Jordan Klepper Faces Off Against Clueless Trump and Haley Fans in South Carolina

Being the follow-up act to Jon Stewart’s triumphant return to The Daily Show might not be an enviable gig, but if anyone is up to the task, it’s Jordan Klepper. The longtime correspondent played the role of guest host on Tuesday, and brought an all-new edition of his “Fingers the Pulse” segment with him.

Klepper headed to South Carolina in an attempt to get to the bottom of what makes Nikki Haley supporters different from Donald Trump devotees. And the answer seems to be: It’s complicated.

First up was an event for Haley, who Klepper seemed almost surprised to report was still pushing ahead with her campaign “despite losing in three states, where she was beaten by the general concept of ‘none of these candidates.’” Despite serving as the governor of South Carolina from 2005 to 2011—and a congresswoman for the state for the six years prior to that—Haley didn’t have the home advantage some might expect. Which isn’t to say she doesn’t have a few ride-or-dies.

When faced with the prospect that Haley has almost no shot at beating Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, one man refused to let a little thing like poll numbers dampen his enthusiasm for the 52-year-old.

“I’m not smart enough to tell you numbers,” he told Klepper, “but I can tell you one thing: She is certainly not going to get embarrassed in this state!”

“I have a problem with people insinuating she might not have been an effective governor,” the Haley stan continued. “Really? Well they either lived in another state or they’re high as a Georgia pine.” All of which left Klepper wondering: “Are those tall trees?” (The answer is yes.)

Another voter’s main reason for choosing Team Nikki was mainly “just to stop Trump.” His theory is that if Haley sticks it out until the RNC, Trump may be in jail anyway and unable to run at all.

Klepper had just one question: “What do you think Haley needs to do to convince those Trump voters who say they will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever vote for Nikki Haley? And obviously I’m abbreviating this.”

But it wasn’t all supportive for Haley. Turning up to a Trump rally in South Carolina, Klepper soon realized it was full of passionate MAGA supporters who had some pretty harsh opinions about their former governor, who was described as both a “fascist” and a “fake Republican.”

Despite their seeming disdain for fascists, most of the Trumpers Klepper spoke with seemed to have no problem with the former president declaring his plans to act like a dictator on day one of his second presidency, should he be elected. “That’s what we need,” said one woman, while another gave a more enthusiastic: “Let’s get it done.”

While pro-Trumpers seemed to understand that the idea of a politician threatening to be a dictator could be frightening to some, they appeared pretty confident that Trump won’t be the next Hitler. Mussolini, the Italian World War II dictator, was the comparison they were more comfortable with.

“While many were on-board with Dictator 2.0,” Klepper explained, “I did start to see some small cracks in support.” That included the shocking moment where he met a Trump supporter who was convinced that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, were most definitely an insurrection. And she should know; she told Klepper that she was at the Capitol that day and spent 60 days in prison because of it. Though the woman was not identified in the segment, she appears to be Pamela Hemphill, the so-called “Ex-MAGA Granny.” The show used a social media image Hemphill posted on Facebook at the time, announcing that she was heading to the Capitol; the same image the FBI eventually used against her.

“I was wrong that day—for even being there” she admitted, then confirmed that the violent events of that day did indeed constitute “an insurrection.” Klepper responded by suggesting she keep her voice down, lest any of the other Trump supporters hear her.

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