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ROCK HILL, SC — During his acceptance speech in New Hampshire last night, Mitt Romney complained that some of his rivals were turning to the “bitter politics of envy” and trying to pit rich against poor in their attacks on him.

A reporter asked Newt Gingrich about that at an event here Wednesday. Gingrich called the charge a “smoke screen” and tried to tie Romney to the larger financial crisis.

“I think it’s funny that on the one hand he wants to run around touting his record, on other hand if anybody asks a question about his record, he hides behind an entire framework and to question the facts is to be anti-capitalist,” he said. “That is nonsense — baloney is the term I think I was using the other morning.”

His full answer:



I think it’s funny that on the one hand he wants to run around touting his record, on other hand if anybody asks a question about his record, he hides behind an entire framework and to question the facts is to be anti-capitalist. That is nonsense — baloney is the term I think I was using the other morning. The fact is, we have a right to know. We have a right to know what happened at Goldman Sachs, we have a right to to know what happened with trillions of dollars in New York. We have a right to know what happens when companies go bankrupt. I think the country would like to know. And if we’re going to run a presidential campaign on a record, the record has to be open to review. Now this is not anti-capitalism. That is the smoke screen of those who are afraid to be accountable.

New Hampshire ended as most people predicted, but South Carolina is make or break for just about everyone. Here are the 10 things you need to know.

  • South Carolina kingmaker bets on Romney: It's not an endorsement, but Tuesday night Sen. Jim DeMint predicted Mitt Romney would win South Carolina. DeMint ruled out a win by Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, who has not helped his cause by criticizing "free enterprise concepts." The TPM Poll Average has Romney leading South Carolina with 31.1%.
  • South Carolina GOP chair says state is still up for grabs: In an exclusive interview with TPM, South Carolina GOP Chair Chad Connelly said the Palmetto State will make up its own mind about the candidates. He also says Mitt Romney's record at Bain Capital is fair game: "I'm not in the camp of, 'let's don't bring stuff up in a primary' because I do think it makes a candidate stronger, no matter who it is...And it also kind of vets things out so it's out there and Obama has less chance to use it."
  • Read More →

CNN reports:



With the Republican presidential race now moving to South Carolina, party activists here are in the final stages of organizing a candidate forum to be held Friday evening in the conservative stronghold of Spartanburg County, CNN has learned.

The forum is being sponsored by the Greenville and Spartanburg County Republican parties, two of the largest county party organizations in the state.

South Carolina Reps. Trey Gowdy and Jeff Duncan - two freshman House members who represent the area in Congress - will moderate the event, expected to draw at least 500 people to a high school gym in the town of Duncan.


Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman have confirmed their participation. Organizers are still awaiting responses from Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

On the same day Mitt Romney released an ad in Spanish as he tries to reach out to the Hispanic community, he also touted the endorsement of nativist, anti-immigration activist Kris Kobach. The Kansas Secretary of State, Kobach is better known as the legal architect of SB1070 in Arizona. He is also counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), listed as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

From Romney’s press release:



“I’m so proud to earn Kris’s support,” said Mitt Romney. “Kris has been a true leader on securing our borders and stopping the flow of illegal immigration into this country. We need more conservative leaders like Kris willing to stand up for the rule of law. With Kris on the team, I look forward to working with him to take forceful steps to curtail illegal immigration and to support states like South Carolina and Arizona that are stepping forward to address this problem.”

A top consultant to the Santorum campaign told CNN today that they expect to spend a minimum of $1.5 million running ads in the Palmetto State.

Santorum’s campaign have raised $3 million since the former Senator’s unexpected performance in Iowa. They did not spend any money in New Hampshire, opting instead to focus their finances on South Carolina.

A top consultant to the Santorum campaign told CNN today that they expect to spend a minimum of $1.5 million running ads in the Palmetto State.

Santorum’s campaign have raised $3 million since the former Senator’s unexpected performance in Iowa. They did not spend any money in New Hampshire, opting instead to focus their finances on South Carolina.

A top consultant to the Santorum campaign told CNN today that they expect to spend a minimum of $1.5 million running ads in the Palmetto State.

Santorum’s campaign have raised $3 million since the former Senator’s unexpected performance in Iowa. They did not spend any money in New Hampshire, opting instead to focus their finances on South Carolina.

National Review reports:



Yesterday, Susan Page of USA Today wondered on Twitter whether Rick Perry would qualify for the CNN debate in Charleston, S.C. on January 19. From all appearances, he seemed ineligible, according to CNN rules. But Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan tells NRO in an email, “Yes, he is participating.”


TPM could not immediately get an official comment from CNN.

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