Haley dismisses ‘placeholder’ speculation as Colbert gets online support
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday she would not appoint a “placeholder” for the seat vacated by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), the same day a new poll showed comedian Stephen Colbert leading among the choices for DeMint’s prospective replacements.
“I believe South Carolina will be best served by a U.S. Senator who will work hard day in and day out, and put him or herself before the voters at the soonest possible time,” said Haley, according to The Washington Post. “Accordingly, I reject the option of a ‘placeholder.'”
DeMint’s departure becomes official in January, and Haley said she did not support installing someone in his place who would not seek re-election in 2014.
The Post also reported that DeMint personally supported the idea of Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC) taking the seat, which would make Scott the state’s first black senator since the Reconstruction era.
“Now, folks, I’m not going to sit here and say that I should be South Carolina’s next senator,” he said on The Colbert Report. “Not when so many other people are saying it for me.”
Colbert asked his fans to contact Haley on Twitter on his behalf. Monday’s poll revealed that 20 percent of respondents supported Colbert’s bid, compared to 15 percent for Scott. But, as ABC News reported Friday, Haley, who has appeared on the show, issued her own social media stiff-arm to Colbert’s bid.
“Stephen, thank you for your interest in South Carolina’s U.S. Senate seat and for the thousands of tweets you and your fans sent me,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “But you forget one thing, my friend. You didn’t know our state drink. Big, big mistake.”
Haley’s good-natured jibe referred to her April 3 interview with Colbert, during which he forgot that the state drink of South Carolina is milk.