Andre Bauer’s unfortunate endorsement of Newt Gingrich. [UPDATE]
[Please note the edit below: the implication in the CNN article was that Bauer’s endorsement of Gingrich was welcomed by the campaign, but there’s still wiggle room for Team Newt. I’ve emailed the Gingrich campaign to confirm. – Moe Lane]
Team Newt announced today that they [CNN reported today that the Gingrich campaign] had picked up the endorsement of Andre Bauer, who is: a former Lt. Governor of South Carolina; a former gubernatorial candidate; and a potential candidate for the new SC-07 seat. If that name sounds familiar, it should… because Andre Bauer was also the person that current South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley gutted like a newly-caught river trout for Bauer’s (alleged) role in attempting to wreck Haley’s marriage and career:
…Yeah. For those of you without video access and/or sufficient recall of the situation, let me summarize: then-state Representative Haley had been the subject of some extremely salacious rumors (that have mysteriously never been confirmed, or even referred to, since the election) insinuating that she had been the subject of an affair. Said insinuations eventually resulted in one of Bauer’s staffers ‘heroically’ taking the fall by claiming an affair with Haley. Haley called Bauer on it in a televised debate; Bauer piously claimed that he had fired the dirty adulterous staffer in question as soon as he heard the rumor; Haley pointed out – sweetly; oh, so terribly sweetly – that Bauer’s campaign had tried to shop the rumor around before firing the staffer; and Bauer flopped around on the debate floor for forty-five seconds while Nikki Haley locked down the Republican nomination for South Carolina governor*.
All of which leads to my polite and honestly-meant suggestion to the Gingrich campaign: they may want to reconsider just how much they use this guy for the South Carolina primary. Nikki Haley currently enjoys a 64% approval rating among SC Republican primary voters, and I suspect that she remembers Mr. Bauer quite well, if not precisely fondly. Particularly since Bauer may have a talent for unfortunate remarks:
[Bauer] drew criticism for blaming South Carolina’s high unemployment on people too lazy to do field work. He said his grandmother told him not to feed stray animals because they reproduce, as he spoke of people being dependent on state assistance.
No, really, it’s actually what Bauer said. Only the Washington Post was being merciful.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*You can see a stripped-down version here (via here), but I feel the full effect is lost if you just watch the highlight reel.