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Newslinks for Thursday Jan 12: Attention shifts to South Carolina

Posted on 01/12/2012

With nothing to lose, candidates go on the attack against Mitt Romney in South Carolina

Gingrich Ad Image"The Republican challengers to Mitt Romney descended on South Carolina on Wednesday sharply divided and deeply uncertain about how to stop the front-runner’s march to the GOP presidential nomination. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) led the attacks with a tough ad that began airing Wednesday detailing Romney’s past support for abortion rights. After Romney’s victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday, attention turned to South Carolina, which will hold its primary on Jan. 21." - Washington Post

  • "One day after declaring he would not delve into personal attacks, Newt Gingrich kicked the Mitt Romney family dog into the campaign's discourse Wednesday." - CNN
  • "But Mr. Gingrich said he would not back off as an outside “super PAC” supporting him introduced a scathing video about Mr. Romney’s work at Bain. And Mr. Perry kept up his critique of what he has called Mr. Romney’s “vulture capitalism.”" - New York Times
  • The good Newt gives way to the evil Newt of Washington fame - Washington Examiner editorial

But business-friendly South Carolina may not take kindly to attacks on Romney's career...

Romney-2012-blog-photo-mitt-town-hall-new-hampshire"The state's unemployment rate hasn't been below 9 percent in three years and a third of its manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the last decade. But from South Carolina's urban centers to its old mill villages, many workers still view their employers paternalistically, even when their bosses' decisions hurt them. And that may blunt the criticism that Romney is a greedy fat cat who squashes employees while lining his own pockets." - AP

  • John Bolton endorses Romney - CNN
  • Senator Jim DeMint's advisers to endorse Romney - CNN
  • However, DeMint himself is still staying neutral - AP

...And Romney hits back

"Romney said he's unconcerned the criticism will taint his presidential bid. "It's been brought up every time I've run," Romney said, adding that Democrats are trying to put "free enterprise on trial. But, you know, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are going to be the witnesses for the prosecution. I'm not worried about that. They can take it as they like," he said. "You saw last night that approach didn't work very well for (them). And so we'll take it to the next level."" - CNN

  • Karl Rove: South Carolina is the last chance for most of his rivals, but the front-runner needs to better answer the Bain attacks - WSJ

Rick Perry - the Southern evangelical - may have found the right place for his message

Perry grey"Mr. Perry seems to have found in South Carolina a place where he can connect with some crowds, with stump speeches, sometimes before a hundred people, that preach reverence for Jesus Christ and for the military. He appears looser and more confident than he has been for some time, perhaps since the days when he was considered a front-runner, which ended with his string of poor debate performances." - New York Times | WSJ ($)

Jon Huntsman trails Stephen Colbert in South Carolina poll - LA Times

A look at how South Carolina's political character influences its primaries

400px-South_Carolina_counties_map"There's the stooge third-party candidate allegedly recruited by legendary Republican operative Lee Atwater to deliver anti-Semitic attacks against Democratic congressional candidate Max Heller in 1978 or the shadowy "push polls" about black babies that helped undercut Arizona Sen. John McCain's renegade presidential bid here in 2000. ... In a Republican-dominated state where primary campaigns tend to be decided more on personality than major differences on issues, "dirty tricks" seem to bubble up in South Carolina more frequently than elsewhere." - CNN

  • "As it enters South Carolina, the Republican presidential race is coming for the first time to a state that is struggling mightily through the downturn." - New York Times

Former contenders: Sarah Palin demands transparency from Romney, and Herman Cain refuses to endorse

  • "Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has called for Gov. Mitt Romney to release his tax returns, as well as the data that could substantiate his claim of having created 100,000 jobs as CEO of Bain Capital." - BigGovernment
  • "The one-time Republican front-runner, forced from the GOP presidential race after multiple allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that to endorse a candidate might put at risk the larger goal of promoting his 9-9-9 flat-tax plan. " - The Hill

Due to mistrust of Romney, Tea Partiers increasingly see the Senate elections as the most important race in 2012

"[T]hey hope to get a few of their candidates into the Senate to serve as a "bulwark" against him or President Barack Obama. "Conservatives in Nebraska are very concerned about Romney and disappointed that he may be the nominee," said John Arnold of the Lincoln Tea Party. "So the Senate has become much more important."" - Reuters

Rand Paul: Ron's son is the next great hope for the libertarian faction of the GOP

Paul RloveUtion"Rand is universally known, in Paul world, by his first name alone, which he and his father insist isn’t derived from that of the libertarian philosopher Ayn Rand. He’s quiet but confrontational, a man whose problems with authority are serious enough that he once led a renegade group of opthalmologists against the profession’s main medical association. He was widely dismissed in his 2010 Senate campaign... he mowed down both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s primary choice and a strong Democrat in November." - BuzzFeed

  • Rep. Ron Paul poses a major threat to GOP’s chances of winning White House in 2012 - Washington Post

Mississippi judge blocks release of 21 inmates given pardons by Gov. Barbour - Fox News

Obama goes fundraising in Chicago

"Telling supporters that change may be hard but remains possible, President Obama received a warm welcome home here on Wednesday, bolstering his 2012 campaign coffers at three fund-raisers attracting an eclectic mix of wealthy donors and spirited college students." - New York Times

  • "Without ever mentioning Mitt Romney by name, President Obama on Wednesday introduced a theme he’s certain to use often against the leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination: that he helped send American jobs overseas during his corporate career." - LA Times
  • White House: No, we’re not campaigning - The Hill

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz blames the Tea Party for the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

"“We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago,” Wasserman Schultz said... the chairwoman said that discourse in Congress and in the nation had changed. “I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and a lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.”" - The Hill



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