Editor’s note: This story was updated to clarify that a pro-Haley account recirculated past comments from Mace.
Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) is going on the attack against GOP presidential hopeful Nikki Haley in South Carolina, panning her record as governor in an effort to boost former President Trump against his last remaining Republican rival.
Mace, who endorsed Trump in January, slammed Haley during a press conference Thursday and at another pro-Trump event Friday, criticizing her record on taxes and past support for investment from Chinese firms.
“Nikki Haley is China’s favorite governor,” Mace declared Thursday at the first event at the Horry County Courthouse, as the crowd booed. “If she had her way, South Carolina would be manufacturing spy balloons right here in our state.”
“She rolled out the red carpet for Communist China when she was governor,” Mace asserted. “In fact, she gave away our land for free. She said as governor that Chinese workers could teach a thing or two to South Carolina workers. Well, I know, you know, South Carolina workers very well. We don’t need Communist China teaching anything about work ethic or honor by a murderous dictator.”
Mace continued her criticism Friday, arguing Haley’s fiscal policies would not curb the rising cost of goods. “Gov. Haley started out as an accountant, she went from doing people’s taxes to raising people’s taxes,” Mace said while speaking outside the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum.
A pro-Haley account on X, formerly Twitter, responded to the criticisms by sharing Mace’s past praise for the governor, including when Mace was running for her House seat. At the time, she referred to Haley as a “rockstar” and “great leader.”
The former South Carolina governor helped Mace raise money when she was running for her House seat and appeared in ads for her, though the pair have not spoken in more than a year, according to The Associated Press.
Mace this week called for the GOP to unite behind Trump ahead of the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary as the former president seeks a rematch with President Biden in November.
The House Republican endorsed Trump shortly before the New Hampshire primary, one of several South Carolina politicians whose support Trump’s team touted before the first-in-the-nation primary, which he won.
“We need a man who’s going to be tough,” Mace said Thursday. “Be tough on China. Because you know what, Xi Jinping is afraid of Donald Trump.”
Mace was in Trump’s crosshairs shortly after the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, when she called him out on television. Trump later backed her primary challenger, Katie Arrington, who lost to Mace in the 1st District primary.
Updated: 3:45 p.m.