SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR ENDORSES MARCO RUBIO …
A day after saying she might not endorse in the 2016 “First in the South” presidential primary – S.C. governor Nikki Haley jumped aboard the campaign of establishment favorite U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, embracing a candidate she previously blasted for his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
“Marco Rubio believes in amnesty, which I don’t,” Haley said last month.
Is that true, though?
Haley’s scandal-scarred welfare agency has been running this program over the objections of the state’s GOP-controlled legislature – which explicitly barred her from expending funds on the refugee resettlements without approval from local governments.
Haley has received no such approval … yet her agency is funding the program anyway.
Seems to us like she supports amnesty every bit as much as Rubio does …
Anyway, this marks the second presidential cycle in which Haley has chosen the GOP candidate residing at the far left end of the party’s political spectrum – although she waited till the bitter end to do it this time.
Of course given her repeated attacks against GOP frontrunner Donald Trump – and to a lesser extent U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas – she really had nowhere else to go in the current election cycle.
Which was probably a bitter pill for her to swallow under the circumstances.
Four years ago, Haley endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney – which proved to be a “kiss of death” to the establishment politician’s South Carolina candidacy. At the time she backed Romney, Haley was at her nadir – polling at just over 52 percent among “Republican” voters. She has since rehabilitated her standing with the GOP electorate – although it remains to be seen whether her backing will help Rubio continue his recent uptick in the Palmetto State.
Haley was reportedly planning on endorsing Rubio eleven days ago – part of an alleged quid pro quo with party leaders in Washington, D.C. – but backed out after he faltered in a debate in New Hampshire.
Apparently Rubio’s recent ascent in the polls in South Carolina convinced her the gamble was worth it (or at least her advisor, Rubio SuperPAC pollster Jon Lerner, convinced her it was worth it).
Rubio was polling at 16 percent in the “First in the South” primary at the time of Haley’s endorsement – climbing from 11.5 percent earlier this month according to the latest aggregate polling data from RealClearPolitics.
In other words, Rubio was on the verge of surpassing Cruz – who has slipped from 22 percent to 17.8 percent in the Palmetto State – for second place at the time of Haley’s endorsement.
Trump remains the runaway “First in the South” frontrunner …