WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans with presidential aspirations are racing to embrace South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley's call to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the state capitol.
Haley gave her party's presidential candidates some much-desired political cover by calling for the banner's removal, conceding that to many the flag is a, quote, "deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past."
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tweeted, "Kudos to @nikkihaley and all the SC leaders standing with her for doing the right thing." Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry also approved.
It was a sharp shift for the Republican presidential hopefuls, who avoided such firm positions for several days following the slaying last week of nine black church members in Charleston.