UPDATED: Haley Says Lawmaker's Comments 'Ignorant' And 'Damaging'

Florence County Republican Kris Crawford was quoted as saying, "...It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now..."

On Thursday, Rob Godfrey, the spokesperson for Gov. Nikki Haley, issued a comment on this story, which is now receiving national attention

"State Rep. Kris Crawford's ignorant comment in no way represents the people of South Carolina - and it's a shame that the views of a few end up damaging the image of our state as a whole."

Today, Crawford told Post & Courier reporter Stephen Largen that his remarks were taken out of context.


Democrats in the state legislature were fuming on Tuesday after learning of comments by Florence County House member Kris Crawford (R-63) that seemed to suggest he voted against Medicaid expansion because of politics and race.

Crawford was quoted in the Charleston Regional Business Journal on Jan. 29 as saying, "The politics are going to overwhelm the policy. It is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now, especially for the Republican Party.”

Crawford is a medical doctor and said in the article that he supports Medicaid expansion. He did not immediately return a call from Patch seeking clarification on his remarks.

On Monday, Democrats held a press conference to call for a three-year expansion of Medicaid for the uninsured in South Carolina. On Tuesday, they condemned Crawford's comments, which they found especially disappointing since he appeared to be one of the few House Republicans willing to vote for expansion. 

"Unfortunately Rep. Crawford made it clear that this was never about policy, and always about politics. And according to our Republican colleague, the President's race was a factor. I thought those days were over. The people of South Carolina deserve so much better than this," said Rep. James Smith (D-72).

Amanda Loveday, Executive Director of the South Carolina Democratic Party, said, "Obviously Rep. Crawford let politics overwhelm policy and agreed with his own comment 'it is good politics to oppose the black guy in the White House right now.' This wasn't about race; this was about 44,000 new jobs, over a billion dollars pumped into our economy and health insurance for 250,000 more South Carolinians."

House Republicans eventually defeated the measure as the vote went along party lines. Upon its defeat, Speaker Bobby Harrell released the following statement:

"If more money and more government produced healthier citizens, Americans should be the healthiest population on the planet - but we're not. The current system is clearly broken but instead of trying to fix this broken system, Obamacare simply makes it bigger. Unlike the unsustainable new spending of Obamacare, we have proposed real solutions that use existing resources to target more effective health options that will actually improve the health of our citizens."

This is not the first time Crawford has made headlines. He was convicted of tax evasion last November.

Keep up with all of Patch's coverage of South Carolina politics by following us on Facebook HERE and Twitter HERE.

