Gov. Nikki Haley, the popular governor of the key early primary state of South Carolina, has ripped Newt Gingrich for calling Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal "radical" and "right-wing social engineering."
"What he said was absolutely unfortunate," Haley told CNN in a phone interview. "Here you've got Representative Ryan trying to bring common sense to this world of insanity, and Newt absolutely cut him off at the knees."
"When you have a conservative fighting for real change, the last thing we need is a presidential candidate cutting him off at the knees," she added....
Asked if presidential hopefuls should back the Ryan budget plan in its entirety, Haley answered: "What I can tell you is, the people of South Carolina support Representative Ryan. The people of South Carolina support conservatives who are trying to push real change, and the people of South Carolina expect their presidential candidates to back them up when they show courage."
Already facing long odds for winning the nomination, if you were to craft any possible path to the nomination, it would have to involve a strong showing in South Carolina, given that Gingrich comes from neighboring Georgia. But alienating Haley makes that task even more difficult.
And this is putting things charitably. At this point, it's hard to imagine a plausible path to the nomination for Gingrich.