Inside Nikki Haley's Massive Opposition Research Dump on Candidate Colbert

Elspeth Reeve
December 13, 2012
Inside Nikki Haley's Massive Opposition Research Dump on Candidate Colbert

On Facebook Thursday afternoon South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley launched a fierce counter-counterattack to Stephen Colbert's counter-attack to Haley's Facebook attack last week that he shouldn't be named to replace Sen. Jim DeMint because Colbert didn't know South Carolina's state drink. Colbert responded this week by airing an old Colbert Report clip in which Haley couldn't name the state amphibian. Haley's massive oppo dump Thursday revealed that in 2007, Colbert couldn't name the state amphibian either. As The Atlantic Wire has explained, we think Colbert is vastly overqualified for the Senate. But perhaps he was underprepared for the toughness of South Carolina politics.

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In Haley's massive dirty secrets file, we find this exchange from the October 21, 2007 edition of Meet the Press:

Tim Russert: "What's the state amphibian?" Colbert: "The state amphibian?" Russert: "Yeah." Colbert: "It's my dog, Cookie. She swims, and she goes on land."  Russert: "It's the spotted salamander."

False. As Colbert now knows — and as he shamed Haley for not knowing on his show — the South Carolina state amphibian is the spotted salamander.

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But that's not all. Haley's Colbert file quotes Colbert saying all kinds of damaging things, like that he'd throw an election if named to the Republican ballot by having a scandal, that he once claimed to represent Iran, that he demanded Keith Olbermann name him the worst person in the world, that he made his name sound more French "to get cultural elites on my side." Sure, these statements are taken out of context, but that's politics. Surely Colbert expected such hardball tactics. We eagerly await his counter-counter-counter-counterattack.

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