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 Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid