COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley made an unscheduled, last-minute trip to Atlanta on Monday where she scolded Donald Trump for not disavowing white supremacists who support his White House bid.
Haley made the trip to come to the rescue of Trump’s rival, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had lost his voice. Haley endorsed Rubio on Feb. 17, and campaigned with him during his time in South Carolina leading up to the state’s primary. In a video posted online by the Rubio campaign, Haley acknowledged that the hoarse-sounding Rubio had lost his voice.
“When you work hard and you fight hard, sometimes these things happen,” Haley said. “And so when these things happen, what do you do, you call your friends?”
Haley went on to make an extended version of the introductory speech she used in South Carolina and in the process joined a chorus of Republicans who have stepped up their anti-Trump rhetoric.
Rubio has hit a stride in recent days with personal attacks during his stump speeches aimed at Trump.
“I will not stop until we fight a man that chooses not to disavow the KKK,” said Haley of Trump on Monday. “That is not a part of our party, that is not who we want as president. We will not allow that in our country!”
Haley made the statement after citing the slayings of nine black churchgoers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston by an avowed white supremacist on June 17. The killings sparked the removal of the Confederate battle flag off the Statehouse’s grounds, and later the protest by North Carolina-based Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan on July 18. At the time, Haley urged the public to stay away from the rally.
She is not the only South Carolinian to be critical of Trump. On Sunday, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott issued a written statement on Sunday that said “any candidate who cannot immediately condemn a hate group like the KKK does not represent the Republican Party, and will not unite it.”
Trump made news Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union by failing to distance himself from the endorsement of former U.S. Rep. David Duke, a white nationalist and former KKK grand wizard, and the support of groups such as the KKK.