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Published on Nov 28, 2007
The Palmetto Scoop -- I wasn't going to write anything on the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential primary debate. That is until a question came up from a young man in Houston, Texas about the Confederate battle flag and whether it represented heritage or racism.
And poor Mitt Romney gave about the worst possible answer for someone looking to earn votes in South Carolina — a very painful soundbite that will probably cost him about 10 points in this state.
Some parts of this country may be able to "go beyond that kind of stuff," but a large number of GOP voters in South Carolina aren't among that contingency. They don't want to be, and they don't want a Massachusetts governor telling them they should be.
Let's not forget what happened to John McCain in 2000 when he merely said the flag is seen by some as offensive. Romney's statement that he thinks the flag shouldn't be shown, that Americans are better than what it represents, and that we have rightly chosen not to fly is immeasurably more "anti-flag" than McCain's; and it will play about as well here as the Clemson fight song in Williams-Brice Stadium.
He may also want to pay closer attention next time he's in Columbia, because "that flag" does fly here on the Statehouse grounds. Oh, and don't be surprised if Romney's campaign stops play host to a new group of party crashers.