Haley jumps on Rubio’s bandwagon days before the pivotal South Carolina primary
♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor
CHAPIN, South Carolina (CFP) — South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has endorsed U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in the race for the GOP presidential nomination, three days before the state’s pivotal primary.
The coveted endorsement is a coup for Rubio in his quest to become the establishment alternative to front-runner Donald Trump — and a blow to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who had also courted Haley.
Speaking to a crowd of Rubio supporters in Chapin, in Haley’s home county, on February 17, the governor said that while there were “good people” in the GOP race, her job “was to find the person I thought could do it the best.”
“I wanted somebody with fight. I wanted somebody with passion. I wanted somebody that had conviction to do the right thing. But I wanted somebody humble enough that remembers that you work for all the people,” she said.
Haley, 44, is in her second term as the Palmetto State’s chief executive. She has been mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential pick–speculation that is now likely to intensify should Rubio win the nomination.
Haley’s received national attention last year after a racist opened fire inside a church in Charleston, leaving nine people dead. In the wake of those murders, she persuaded the Republican-controlled state legislature to remove the Confederate battle emblem from the top of the statehouse in Columbia.
Haley is the daughter of Indian immigrants and, if selected as the VP pick, would be the first Indian-American on a national ticket.
The governor has had an increasingly contentious relationship with Trump since she took a thinly veiled shot at the GOP front-runner in January while giving the response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Just hours after the Rubio endorsement, the crowd at a Trump rally in Sumter booed Haley.