News / USA

Fluid Republican Presidential Contest Shifts to Florida

Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waves to the crowd with his wife Callista during a rally, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, in Columbia, South Carolina
Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich waves to the crowd with his wife Callista during a rally, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, in Columbia, South Carolina
Michael Bowman

A fluid and surprise-laden Republican presidential nominating contest remains wide open after former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich won Saturday’s primary election in South Carolina, dealing a blow to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Both candidates already have their sights set on Florida, which votes at the end of the month.

After finishing fourth in both Iowa and New Hampshire, Newt Gingrich is basking in the afterglow of a resounding victory in South Carolina, where he captured 40-percent of the vote.  Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press television program, Gingrich continued to push populist themes that appear to have resonated with primary voters and contributed to his sudden surge.

“We are going to change things. We are going to make the establishment very uncomfortable. I am happy to be in the tradition of Ronald Reagan as the outsider who scares the Republican establishment," he said.

The eventual Republican nominee will face President Barack Obama, a Democrat, in November.

Until a few days ago, Mitt Romney topped the polls in South Carolina. With a well-funded campaign, a decisive victory in New Hampshire, and the backing of many establishment Republican figures, Romney was thought to be the clear front-runner in the Republican presidential race.  Appearing on Fox News Sunday, he tried to downplay the significance of his second-place finish in South Carolina with 28-percent of the vote.

“I am looking forward to a long campaign.  This is a tough process, and that is the way it ought to be.  We are selecting the president of the United States, someone who is going to face ups and downs and real challenges.  And I hope that through this process I can demonstrate that I can take a setback and come back strong," he said.

In televised debates before the South Carolina vote, Romney dodged questions about releasing his federal tax returns.  A multi-millionaire investor, Romney has the greatest personal wealth of all Republican presidential hopefuls.  Now, he is promising to release last year’s tax return as well as an estimate of the return he will file later this year.  Romney says he hopes to put the issue behind him.

“So you will have two years [of tax returns].  People can take a good look at it.  We will put them on the [campaign] Website.  We made a mistake in holding off as long as we did.  It was a distraction.  We want to get back to the real issues in the campaign: leadership, character, vision for America, how to get jobs again in America," he said.

Attention now turns to Florida, a state with more voters than Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina combined.  Romney is expected to be aided by the state’s somewhat more-moderate Republican voter base, the superiority of his campaign organization in the state, his ability to flood major media markets with advertising, and the fact that Florida allows early mail-in voting, meaning that some Florida ballots were cast before the Gingrich surge.

But the former House speaker says none of that will matter at a time of intense voter anger over America’s economic prospects. “There is something real and deep there that happens all across the country, and certainly in Florida.  As they look at the big boys in Wall Street, they look at the guys in Washington, they know none of the help got down to average, everyday Floridians.  And I think that gap creates a real anger against the national establishment," he said.

The other two remaining Republican hopefuls are former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  Neither has given any indication of an intent to leave the race.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid