Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley thanked Republican South Carolina governor Nikki Haley for removing the Confederate flag from the South Carolina state house.
O’Malley made his remark during his opening statement at the Democratic debate, hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute in Charleston, South Carolina.
All three candidates opened with remarks about Martin Luther King, Jr., whose national holiday falls on Monday.
O’Malley’s “hat tip” to Nikki Haley quickly garnered the notice of Twitter.
Martin O’Malley’s description of what happened after the South Carolina shooting sounded suspiciously like Nikki Haley’s. LOL
— Tunes & Tours (@tunesntours) January 18, 2016
O’Malley just gave a H/T to Republican Gov. Nikki Haley for taking down the confederate flag in SC. Thanks Martin! #tcot
— hypervista (@hypervista) January 18, 2016
O’Malley just sideways endorsed Nikki Haley… #DemDebate
— Greg Sainer (@gsainer) January 18, 2016
Martin O’Malley taking a page out of Nikki Haley’s book?? #DemDebate
— Katie Casey (@spiffykt) January 18, 2016
Nikki Haley’s decision to bash Donald Trump in her GOP response to the State of the Union inflamed tensions within the Republican Party and led to criticism of Haley for being left-wing.