.
She was behind by 37 points in a recent Morning Consult poll and 26 points in a Washington Post-Monmouth survey.
During an interview on CBS News’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Haley sought to make up some of the ground between her and Trump by criticizing comments the former president made about her husband, who is serving overseas with South Carolina’s national guard.
Trump, at his own campaign rally Saturday, asked where Michael Haley was. Trump – who has often been seen without wife Melania by his side as he grapples with a litany of legal problems – also said Michael Haley was “gone”.
Haley on Sunday said: “We can’t have someone who sits there and mocks our men and women who are trying to protect America.”
She also said Trump’s disparaging remarks of military members was “a pattern”, which was possibly a reference to a report that the former president once referred to Americans who died in war as “losers” and “suckers”.
Haley served as governor for nearly two terms before resigning in 2017 to serve as the US ambassador to the United Nations for the Trump White House.
She has affirmed plans to remain in the Republican presidential primary through Super Tuesday on 5 March – when 16 state primary races are run – regardless of the result Haley’s campaign receives in South Carolina.
Trump is enjoying his status as the Republicans’ presumptive 2024 White House nominee despite facing more than 90 pending criminal charges.
Those charges allege that he tried to illegally subvert the results of the 2020 election that he lost to Biden, improperly retained government secrets after his presidency and made illicit hush-money payments to an adult film actor who has alleged an extramarital sexual encounter with Trump.
Source: US Politics - theguardian.com