Justmakesense March 13, 2013 at 04:01 PM
No we voted for him, because finally someone who cares about the American people, all races, ran for President. Don't make this about African Americans being racist. Everyone can see that it is now and has always been about race with Congress and the President. If you don't believe you can buy a plot of land that I have off the coast of Myrtle Beach.
Justmakesense March 13, 2013 at 04:02 PM
They either make it happen or the find new jobs during election time. We the people have shown that we will make our voices heard.
JoSCh March 13, 2013 at 04:04 PM
I found his statement to be stunningly refreshing from anyone, particularly a white Republican politician from South Carolina. I don't see how anybody thinks Senator Crawfords statement can be called racist; it definitely discusses racism, and points out that GOP policymakers are racist, but it isn't racist.
Right Here March 13, 2013 at 04:06 PM
re: reg Are you serious? Really? Federal spending is lower under Obama then Bush? It's no wonder that we're where we are with "informed" citizens like you voting. How do you find you're way home when you leave the house?
JoSCh March 13, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Obama spending: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/ http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/may/23/facebook-posts/viral-facebook-post-says-barack-obama-has-lowest-s/ http://www.factcheck.org/2012/06/obamas-spending-inferno-or-not/ Obama leading http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-05/republican-senators-encouraged-by-obama-talks-on-deficit.html http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/06/obama-goes-around-gop-leaders-calls-rank-and-file-republicans-for-dinner/ http://www.usatoday.com/story/theoval/2013/02/21/obama-boehner-mcconnell-phone-calls-sequester/1936185/ Facts have liberal bias.
reg March 13, 2013 at 04:32 PM
I'm 100% serious, fright cheer. LESS SPENDING. And it cuts $2.4 trillion from national debt in the next 10 years. And we'd be a lot less in debt if GOP in House didn't keep fighting to extend the temporary tax cuts on the wealthy. Right now, you've got Paul Ryan trying to cut away from stuff --- education, health, even things that aren't included in annual budget with tax as a source -- instead of letting those temp tax cuts expire. We already had lowest taxes on wealth of all developed nations (and have had that record since 1964), but GOP wants to keep kissing up to sugardaddy donors. (We are also the only country on the planet that taxes poverty.)
Rusty Inman March 13, 2013 at 07:55 PM
Anyone who denies that race has been an issue in South Carolina since the president was first elected is seriously delusional and seriously needs to re-think the Thorazine. The reference to Tim Scott only reinforces the degree to which race is an issue. As long as "the black guy" toes the line per "white guy" politics, he's acceptable. But, if he doesn't---and the president's politics don't toe the line with a lot of "white guy" politics in South Carolina---then he becomes the target of visceral attacks that go beyond the pale. I mean, have you heard any racial jokes made about Tim Scott or his wife? No. But the same can't be said for the president and First Lady. Be serious, folks.
Rusty Inman March 13, 2013 at 07:58 PM
Thanks to reg and JoeSCh for the cites. And it deserves noting that, under this president, over 750,000 public sector jobs have been cut since he took office. So much for the GOP and their "growth of government" talking points.
Rusty Inman March 13, 2013 at 08:07 PM
The media is "becoming more state controlled?" Are you joking? The major dailies---such as they are---in South Carolina are syndicated jokes who do virtually no investigative reporting and virtually no follow-up per policies or statements made by Haley and other GOP/Tea Party/Fringe-Freaks in this state. Haley's statements about Medicaid expansion and about health care in South Carolina are absurd on their face, but The State challenges absolutely nothing. Of course, neither does the Post & Courier nor any of the others. This would be prime-time for a truly independent and serious journalistic effort in South Carolina. Unfortunately, I'm not sure to what degree any such efforts exist anymore.
stanley seigler March 13, 2013 at 09:03 PM
re: [assume BO's e;election] didn't have a damn thing to do with policy...[Right Here] except for an insignificant %...had everything to do with policy...'we the people'(WTP) are finally waking up to the myths and failed GOP policies (1929/2008) that GOPs want to repeat...confirming the saw: stupidity is repeating the sameoldsame expecting a different results... WTP are finally aware of the GOP hypocrisy when they say git gummint outta my life, except for women's reproductive system... that said, is racism alive and well? HELL YES! and why racist deny they are racist and justify their racism by saying the Blacks are racist defies logic...common sense. blacks may hate honkies because of the way honkies have treated them...discriminated against them with, eg, jim crow laws, lynchings, made their precious child feel he/she was inferior, etc... read (reread) 'to kill a mocking bird' and about jack johnson...listen to lady D's 'southern trees have strange fruit'... for some insight. racist hate blacks because they are black and gawd knows why else...
silver March 14, 2013 at 07:10 PM
I don't know why Nikki Haley is so upset - everything she does is about her selfish objectives and partisan politics - Haley doesn't do anything just because it is in the best interest of the residents of this state. If she did - she would participate in Medicaid expansion. How is Nikki Haley different from what Rep Crawford said??
Jay Bennett March 14, 2013 at 07:39 PM
And you think Obamacare is the right thing; do you think it is also the right thing for us to have had the highest 4 years of unemployment since the Great Depression; the greatest number of people either unemployed, quit looking or got a lesser paying job; the largest national debt over a 4 year period ever. Regardless if he is a mulatto or not is not the question, rather his inane, nonsensical approach to basically everything in government, especially fiscally, is beyond refute to be terrible. After Carter, this "black/white" guy is the worst President with Bush third.
JoSCh March 14, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Do you think it is the right thing for us to have the stock market at record levels Jay Bennett? Stupid Obamanomics and all this profiting; it's downright unAmuricun, because he's black.
Wounded Warrior March 14, 2013 at 09:10 PM
Basically this guy is a blackaphobic moron.
my1230 March 14, 2013 at 09:58 PM
