Politics

GOP Presidential Candidates Back SC Governor’s Call To Remove Confederate Flag

Alex Pappas Political Reporter

Republican presidential candidates are supporting South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s call for the removal of the Confederate flag on the state capitol grounds following last week’s church shooting in Charleston.

“Kudos to @nikkihaley and all the SC leaders standing with her for doing the right thing,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush posted on Twitter.

“I fully support Governor Haley’s leadership today in calling for the flag to come down,” Ohio Gov. John Kasich said. “This is a decision for South Carolina to make and they are now starting that process. Like Governor Haley, I believe the flag should come down.”

“The decision to remove the Confederate flag needs to be made by the people of South Carolina, and Gov. Haley’s leadership today honors the people of Charleston, and the families of the victims of last week’s horrific hate crime,” former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said.

Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator running for president, said Monday the flag should be removed.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, also expressed support.

“Now is the time to do what is right, and I support the call by Governor Haley and South Carolina leaders to remove the Confederate battle flag from state house grounds,” Priebus said.

Haley, in a press conference Monday, said she would ask the state legislature to vote to remove the display of the flag off the grounds of the capitol.

In the aftermath of the shooting, there were calls to remove the confederate flag, which was embraced by the suspect in his racially-motivated shooting spree.

The issue has been a tricky one for some candidates, considering South Carolina’s prominent role as one of the first primary states. Many in the state view the flag not as a symbol of racial hate, but of southern heritage. Some Republican presidential candidates have declined to weigh in on the issue, saying it is an issue for South Carolinians to decide.

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