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Haley Supported the Right of States to Secede When She Ran for Governor

One of the things that goes with running for office is oppo research. Nikki Haley is about to discover that positions that are fine when you are running for governor of South Carolina are not always so fine when you are running for (vice) president.

In 2010, when she was running for governor, Haley did an interview with a group called the Palmetto Patriots. One of the interviewers was Robert Slimp, a pastor and former board member of the Council of Conservative Citizens. This is a white supremacy group that supports a white nationalist ideology and opposes nonwhite immigration. Dylann Roof, who killed nine people at a Black church in Charleston in 2015, took his moral guidance from the group.

Haley made some interesting remarks in the interview, which she is now going to have to deal with. For example, she described the Civil War—which, as she well knows, began in South Carolina—as two sides fighting for different values. One fought for tradition and one fought for change. Sorta right, but she didn't elaborate on what Team Change was trying to change or what value Team Values was trying to protect.

In the interview, Haley also defended the right of states to secede from the Union. Some people think that Abraham Lincoln & co. settled that discussion once and for all, but apparently not for Haley. When asked if South Carolina could secede again, she said it probably wouldn't get to that point. Note that this answer is different from "No." She doesn't have a law degree, so perhaps she doesn't know that in 1869 the Supreme Court ruled that states do not have a right to secede, but this would be a good time to check that out before doing any more interviews.

Haley also supported "Confederate Heritage Month" and compared it to "Black History Month." She said that it is fine that people in the South have traditions they want to celebrate. She also supported the flying of the Confederate Battle Flag from the state Capitol, though as governor she had it taken down after Roof's attack on the church.

It will be interesting to hear what she has to say when reporters ask her if she still thinks states have the right to secede and if she now thinks they don't, what made her change her mind. (V)

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