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 Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs