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

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Works to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Smithsonian senior research botanist Vicki Funk says ultimate goal is 'trying to get one-half of the diversity of plant life on Earth at the genus level in two years' More

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

Report from member of British think tank says Russian extradition requests keep targets from traveling More

US Lawmakers Weigh Turkish Anti-terror Moves

Turkey’s two-pronged campaign against Islamic State militants, Kurdish PKK forces provokes mixed reactions on Capitol Hill 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.
Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponentsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
July 28, 2015 9:53 PM
A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video Special Olympics Athletes Meet International Friends

The Special Olympics are underway in Los Angeles, California, with athletes from 165 countries participating in an event that gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to take part in an international competition. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that for athletes and their families, it's also an opportunity to make new friends in an international setting.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Iran Nuclear Pact Wins Few New US Congressional Backers

Later this week, President Barack Obama returns from a trip to Africa to confront a U.S. Congress roiled by the nuclear accord with Iran, an agreement that has received the blessing of the U.N. Security Council. Days of intensive lobbying and testimony by top administration officials have won few new congressional supporters of the pact. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Critics of Japan Defense Policy Focus on Okinawa

In Okinawa, many locals have long complained that Tokyo places an unfair burden on the tiny island by locating most of Japan's U.S. military bases there. As Japan's government moves toward strengthening and expanding the country's defense policies, opponents of those plans are joining local protesters in Okinawa, voicing concern about where the country is headed. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Okinawa.
Video

Video IS Uses Chemical Weapons in Syrian Attack

Islamic State militants have added a new weapon in their arsenal of fear: chemical weapons. VOA Kurdish service reporter Zana Omer was on the scene within hours of a recent attack in Hasakah, Syria, and has details of the subsequent investigation, in this report narrated by Miguel Amaya.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs