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.


    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora