Last night, South Carolina State Sen. Jake Knotts (R) called Republican gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley a “f——— raghead,” and bizarrely suggested that she’s some kind of Sikh Manchurian candidate.
Corey Hutchins, a reporter for Free Times, the alt weekly in Columbia, South Carolina, has a great piece today about his interview with Knotts, which came after the state senator said during an internet radio show last night that Haley is a “raghead.”
I spoke to Hutchins this afternoon, and he shared some more details on last night’s event.
The show — Pub Politics — is hosted in a bar by South Carolina Democratic Caucus Director Phil Bailey and Republican operative Wes Donehue.
Hutchins has gone to the bar to watch the show multiple times — and has been on it once in the past too. Last night, Hutchins said, he was sitting at a table in the bar when Knotts walked in — apparently an unexpected cameo.
“I don’t think they knew he was gonna be there,” Hutchins said, adding that “people were happy to see him.”
That’s partly because “every time he opens his mouth, he says something that’s newsworthy.”
When Knotts made the “raghead” remark, “people were shocked,” Hutchins told me. However, “there wasn’t outrage.”
After the show, Hutchins approached Knotts and asked him about the “raghead” comment. Knotts repeated it — along with an expletive — and launched into a rather odd conspiracy theory.
Knotts says he believed Haley has been set up by a network of Sikhs and was programmed to run for governor of South Carolina by outside influences in foreign countries. He claims she is hiding her religion and he wants the voters to know about it.
“We got a raghead in Washington; we don’t need one in South Carolina,” Knotts said more than once. “She’s a raghead that’s ashamed of her religion trying to hide it behind being Methodist for political reasons.”
Haley is of Sikh descent, and is now a Christian. She’s running for governor in Tuesday’s Republican primary — and has been the focus of national media attention in recent weeks after two Republican political operatives claimed they had physical relationships with her. Haley has denied those claims.
Read the whole Free Times piece here.