Haley, Scott say Obama has ‘failed’

State Democrats criticize governor for Tampa, Charlotte trips

ashain@thestate.comSeptember 5, 2012 

— Five blocks from where President Barack Obama will accept the Democratic nomination Thursday, a pair of top S.C. Republicans said Tuesday that change is needed in the White House, citing Obama’s self-awarded “incomplete” grade two years ago for his first term.

“I have a 10-year-old and a 14-year-old,” Gov. Nikki Haley said at a Republican National Committee news conference at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. “If they came home with an ‘incomplete’ on their report card, that means they failed. ... He has basically said, ‘I didn’t get the job done.’ ”

U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, the first African-American Republican elected to Congress from South Carolina in more than a century, added: “Our president – when he was asked the question, ‘Are we better off?’ – gets a failing grade. … Hope is absolutely lower.”

During the Democratic National Convention, Republicans are holding daily press briefings at the museum, which also has been the site of several Democratic receptions this week. The museum includes a race car painted with the Romney-Ryan campaign logo.

Democrats held a news conference Tuesday outside Haley’s State House office in Columbia, criticizing her for spending last week at the Republican National Convention in Tampa and part of this week in Charlotte.

“It has been two weeks since Nikki Haley has shown up for work,” said state Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia. “Instead, she has been chasing every news camera she can find in Florida and North Carolina.”

Meanwhile, Haley said she was insulted by comments by the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., an Obama supporter, that he could not believe Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, supports a voter ID law, which suppresses voting by minorities, according to critics.

“Who is it to say that minorities are the only people who don’t know how to get an ID?” Haley responded. “We can get an ID, just like we know how to do everything else.”

Both Haley and Scott were featured in last week’s Republican convention, signaling its diversity.

However, Scott said Tuesday that neither he nor Haley went to Charlotte to highlight GOP diversity. Scott noted his district includes a new Boeing plant, adding he often talks about the economy. “Because I’m a part of racial minority, well, that’s just good for the campaign and good for the party and good for our country.”

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