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S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has flip-flopped on whether taxpayers should pay for the 2012 “First in the South” presidential primary – but she’s clearly got no problem providing the candidates with government-funded accommodations.

On October 4 (next Tuesday) Haley will host former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich and his contemporary wife, Callista, at the S.C. Governor’s Mansion.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has previously availed herself of these taxpayer-funded accommodations (twice, in fact), while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reportedly tried to take advantage of them once – but was rebuffed.

Haley has yet to endorse a candidate in advance of the 2012 South Carolina Republican presidential primary, although the value of her endorsement has been plummeting in recent months. According to the latest Public Policy Polling survey, Haley’s approval rating is an anemic 41 percent – with 43 percent of South Carolinians disapproving of her job performance.

Most Palmetto politicos believe that Haley – who endorsed Romney in 2008 – will wind up endorsing Texas Gov. Rick Perry this time around, particularly in light of recent fundraising developments.

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