News / USA

Gingrich Surges to Victory in South Carolina Primary

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

Former U.S. congressman Newt Gingrich revived his presidential hopes Saturday with a convincing victory in South Carolina’s Republican primary.

Gingrich easily beat former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former senator Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania and Congressman Ron Paul from Texas by drawing strong support from conservative Republican voters.

The Gingrich victory in South Carolina signals a wide-open, lengthy and potentially divisive battle for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

It was a jubilant Newt Gingrich who took the stage in front of cheering supporters after his victory in South Carolina.  “We want to run not a Republican campaign.  We want to run an American campaign!”

Gingrich offered some praise for his Republican rivals and turned his rhetorical fire instead on President Barack Obama, promising to run a strong general election campaign if he wins the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.

Gingrich said, “What we are going to argue is that American exceptionalism, the American Declaration of Independence, the American Constitution, the American Federalist Papers, the founding fathers of America are the source from which we draw our understanding of America.  He draws his from Saul Alinsky, radical left-wingers and people who don’t like the classical America!”

Gingrich trounced Mitt Romney with the support of conservative Republican voters in South Carolina. It is a victory he now hopes to repeat in state primary and caucus votes around the country.

The South Carolina results were a major disappointment for Romney, who had hoped to capitalize on his recent victory in the New Hampshire primary and take a giant step toward securing the nomination.

Gingrich’s sizeable margin of victory in South Carolina suggests that Romney still has a lot of work to do to win over conservative voters wary of his past moderate views as a governor and senate candidate in Massachusetts.

Romney tried to rally supporters in South Carolina after his second-place finish.  “I don’t shrink from competition.  I embrace it.  I believe competition makes us all better and I know it is making our campaign stronger, and in the coming weeks the ideals of free enterprise and economic freedom will need a very strong defense and I intend to make it!”

Former senator Rick Santorum and Congressman Ron Paul both finished well behind Gingrich and Romney.

Santorum vowed to continue in the race as the only true social conservative among the four remaining contenders.  He said, “Someone who can contrast on all of the issues that are important for America today, the ones that are going to decide this election, the ones of experiences on national security, the consistency on conservative principles that made this country great.  I ask you.  It is a wide open race.  Join the fight!  Thank you!”

Ron Paul also vowed to remain in the race for the foreseeable future and repeated his pledge to end U.S. military involvements abroad and cut foreign aid spending if elected.  Paul said, “So if we want to spend the money, we should work hard to return the money from overseas spending to the people here in this country and they should spend the money!”

The Gingrich victory in South Carolina is significant because it signals what could be a lengthy and potentially divisive battle for the presidential nomination and the right to face off against President Obama in the November general election.

Political analyst Matthew Dowd told ABC television that Gingrich has upended expectations that Mitt Romney was on track to quickly secure the Republican nomination.  “Newt still understands that he has an uphill battle going to Florida and going to these other states.  But this takes a race that everybody thought, 'let’s crown Mitt Romney, he’s the inevitable nominee,' to a race that has now become wide open.”

Surveys of voters leaving the polling places in South Carolina found that Republican voters were most concerned with economic issues and finding the strongest candidate to run against Mr. Obama.

Romney has long argued that he would the stronger candidate to run in November because he would have more appeal to moderate voters.  But the exit polls in South Carolina showed that more Republicans there believe that Gingrich would be a stronger general election candidate against the president.

The campaign focus now shifts to Florida for its primary on January 31st, and two more candidate debates are scheduled over the next week.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs