AND KEVIN BRYANT …
If she was trying to walk the tightrope between embracing her Southern heritage and rebuking the alleged racist overtones of the Confederate flag, South Carolina’s GOP gubernatorial party-crasher Catherine Templeton appears to have missed the mark.
At least she missed it as far as the Confederates are concerned … and for that matter some members of the mainstream press.
Templeton’s recent remarks regarding the flag “have left a sour taste in the mouths of many Confederate Heritage supporters across the Palmetto State,” said James Bessenger, chairman of the S.C. Secessionist Party.
Templeton told a Pickens County GOP party gathering this week she was “proud of the Confederacy” but was not “backtracking” from her support of efforts to remove the flag from the grounds of the South Carolina State House two years ago.
That threading of the needle wasn’t to the liking of Bessenger’s organization. In fact, here’s an excerpt from a press release his party provided exclusively to this website in response to Templeton’s comments …
While Ms. Templeton stated that she holds some very strong positions toward protecting Confederate symbols in South Carolina, her simultaneous pivot to defend her support for the removal of the Confederate Battle Flag at the State House causes concern as to her sincerity. We find it difficult to reconcile how on one hand Ms. Templeton can claim that she would take a firm position against the removal of Confederate symbols and monuments while also supporting her very own call for the removal of a Confederate symbol two years ago. We remember the firm position Governor Nimrata Haley took in defense of the Confederate Flag on State House grounds before her own (failed) aspirations to the Vice Presidency led to its removal.
Templeton’s statement “that she stands by her decision to call for the Flag’s removal will ring much louder within our community than her opportunistic pledge to preserve our heritage,” the release continued.
Templeton – who has also been blasted by mainstream media outlets for her statements in support of Southern heritage – addressed the dust-up on her campaign’s Facebook page.
“I’ve recently come under attack from the press and others for my comments about the Confederate Flag,” she wrote. “If it’s politically incorrect to say I’m a proud Daughter of the Confederacy, then call me politically incorrect. My father was named after Judge William Brawley, a Confederate soldier who fought under Gen. Robert E. Lee, and lost his arm at the Battle of Seven Pines. I have a son named Hampton and a dog named Dixie but that doesn’t make me a racist. It makes me from South Carolina and proud of it. It’s outrageous to me that some would have me disavow my family and our history.”
Templeton added that “the day the Confederate Flag came down, (Nikki) Haley asked us all to express our support for the future of South Carolina and to start the healing. I was proud to do that. But I will not apologize for loving my family and my state. Our history is not always comfortable, but it made us who we are.”
Templeton wasn’t the only GOP gubernatorial candidate to draw a rebuke from Bessenger’s organization. S.C. lieutenant governor Kevin Bryant – who voted for the flag to come down as a member of the State Senate – was also blasted by the group as having his “hands dirtied” on the issue.
“The only difference is that he has not yet shown himself a hypocrite by claiming that he would further defend our heritage,” Bessenger said in the release.
In addition to Templeton and Bryant, former lieutenant governor Yancey McGill is also campaigning for the GOP nomination against incumbent governor Henry McMaster – who was supposed to win next spring’s GOP gubernatorial nomination in a cakewalk.
That’s clearly not happening now …
McMaster also supported lowering the flag, incidentally – calling for it to come down a day after former governor Nikki Haley did. Prior to the June 2015 “Holy City Massacre,” a racially motivated mass murder in Charleston, S.C., Haley supported the flag and rebuffed efforts to remove it.
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