Winners and Losers Jan. 16: Paul Gets Conservative Nod
Tea Party rebuff talk of uniting behind Gingrich.
Winner: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) got the momentum he needed Sunday heading into Monday's debate. Tom Davis, a Lowcountry state senator and former adviser to Gov. Mark Sanford, endorsed Paul at a rally in Myrtle Beach.
Legislative endorsements are few and far between for Paul, but Davis is well-respected among South Carolina conservatives, particularly among grassroots voters.
"While generations of politicians — including far too many Republicans — were losing their way or caving to the status quo, Ron Paul was standing as a Tea Party of one against a towering wave of red ink," Davis said.
"Ron Paul's record matches his rhetoric, his fiscal plan matches the fiscal challenges that our nation is facing and his movement represents the taxpayers whose interests have been ignored in the political process for far too long."
Loser: On Sunday, the Associated Press wrote a story about former House Speaker Newt Gingrich that can be summed up by the headline: "Where's Newt? SC campaign stumbles plague Gingrich."
The story recounts tough times for the candidate on the trail in a state that Gingrich has referred to as make-or-break.
Later in the day, Gingrich's name caused an uproar at the S.C. Tea Party Convention when a supporter took the stage to make the argument for Tea Party members to coalesce around Gingrich.
The universally independent bunch didn't take the idea well. "Get off the stage," one man shouted out. A woman asked George why he wanted to destroy capitalism. Another audience member shouted in response, "Mitt drew first blood."
The whole incident proved that Gingrich will have a time convincing these voters that a split vote hurts the conservatives in the race.