Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and the state’s current Sen. Tim Scott engaged in an intense back-and-forth during the Republican presidential debate Wednesday night over her record.
“Talk about someone who has never seen a federal dollar she doesn’t like,” Scott said of the former U.N. ambassador. However, Haley did not shy away from defending herself, telling the senator, “Bring it, Tim!” adding, “You got bad information.”
Scott hit out at Haley for proposing a gas tax in South Carolina as governor and accused her of approving “$50,000 curtains in a $15 million subsidized location” as U.N. ambassador.
“First of all, I fought the gas tax in South Carolina multiple times against the establishment,” Haley said. Scott replied, “Just go to YouTube and see for yourself.”
Haley plans to get rid of the federal gas tax if she makes it to the White House. Yet, she championed a proposal in 2016 to fund infrastructure projects in South Carolina by raising the state gas tax by 10 cents per gallon gradually implemented over the course of three years.
However, that gas tax was coupled with a proposal to cut the state’s top income bracket from 7% to 5% over a decade. Overall, the plan — which was never passed in South Carolina during Haley’s tenure — would have resulted in a net decrease in taxes and Haley vowed to “veto anything that is a net tax increase.”
“I said the only way I will pass it is…if you will give me three times the deduction in income tax, then I will look at your gas tax – which is why it didn’t happen,” Haley said during the debate.
She then told Scott, “Secondly, on the curtains, do your homework, Tim. Because Obama bought those.”
Haley drew criticism after The New York Times reported in 2018 that $52,701 was spent the year before on curtains for her official New York City residence as U.S. ambassador to the U.N. However, the purchase was, indeed, approved in 2016 during the Obama administration.
“Did you send them back?” Scott asked her during the debate.
“It’s the State Department,” Haley replied. “You’re the one that works in Congress.”
Scott fired back, “You hung them up…your curtains.”
“They were there before I even showed up at the residence,” Haley said. “You are scrapping. You are scrapping right now.”
FOX News’ Thomas Catenacci contributed to this report.