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On Friday, Mrs. Haley still blasted the story, but said she shouldn’t have used the personal remark.

“The story painted a grossly inaccurate picture and was unprofessionally done, but my ‘little girl’ comment was inappropriate and I regret that,” Mrs. Haley said. “Everyone can have a bad day. I’ll forgive her bad story, if she’ll forgive my poor choice of words.”

That’s off the mark, too, said Drucilla Barker, director and professor of women’s studies at the University of South Carolina. “Oh, my God. I find that almost as offensive as calling her a little girl. It was an easy way to demean a reporter and take away her credibility. Little girls are sent from the room so adults can speak,” Ms. Barker said.


Romney, Perry strongly differ on Social Security

Social Security has become a major divide in the contest between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination.

The votes of seniors — in aging Iowa, the retiree haven of Florida and elsewhere — could be at stake.

Mr. Perry isn’t backing down from calling the safety-net program a “Ponzi scheme.” Mr. Romney is defending Social Security, and arguing that the GOP shouldn’t choose a nominee who demonizes a program so many Americans depend on.

Mr. Romney wants to expose Mr. Perry’s vulnerability on the program that seniors hold dear and Democrats hold sacrosanct. And he’s trying to reclaim the front-runner mantle from Mr. Perry, who entered the race just last month.


Regulators accuse man of fraud targeting deaf

Federal regulators have filed civil fraud charges against a man who they say raised about $3.4 million in a scam targeting deaf investors.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the charges Friday against Jody Dunn of Corinth, Texas. The SEC says in a lawsuit that Dunn, who is deaf, bilked more than 7,000 people by offering investments in life-insurance policies that never delivered on promised big returns.

Mr. Dunn allegedly used $353,000 of the money he raised to cover his mortgage and other expenses, and put the rest into a firm’s offshore accounts.

The firm claimed to sell investments in insurance policies bought at a discount from the terminally ill or elderly. The SEC said none of the deaf investors’ money was used for that purpose.

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