The current putative path to victory for Mitt Romney in South Carolina now is a divided vote. Most polls show him with a lead in the state that can likely only be sustained if his opponents continue running and remain at similar levels of support, meaning the “anti-Romney” vote is split.
It’s a similar situation to what allowed Sen. John McCain to win the primary there in 2008, and it’s revived a battle from the time.
On Fox News on Thursday, Mike Huckabee, who placed second in the state in 2008, accused Fred Thompson of staying in the race at John McCain’s bequest, just in order to split the “anti-McCain” vote and prevent Huckabee from winning the state.
On Fox News this morning, Thompson had some harsh words for Huckabee. “You know, what mike just said is fine except for one thing,” he told the host. “There’s not one shred of truth to it.”
Senator McCain and I never had a conversation about staying in the race, staying out of the race. I think he called me the day after Iowa, I had beat him by like, you know, 15 votes or something in iowa and he called and told me he was going to demand a recount or something. We had a good laugh and I didn't talk to him until after South Carolina was over with. I didn't endorse John until after Super Tuesday. If I had wanted to hurt Huckabee, I would have stayed in and as we went down to Tennessee and places -- or I would have endorsed John before then so we didn't have a conversation about it. We didn't have a conversation with the intermediaries, you know, person -- representative to representative, there was nothing said about that. I mean, if you know me and if you know John, that's not us.