News / USA

Republican Field Tightens on Eve of Key S. Carolina Primary

Republican presidential candidates, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, take the stage before the start of the Republican presidential candidate deba
Republican presidential candidates, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, take the stage before the start of the Republican presidential candidate deba

Multimedia

Audio

The race for the U.S. Republican Party’s presidential nomination appears to be tightening in advance of a crucial primary showdown Saturday in South Carolina.  The Republican race took a chaotic turn Thursday when one candidate left the race while another fended off allegations from an ex-wife.



The four remaining Republican White House contenders met for another debate in South Carolina late Thursday.  While they argued over jobs, health care and leadership, the focus was on personal allegations concerning former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich denied an allegation made by one of his two ex-wives, Marianne Gingrich, who said he once asked her to accept the fact that he was involved with a woman staff member even though he was still married to her.

“I said to him, ‘Newt, we’ve been married a long time’.  And he said, ‘yes, but you want me all to yourself.  Callista doesn’t care what I do.’  He was asking to have an open marriage and I refused,” she told ABC’s Nightline program.

Gingrich eventually divorced Marianne and married the woman he was involved with, Callista Bisek, and she now campaigns with him.

Gingrich denied the allegation and responded angrily when CNN moderator John King raised the issue at the beginning of Thursday’s debate.

“I think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country," Gingrich replied, "harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.”

Later in the debate Gingrich said it was imperative that Republicans defeat President Barack Obama in November, calling him “the most dangerous president of our lifetime.”

Recent polls show Gingrich is gaining ground on the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Romney did not directly address Gingrich’s personal issues in the debate and kept his focus instead on President Obama’s record on the economy.

“Our president said, I think in a very revealing way, that he wants to fundamentally transform America. He’s wrong," Romney said.  "We need to restore the values that made America the hope of the earth, and I understand those values.”

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and Texas Congressman Ron Paul also took part in the debate.

Santorum got some good news earlier when it was announced that he actually won the most votes in the Iowa caucuses on January 3, surpassing Mitt Romney’s vote total by 34 votes.

Santorum was critical of both Romney and Gingrich in Thursday’s debate and said he was the best conservative candidate to take on the president in November.

“I would make the argument that a conviction conservative who has a clear contrast with President Obama on the most important issues of the day is the best person,” Santorum said.

Gingrich got a boost earlier in the day when Texas Governor Rick Perry quit the race and endorsed him over the other contenders.

“I believe Newt is a conservative visionary who can transform our country," Perry said. "We have had our differences, which campaigns will inevitably have.  And Newt is not perfect, but who among is?”

Analysts say all the upheaval in the Republican race on the eve of the South Carolina primary has made the outcome difficult to predict.  Gingrich has been surging in the polls after Romney had an early lead.  But the question is whether the revelations from Gingrich’s ex-wife will hurt him with religious and social conservative voters who make up a large percentage of South Carolina's Republican electorate.

South Carolina has a strong record in picking eventual Republican Party nominees.  Since 1980, the winner of the South Carolina primary has always gone on to win the Republican nomination for president.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid