Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Mitt Romney for president, but given their past, it seems the old chums wouldn’t have it any other way.
A report by The State says Romney and Haley have endorsed each other before. Romney was one of the first to endorse Haley during her run for governor and even appeared on the campagin trail with her. And, even before that, Haley, as a state legislator, endorsed Romney’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Naturally, though, Haley said she felt no obligation to back Romney because of past dealings or donations, of which Romney has been know to give generously to Haley in the past.
“He is a conservative businessman who has spent his life working in the economy, and he understands exactly how jobs are created,” Haley said in a news release from Romney’s campaign.
Haley said she was looking for the candidate who could help make her better at her own job.
“The way I’m approaching it is, ‘What do I want as governor? What, as a governor of this state, (do I want) when I realize the biggest issue I’ve had this year that I didn’t know I was going to have is dealing with the federal government,” Haley said. “I absolutely am looking at it from a governor’s standpoint … and knowing the number one issue for me and my colleagues is jobs and the economy.”
She’s referring, of course, to her fight with the National Labor Relations Board over Boeing building a plant in South Carolina as well as the controversial state laws that she helped push through to curb illegal immigration, including the requirement of voters to present IDs at the polls as the federal government is challenging both the immigration and voter ID laws in court.
In a slightly more obscure statement, Haley took a stab at Romney’s chief GOP rival, former House Speaker Next Gingrich. “[Romney] is not a creature of Washington, and he knows what it means to make decisions – real decisions – not simply cast a vote.”
Lately, it seems the two might need each other more than ever. Romney once led S.C. polls only to take a backseat to former U.S. House Speaker Gingrich. And, Haley’s popularity faded as well. Only 34 percent of S.C. voters approve of her work as governor, according to a recent poll from Winthrop University.
In a news release, Romney said he was honored to have Haley’s endorsement.
“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,” Romney said in a press release.
He went on to praise Haley’s “conservative principles of smaller government,” saying they will serve as a model for his campaign.
Romney and his new best friend forever will campaign together this weekend in Greenville, Myrtle Beach and Charleston.