National Journal Online

Gingrich Says He's 'Probably Going to Win' S.C.

Barely equivocating, while still managing to hedge his bets, the former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on CBS News’ Face the Nation that he was "probably going to win" in South Carolina.

“As a Georgia Reagan Conservative, I fit much more comfortably with the average South Carolina Republican,” he said, in comparison to a “Massachusetts moderate.”

“It’s fair to raise the questions now, get them out of the way now, to make sure that whoever we nominate is clear enough, public enough, accountable enough that they can withstand the Obama onslaught,” he said.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Romney Gives Cash to Jobless Campaign Volunteer

SUMTER, S.C. -- Mitt Romney reached into his pocket Saturday after a rally here and gave a handful of bills to an unemployed woman who started volunteering in his campaign offices this week.

Ruth Williams, 55, of Columbia, said she was at a stop sign along I-26 on Wednesday when she saw the Romney campaign bus pull through town in the Columbia area.  "I was on the highway praying and said God tell me how to get [my house] lights on, and I pulled up to a stop sign and his bus was there," she said.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Two House Republicans Received 'VIP' Loans from Countrywide — Report

Reps. Howard McKeon and Elton Gallegly, both California Republicans, were among the lawmakers who received special "VIP" loans from Countrywide Financial, the Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

What We Learned: Mitt's Moment

Updated on January 15 at 10:40 a.m.

What we at The Hotline learned this week:

When John McCain won South Carolina's GOP primary in 2008, the state's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. Four years later, that number is 9.9 percent. In 2008, only 40 percent of South Carolina voters listed the economy as their top priority, according to exit polls. Look for that number to be much higher this time around, and look for Romney -- who has dominated that fiscal-focused voting bloc in the first two nominating states -- to reap the benefits.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Why Romney Needs to Keep Fighting for the Evangelical Vote

Mitt Romney was never likely to capture the endorsement of the Christian conservatives who met in Texas this weekend and belatedly crowned Rick Santorum their favorite in the Republican nomination race. But two new media moves under a "Shares Our Values" banner underscore Romney's determination -- and need -- to win at least some votes from that group in South Carolina.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Ouch! Evangelical Leaders Skip Perry in Texas, Endorse Santorum

Instead of “oops,” make that “ouch.”

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Republican Candidates Spend $11.3 Million on TV Ads in S.C. — Report

The Republican presidential field has spent a record $11.3 million on television ads in South Carolina, according to The State.

Of that $11.3 million, 75 percent has been spent on advertisements for this week and next. South Carolina's primary is on Jan. 21.

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Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

U.S. Warns Iran Not to Block Shipping — Report

U.S. officials on Friday said they were warning Iran not to block the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, following a number recent of high-tension episodes in the region, according to the Associated Press.

The warning came as the Navy revealed that two Iranian speedboats harassed U.S. vessels in the area last week. However, it was unclear what the next strategic step for the U.S. would be.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Santorum Sharpens Populist, Electability Messages

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum sharpened both his populist and electability messages in South Carolina Saturday morning, saying “the grandson of a coal miner” is better equipped to relate to blue-collar voters in swing states than “a Bain executive.”

As Santorum’s adversaries in the GOP field, particularly former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have attacked front-runner Mitt Romney’s record at the private equity firm Bain Capital, Santorum has taken a pass, repeatedly saying he would not attack the capitalist system.

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 - 10:40am

Washington Week Round Table: Will Romney's Momentum Help Him Win S.C.?

Will Mitt Romney’s momentum from successive wins in Iowa and New Hampshire help him win South Carolina? Plus, the Supreme Court will decide on the FCC’s authority to regulate the airwaves, and President Obama’s aims to shrink government. Joining Gwen: Beth Reinhard, National Journal; Jeanne Cummings, Bloomberg News; Alexis Simendinger,; Pete Williams, NBC News.

Posted: Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 10:40am