Mitt Romney received the much coveted endorsement of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley this morning. Haley endorsed Romney during his first presidential run during the 2008 cycle. Romney took a risk in endorsing Haley when she was languishing in the polls during Haley’s gubernatorial campaign. Though Romney’s endorsement did not impact the polls as much as Sarah Palin’s later endorsement, which propelled Haley to the nomination, the fact remains that Romney endorsed Haley early and should be given credit for that.
Haley’s endorsement certainly gives Romney a boost in South Carolina among voters who identify themselves with the Tea Party and fiscal conservatives. Haley, a protege of former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, at the very least, allows Romney to retain the base of supporters he has in South Carolina. While Romney’s religion and history of flip-flops will remain an issue in the Palmetto State, Romney can, much in the way John McCain did in 2008, still win South Carolina if the more conservative voters split there votes among the more conservative candidates in the race.
“It is an honor to have the endorsement of Governor Haley,” said Mitt Romney in a statement. “As a successful businesswoman who entered public service so government could better serve the people, Governor Haley’s career-long efforts to reform government, make government more accountable to the taxpayers, and fight wasteful spending should be examples for leaders across the country.”
Haley said she was endorsing Romney because he “is a conservative businessman who has spent his life working in the economy, and he understands exactly how jobs are created.” Haley added that Romney was “not a creature of Washington.”
“The election next November will have ramifications for generations,” said Governor Nikki Haley. “Neither South Carolina nor the nation can afford four more years of President Obama, and Mitt Romney is the right person to take him on and get America back on track.’