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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley endorses Marco Rubio



South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley endorsed Marco Rubio on Wednesday, a big score for the Florida senator who is drawing big crowds in the state.

Haley appeared with Rubio at a rally in Chapin, S.C. Explaining her decision she said, “I thought first and foremost as a mom, who wants her children to be safe in our country, who wants her children to have the education and the opportunities so that they can be better than we were, which is what my parents wanted for us.”

Haley said she wanted a president who “know that when we fight wars, we win wars,” can turn back Obamacare and environmental mandates. She said she wanted a candidate who could return a “conscience back to our Republicans.”

Alluding to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who had sought her endorsement, she said there are “good people running for president.” But Haley said she wanted “somebody with fight, somebody with passion I wanted somebody who had conviction to do the right thing. But I wanted somebody humble enough that remembers that you work for all the people. And I wanted somebody that was going to go and show my parents that the best decision they every made for their children was coming to America.”

Earlier Wednesday after news of the endorsement broke, Bush said he was "disappointed" that Haley is endorsing Rubio. 

Speaking to reporters after a campaign event in Summerville, S.C., Bush said of her: "She's a very good governor and should I win the nomination, there'll be a role for her in the campaign." 

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 8:23pm]


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