SIMI VALLEY, CALIF. (WCBD)- The two South Carolinians vying for the Republican nomination for president — former Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott — took aim at each other during Wednesday night’s heated GOP debate.
It was the first time Haley and Scott have publicly sparred since launching their White House bids earlier this year.
The argument, which began with Scott criticizing Haley’s previous support for raising the gas tax during her time as S.C. governor, quickly devolved into a spat over expensive curtains that hung in Haley’s residence while she was U.N. Ambassador.
The exchange, which seemed personal at times, began when moderator Dana Perino asked Scott to explain why he should be chosen as president over Haley, who appointed him to the Senate in 2013.
Scott touted his legislative work on the economy, specifically citing the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he has promised to make permanent.
Then, it was Haley’s turn to explain why she should be promoted to the office. She took aim at Scott’s record, claiming he has fallen short of accomplishing polices in the Senate that he says he would complete as president.
“Look, I appreciate him, we’ve known each other a long time, but he’s been there 12 years and he hasn’t done any of that,” Haley said. “They’ve only given four budgets on time in 40 years and he was part of that. He increased the national debt, he voted for the spending.”
Scott fired back, reiterating an earlier point that Haley had called for raising the gas tax as governor.
“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” he said.
Scott also accused Haley of spending more than $50,000 on curtains for the U.N. ambassador’s residence, alleging that she was responsible for the spending decision.
Haley was the first ambassador to live in the new residence, but the curtains were actually purchased during the Obama administration.
“You got bad information,” Haley responded to Scott.
Haley maintained that she fought against the gas tax “multiple times,” noting that the proposal was coupled with lowering the income tax, while Scott implored viewers to “go to YouTube.”
Scott then asked her why she did not have the curtains returned.
“Did you send it back? You’re the one who works in Congress,” Haley said.
“You are scrapping,” she added.
The Hill contributed to this report.