SC Democratic chairman’s quip irks Haley

09/05/2012 8:00 PM

09/05/2012 8:35 PM

S.C. Democratic Party chairman Dick Harpootlian Wednesday dismissed Republican Gov. Nikki Haley’s daily press conferences for Mitt Romney during the Democratic National Convention as taking place “in a bunker a la Eva Braun” -- a reference to the mistress of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

"She was down in the bunker a la Eva Braun," Harpootlian told S.C. delegates during their breakfast meeting. "They have gone to the bowels of (the NASCAR Hall of Fame) so we can’t see them."

S.C. Republicans were quick to pounce on the remark, saying Harpootlian had called Haley a Nazi. Matt Moore, executive director of the S.C. Republican Party, posted on his Twitter page that Harpootlian’s comments “are despicable and require an apology.”

Speaking with a group of Republican surrogates for GOP presidential nominee Romney, Haley called Harpootlian “an angry hateful man who continues to embarrass South Carolina every time he opens his mouth.”

Harpootlian, who has a history of making colorful, hyperbolic comments, said he was not calling Haley a Nazi. But, he added, “A hit dog howls.”

Some Democrats were not happy with Harpootlian’s choice of words.

“It’s inappropriate, and ... it’s disturbing,” state Sen. Joel Lourie of Columbia. “People need to think more carefully about their words when they are trying to draw such analogies.”

But, Lourie added, “We’re only 80 miles away from Charlotte, and anytime the governor wants to come back and do her job, we do have issues here.”

Democrats held a press conference Tuesday to criticize Haley for being out of her office for the last two weeks to go to Republican and Democratic conventions

-- Adam Beam

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