Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer challenged GOP gubernatorial opponent Nikki Haley today to take a lie-detector test to prove that she didn't have an affair, as his former campaign consultant claimed.
Haley, a Lexington state representative, has said repeatedly that she has been faithful to her husband of 13 years and has called any claims to the contrary "disgusting politics."
Will Folks, a blogger and former spokesman for Gov. Mark Sanford, claimed on May 24 that he and Haley had an affair in 2007. On Wednesday, Larry Marchant, a consultant helping Bauer's campaign with fundraising, said he had a one-night fling with her in Utah in 2008.
Neither offered any proof, and Haley went on the attack against Bauer during a debate Wednesday evening, noting Marchant had been paid by Bauer's campaign and saying political operatives were shopping the affair story around to media Tuesday.
"Nobody has been a better friend of transparency than Andre Bauer," Bauer said in a news release. "Ms. Haley, on the other hand, speaks of transparency, but apparently only for other people, not for herself. ... Now, we learn that she is refusing to release phone and text messages which could clear up some of the unfortunate recent allegations."
Bauer also said Haley is "not the person she is pretending to be."
Asked about Bauer's comments, Haley campaign manager Tim Pearson said, "We're not going to sink into the gutter of South Carolina politics with Andre Bauer. Nikki Haley's fight for transparency in state government has been well chronicled for years, as have the battle scars she has to prove it."
Read more in tomorrow's editions of The Post and Courier.