TPM News

Rick Santorum, who came in third in South Carolina, spoke to his supporters tonight.

“Well, three states. Three winners. What a great country,” Santorum said to his applauding supporters — referring to his own recently declared victory in the Iowa caucuses, Mitt Romney’s win in New Hampshire, and Newt Gingrich tonight in South Carolina.

He said he called Gingrich to congratulate him on his big victory, and for sticking with the race when things were tough: “Let’s give him a big round of applause for standing in there and fighting. Good job, buddy, good job.”

In his speech to supporters, Ron Paul declared that government spending on health care or other social goods had simply driven up costs, without improving quality or distribution. He then made a larger philosophical point about the country.

“Unfortunately, our country has been very lackadaisical. And this is what we’re reviving — and that is, we’re lackadaisical about our understanding and our trust in freedom. This is what we need: We need to restore the confidence that if we want a free and prosperous society, we have to understand the necessity of assuming responsibility for ourselves.”



Ron Paul continued his practice of using his primary-night speech as a platform to talk about a return to the Gold Standard as a basis of the monetary system and ending the Federal Reserve, saying it is the cause he has championed for over 30 years in the fight against heavy government spending.

At the mention of the subject, his supporters began chanting, “End the Fed! End the Fed!”

“One of the arguments that they pose against us for talking about the Gold Standard is, it’s too complex and its risky business,” Paul said, to the laughter of his supporters.

“But what can be more ridiculous than saying, ‘Oh, money comes out of a printing press, and it should be done in secret, creating trillions of dollars and passing them out to the special interests? And we’re supposed to be accepting that as a good monetary system?”

Ron Paul continued his practice of using his primary-night speech as a platform to talk about a return to the Gold Standard as a basis of the monetary system and ending the Federal Reserve, saying it is the cause he has championed for over 30 years in the fight against heavy government spending.

At the mention of the subject, his supporters began chanting, “End the Fed! End the Fed!”

“One of the arguments that they pose against us for talking about the Gold Standard is, it’s too complex and its risky business,” Paul said, to the laughter of his supporters.

“But what can be more ridiculous than saying, ‘Oh, money comes out of a printing press, and it should be done in secret, creating trillions of dollars and passing them out to the special interests? And we’re supposed to be accepting that as a good monetary system?”

David Bossie, a longtime friend of Newt Gingrich who’s worked closely with him in recent years as president of Citizens United, says that Mitt Romney needs to consider whether his attacks on Gingrich could cost the GOP in the general election.

“Mitt Romney’s nasty, negative. derisive campaign threw everything they had at Newt Gingrich this week and it didn’t work,” Bossie told TPM. “They need to consider whether they’re harming the eventual nominee as they’re making these attacks.”

Bossie said that Rick Santorum may have to consider soon, perhaps after Florida, whether he might be better served dropping out to allow Gingrich a shot at consolidating the anti-Romney vote.

“I respect and honor Rick Santorum, but he’s going to have to have a gut check at some point,” he said. “I love the guy but at this stage you have to look at what’s going on and figure out if you have the organization and money to go on.”

Either way, he said the damage to Romney in South Carolina was profound.

“The veil of inevitability is gone,” he said.

South Carolina GOP chair Chad Connelly issued the following statement congratulating Saturday night’s winner, Newt Gingrich:




"Speaker Gingrich won a hard-fought victory in South Carolina. He deserves great praise," said Chairman Connelly.



"Small states still matter. Each campaign literally met thousands of voters, and I'm proud of our activists and party leaders for their enthusiasm. After a tough battle, South Carolina Republicans are now united to defeat Barack Obama.



"The 2012 primary brought huge positive attention to our state. In a tough economic climate, millions of out of state dollars boosted our economy and created many jobs. Thank you, South Carolina," concluded Connelly.

COLUMBIA, SC — The head of President Obama’s super PAC says South Carolina proves the point Democrats have been making about Mitt Romney for a while: The Republican base just not that into him.

“Republicans cannot stomach Mitt Romney,” Bill Burton, director of PrioritiesUSA Action told me in an email. “They may end up with him, but not because they’re excited about him.”

Ron Paul, who came in fourth place in South Carolina, told his supporters that he will keep his campaign going, with a focus on winning delegates in smaller caucus events.

“So we will certainly be promoting this in the most frugal way,” said Paul. “We will be going to the caucus states, and we will be promoting the whole idea of getting more delegates — because that’s the name of the game, and we will pursue it.”

Mike Huckabee noted that nothing is certain in this election. Then quoted the film Forest Gump to describe the unpredictable nature of this GOP primary: “Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

LiveWire