I am sure that they voted for Bill Clinton also...hmmm...was that because he was black also? Or maybe it was because they didn't agree with the Republican policies... Please give me a break with this statement because this whole racist argument is getting old. It is one thing to oppose his policies which in some cases are the same policies that were previously accepted from the other administrations. (It is amazing how Republicans were terrible with the economy, preaching small government and less spending while at the same time creating Homeland Security and lead us into two wars that help kill our economy but everyone is OK with those policies) Racism comes in with things like what Rep. Crawford said as well as the nasty things that have been said about our first lady. I am quite sure that you know the difference...
Dave Larkin March 14, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Both parties are taking us down the wrong path. Even a 50 50 split means that 50% of the populace is supporting the other half and that can not sustain itself very long. If we are in such great shape then why are we borrowing some much money from others and not the lender we once were?
maizenbluedoc March 15, 2013 at 12:21 PM
One only has to read the posts in this Patch to realize the problem confronting this country. The primary problem is the blame game to gain party superiority. The race of the president just makes for a convenient scapegoat to negate the real problem. Color of Obama's skin has little to do with his inability to govern, a result of his lack of experience in areas of economics, and business practices. Until people in this country put the country before THEIR party, expect a continuation of the current dilemma. While I do not agree with the stupidity of the statement, the majority of people disagreeing with BHO is not a result of his skin pigment.
reg March 15, 2013 at 01:47 PM
remain seated, maize --- i agree with your statement of "the majority of people disagreeing....." The Republicans I know and love aren't like that. It's the people who claim to be Republican and run for office, though, who are the minority you refer to. The GOP has very very very few officials who uphold traditional Republican beliefs. They promote government restrictions instead of smaller government, and are using Marxian economic theories. While I know there are Republican citizens, I don't think there's a true Republican Party anymore.
Robert Kelly March 15, 2013 at 01:54 PM
Far be it from you to play the blame game! Boehner made it clear, he can't come up with anything remotely acceptable to either the Senate or the president, and get it past his House caucus. His own majority to too slim to lose the moderates and still get anything to pass, and anything not acceptable to the Tea Baggers will not pass. There is no GOP leadership in the House. What have they come up with so far in this congress? They are waiting on the Senate, as they had to do with the Financial Bluff last year. Bring back Nancy Pelosi and you will see some leadership.
stanley seigler March 15, 2013 at 02:29 PM
re: One only has to read the posts in this Patch to realize the problem confronting this country [mazi] and for me to realize i made a mistake: when i first posted 'dont argue w/ idiots, etc'... believe josch said you have to call them on their bs...and i took that road...a mistake...shudda listened to king, twain and proverbs...so am correcting my mistake...ie: 'Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.' —Greg King 'Never argue with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.' —Mark Twain 'Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.' —Proverbs 26:4 (King James version) too many idiots and fools; ad hominem arguments; irrelevant misdirections; and metal of honor recipients... been fun tho; somewhat educational; and provided insight into the depths of radical conservatism in my beloved home state, SC...
maizenbluedoc March 15, 2013 at 02:33 PM
"metal of honor"? And you are implying that there are "idiots"? Comedic, for sure.
JoSCh March 15, 2013 at 02:49 PM
The assertion that the president is unable to govern is a very good example of the blame game you call the primary problem. Have you ever given credit for the presidents successes? To think that many of the presidents critics including yourself don't attempt to use his race or his "foreign sounding" name against him your lying to yourself. Why do you call him BHO? Is there another BO or Obama you're trying to distinguish him from, or are you just making sure the name Hussein is interjected into the conversation?
JoSCh March 15, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Who is a blackaphobic moron? Senator Crawford? Reread what he said.
JoSCh March 15, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Are you saying that there aren't any idiots anywhere, or did you mean "they are" or even "they're" idiots? Just curious. :)
JoSCh March 15, 2013 at 03:01 PM
As a progressive leaning liberal conservative I support the middle ground on most issues. What makes you think 50% of the populace supports either side 100%?
Gretchen March 15, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Hey JOSCH ... you ever heard of JFK .... or FDR ??? Come on ... get real ... BHO are his initials !
Shawn Drury March 15, 2013 at 03:21 PM
I'm kind of surprised how no one is talking about the fact that this legislator said he supported Medicaid expansion and then was pretty much forced to vote against his own beliefs. (which is a phenomenon not unique to the GOP)
JoSCh March 15, 2013 at 03:44 PM
FDR was to distinguish FD from T. If you say Roosevelt I say which one. If I say Bush you say which one. If I say Obama you know exactly who I'm talking about. Quit being disingenuous. I don't know why JFK is referred to as JFK so often, or LBJ for that matter. But it's clearly an anomaly. Nobody calls or called Nixon RMN, Ford JRF, Carter JEC, Reagan RWR, or Clinton WJC. And the only people I've ever seen call Obama BHO are his critics. There is a reason; because they're attracting other xenophobes to their cause.
JoSCh March 15, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Because voting party lines isn't news. That he said it out loud is mildly interesting, but not nearly as interesting as his admission that the presidents race is a driving motivator to the Republican parties opposition to him. And I won't see any email notifying me of any reply you may do Shawn. You guys should fix that.
Jonathan Allen (Editor) March 15, 2013 at 04:30 PM
I'm not. That kind of thing is all too commonplace to really warrant a mention anymore, besides he actually said it's good policy to oppose the black guy in the White House. You don't even have to search through his words to find some veiled or coded allusion to the president's race, he called him "the black guy in the White House." That phrase in and of itself may not necessarily be a racist statement, but it shows that Crawford either has an issue with Obama being black (why else bring the president's race into a policy discussion), or he thinks it is politically advantageous to him to bring up the president's race (and if that is the case, what does it say about what Crawford thinks/knows about his own constituents?), or he could just be trolling IRL (could be he was hoping to derail discussion of the actual policy in question with another shouting match about racism - if so get that man a flight suit and an aircraft carrier because mission accomplished).


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