COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Newt Gingrich says his win in South Carolina came with the support of people who don't believe they are represented by what he calls the "elites" in Washington and New
Gingrich says that's why people reacted strongly this week to his criticism of the news media -- including his response to a debate question about an ex-wife's claim that he had asked for an "open marriage."
Gingrich was supported by just 6 percent of those who said what they wanted most was a candidate with strong moral character -- but these voters were less than 1 in 5 of those who showed up at the polls.
Just over half of the voters who were surveyed said they had chosen a candidate in the last few days, and 44 percent of them backed Gingrich.
Gingrich says it's "humbling and sobering" to see how many
people want to get their country "back on the right track."
The win has dealt a sharp setback to former front-runner Mitt
Romney and has elongated the race for the Republican presidential
Romney appeared unbowed after his defeat. He vowed to contest
for every vote "in every state," an acknowledgement that the race
would likely be a long one.
Exit polls showed Gingrich led among voters who said their top
priority was picking a candidate who could beat Obama -- a group
that had preferred Romney in earlier contests in Iowa and New
Gingrich offered no criticism of his Republican rivals, except to say he disagrees with them on some of the issues.
As for President Barack Obama, he called him the "most effective food stamp president in history," while Gingrich vowed to become the
"best paycheck president."
He said if he's the nominee, he will challenge Obama to seven 3-hour debates.
Gingrich said the campaign will pit his view of "American
exceptionalism" against what he called the "radical" ideas of the extreme left.
Santorum says it's "wide open race"
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Coming off of a third-place finish in
South Carolina, Rick Santorum is promising to move forward with a
message that he says is different than that of his rivals -- the
message that "every person in America will have the opportunity to
Santorum, who received a boost in the hours before the South
Carolina by being declared the winner of the Iowa caucuses earlier
this month, told supporters that it's a "wide open race." And he
urged people to "join the fight."
Santorum said working people in South Carolina and in his home
state of Pennsylvania don't want government to care for them --
they want someone who "believes in them."
Paul says his message is being more widely heard
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Ron Paul is looking on the bright side
after his fourth-place finish in South Carolina -- telling supporters that he got about four or five times as many votes as he did in the state four years ago.
He says he'll continue to carry what he calls his "message of
liberty" -- which he says is the way to get to "peace and prosperity."
Rather than talking about winning the nomination, Paul spoke
about winning delegates in order to "promote a cause." He says
that's the "name of the game."
Paul says his efforts have been receiving more attention since
he ran for president four years ago. And he says it's because the
evidence is clearer that Americans can't depend on government to
take care of them "cradle to grave."