In a recent interview on FNC’s “Your World,” Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) revisited his recent clash with former South Carolinian governor and 2024 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley during the second GOP presidential debate in California on Sept. 27.
Nikki Haley and Tim Scott, two Republican presidential candidates with years of history in South Carolina, had fiery exchanges over a state gas tax — and curtains. https://t.co/cP2ZSc4kii pic.twitter.com/r85QTc7dRZ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 28, 2023
When asked by host Neil Cavuto about Haley’s criticism of Senate veterans and the lack of budget progress, Scott expressed concerns about her trustworthiness and consistency.
“Well — I mean, I like Nikki. I wish she was the same kind of candidate as she was as a person. But now she’s kind of flipped the tune a little bit. You really just can’t trust her. She offered a tax increase to the South Carolinians, hundreds of millions of dollars of additional taxes for gas. Number two, she had almost a 40 percent increase in spending while she was governor.”
Scott further pointed out that he had advocated for a 15-week national limit on abortion during the debate, a stance Haley refused to support. “Number three, she’s backing away on one of the fundamental issues, the issue of life. She will not join myself. And Ron DeSantis joined me on the debate stage for a 15-week national limit on national — on saving life. She won’t do that,” he stated.
He emphasized the inconsistency in Haley’s positions, stating, “So, having her talk about topics is something that is interesting, but it’s so inconsistent.”
Cavuto inquired about the heated exchange between the two South Carolinians during the debate.
“Because you didn’t go at each other like you did in this latest debate. I’m wondering. You’re two South Carolinians. It may be that. And you wanted to clarify the one surviving South Carolinian. I don’t know what it is. But it was there for world to see. Do you think you overdid it? Do you think she overdid it?” Cavuto asked.
Scott responded by invoking the phrase, “She drew first blood,” implying that Haley had initiated the personal attacks.
He asserted that he had not made negative comments about her until he responded to her remarks. “I, frankly, did not have a negative comment about her as — until I was responding to what she said. But it is a target-rich environment. And I’m happy to have a contrast about my record versus her record,” he stated.
This interview followed the clash between Scott and Haley during the second Republican debate, where Haley criticized Scott’s record on spending in Washington, insinuating that he had failed to rein in spending as a Senator. In response, Scott accused Haley of never meeting a federal dollar she didn’t like.
The public disagreement between the two GOP presidential candidates marked a notable departure from their past relationship as Haley appointed Scott to the Senate in 2012, while she was the governor of South Carolina. Back then, she had endorsed him as the best representative for the state, citing his fiscal responsibility with the words, “He knows the value of a dollar.”