Rumble in the South: Nikki Haley, Nathan Deal Spar Over Storm

Image: Rumble in the South: Nikki Haley, Nathan Deal Spar Over Storm

Thursday, 06 Feb 2014 02:37 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Fuming South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tore into fellow Republican Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal after her brother was stuck on a highway in Atlanta for 27 hours because of snow and ice.

And Deal fired back.

The sniping began when Haley told The Charleston Regional Business Journal,
"While I was trying to fix South Carolina, I was furious at Georgia for not taking care of that."

Deal has apologized for the state being unprepared for last week’s intense winter storm that left hundreds of drivers trapped in their cars.

But while she criticized the Peach State, Haley had nothing but gushing praise for South Carolina’s transportation and public safety departments.

"When you go through a storm, whether it’s a hurricane or winter storm, our team stands ready," she said. "I am very proud of team South Carolina and the way they handled the storm."

That statement roiled Deal, who had his spokesman dismiss Haley's praise in a comment to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

"To say South Carolina did a better job responding to the storm than Georgia is like saying Tennessee did a better job than Louisiana responding to Hurricane Katrina," the spokesman, Brian Robinson, said. "We experienced completely different weather events."

Democrats, who want to replace Haley in the next election, also were not impressed.

"So how has she tried to divert attention from her failures? By attacking fellow Republican Governor Nathan Deal," the Democratic Governors Association said in a statement obtained by The State newspaper.

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