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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid