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Conservative pundit Ann Coulter thinks talk of removing the Confederate flag from Southern statehouses, including South Carolina, is nonsense. To Coulter, that makes Republicans who support the movement nonsensical.
Coulter, however, spouted her own bit of nonsense in trying to defend her position.
On the Fox Business show Kennedy June 23, Coulter was asked about the ongoing flag debate.
"Where are you from?" host Kennedy (the former MTV veejay) asked Coulter. Coulter said she’s from Connecticut.
"Do you have a geographic ... Do you have a horse in this race either way? Do you consider yourself a Northerner?"
"Oh, you mean the Southern thing?" Coulter responded. "Well, I'm a student of American history ... I’d really like to like Nikki Haley, since she is a Republican. On the other hand, she is an immigrant and does not understand America's history."
Coulter got one part of Haley’s background right. Yep, she’s a Republican.
But she’s not an immigrant.
She was born in South Carolina.
"Born in Bamberg, the daughter of Indian immigrants, Gov. Haley’s first job was keeping the books for her family’s clothing store -- at the age of 13," reads the website of the South Carolina office of the governor. Bamberg, S.C., is a small city with a population of less than 4,000 people. You may not have heard of it. But it is definitely in the United States.
The New York Times described Haley’s time growing up in Bamberg in a 2010 profile and her life as the American-born child of an Indian Sikh family. When Haley was about 5, she was disqualified from the Little Miss Bamberg pageant along with her sister because "the judges of the contest, one that crowned one black queen and one white queen, were … flummoxed" by the sisters.
"(People in my hometown) didn’t know much about the Indian culture, and we didn’t know much about how to teach it to them," Haley, who was Nimrata Randhawa, said during an interview with Vogue.
Haley went on to receive an accounting degree from Clemson University, and then returned to Bamberg to work in her family’s store again. With her help, the store turned "into a multimillion-dollar business."
Then, in 2003, a speech by Hillary Clinton inspired Haley to run for state Legislature. "She said there will be all of these reasons that people tell you you can’t do it. She said that there’s only one reason for you to do it, and it’s because you know it’s the right thing. I walked out of there thinking, I’ve got to do this," Haley said to Vogue.
The next year, Haley was elected to represent Lexington County in South Carolina’s House of Representatives.
On Jan. 12, 2011, Haley was sworn in as governor.
She visited India as part of a trade mission in 2014. Prior to that, Haley said the last time she visited the country was when she was two years old.
PunditFact reached out to the publisher of Coulter’s latest book Adios, America but did not hear back. Coulter, for the record, describes herself as being of Scottish descent and traces part of her family's roots to "Puritan nonconformists who came to America in 1633." She seemed to defend her remarks in a post of Twitter.
Coulter said Haley is an immigrant and went on to suggest that Haley doesn't understand American history because she is less-American than others (namely, Coulter).
Haley was born in South Carolina, and is no more an immigrant than Coulter, who describes herself of Scottish descent. We rate Coulter’s claim Pants on Fire.
The Hill, "Ann Coulter: Nikki Haley 'an immigrant' who doesn’t understand Confederate flag," June 24, 2015
The New York Times, "All Her Life, Nikki Haley Was the Different One," June 13, 2010
South Carolina Office of the Governor, Nikki R. Haley, accessed June 24, 2015
Vogue, "Governor Nikki Haley: New Horizons," April 18, 2012
National Governor’s Association, South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley, accessed June 24, 2015
The Post and Courier, Gov. Nikki Haley to visit India to promote S.C. tourism, trade, Nov. 7, 2014
Ann Coulter, John Vicent Coulter, Jan.9, 2008
Ann Coulter, Nell Husbands Martin Coulter, April 22, 2009
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