South Carolina

Debate Reaction: Newt's Night
January 19, 2012

Another day, another Republican debate. But this one was more fun to watch than usual. Gingrich attacked Romney. Santorum attacked Gingrich. Gingrich attacked King. No, not Martin Luther. (Even Republicans don’t do that.) I mean John, the CNN moderator. King’s very first question was to Gingrich, about the interview in which Gingrich’s ex-wife suggested he wanted an “open marriage.” Gingrich said he was appalled that King began with that question, with so many weighty issues facing the nation. I happen to agree.

Rick Santorum, A Marianne Man
January 19, 2012

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Rick Santorum's South Carolina campaign director, Kerry Wood, is hard at work presiding over a get out the vote operation in a vacant brick Cape Cod on a strip on the edge of town here, where 10 volunteers are manning the phones and a few others are sticking wires into lawn signs. He said he wouldn't have time to watch Newt Gingrich's second wife, Marianne, expound on her former husband's desire for an "open marriage" in an ABC interview Thursday night.

Tonight: Follow TNR Writers On Twitter During The Debate
January 19, 2012

As the remaining GOP primary candidates slug it out in South Carolina tonight, be sure to follow TNR writers on Twitter for live analysis and commentary:  Jonathan Cohn: @CitizenCohn Alec MacGillis: @AlecMacGillis Noam Scheiber: @NoamScheiber Walter Shapiro: @WalterShapiroPD Matt O'Brien: @obsoletedogma And, of course, the official TNR twitter feed: @TNR

Newt Gingrich, Goldbug
January 18, 2012

Another day, another weird idea from Newt Gingrich. Today’s special: The U.S. should consider a return to the gold standard. Gingrich, speaking at a forum in South Carolina (a place that really seems to bring out the crazy in people), admonished the Federal Reserve and declared: “Hard money is a discipline. It means you can’t inflate away your difficulties.” Would a return to the gold standard stop inflation? Economists, who overwhelmingly oppose returning to the gold standard, say no.

In Defense Of Rick Santorum
January 18, 2012

Monday night's debate in Myrtle Beach was an unsettling affair to watch, with a crowd that was arguably more raucous and malevolent than any of the other hopped-up audiences at this year's Republican debates.

Forget Ballots. Should Ex-Cons Get Guns?
January 17, 2012

At last night's Republican debate in Myrtle Beach, S.C., we heard the candidates talk about whether ex-cons should vote and we heard the candidates talk about the right to bear arms. At the next debate, I'd like to hear the candidates talk about whether ex-cons should bear arms. Asked about Mitt Romney's attacks on his candidacy, Rick Santorum complained that Romney's Super PAC had an ad that said he favored allowing felons to vote from prison, when in fact what Santorum favored was allowing felons to vote after they've served their prison sentences.

The End of the Christian Right
January 17, 2012

Is the Christian Right still a power in American politics? The lavish coverage which its partisans and their favorite issues have received during the current Republican campaign certainly leave that impression. Yet all this attention is akin to the dazzling glow of a setting sun. In fact, the Christian Right is a fading force in American life, one which has little chance of achieving its cherished goals. Yes, pious conservatives earned the underfunded Rick Santorum a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, and, last week, a large gathering of evangelical leaders nodded fervently in his direction.

Live from South Carolina: Mitt-statements of the Night
January 16, 2012

Most politicians stretch the truth. But few do it as blatantly, and shamelessly, as Mitt Romney has been during this presidential campaign. Romney hasn't simply been fibbing or parsing his answers carefully. He has been saying things that are plainly untrue, over and over again. It happened twice during Monday night’s debate in South Carolina. First Romney claimed that President Obama “doesn’t have a jobs plan yet.” He’s made statements like this before. But Obama does have a jobs plan. He unveiled it in early September, in a nationally televised address to a joint session of Congress.

Does South Carolina Care About Romney's Career at Bain?
January 16, 2012

Sorting out cause and effect in political campaigns is not always simple. Some people look at John McCain’s nomination in 2008 and Mitt Romney’s success in Iowa and New Hampshire this year and see highly fortuitous demolition derbies.

Rick Santorum, Proud Imperialist
January 15, 2012

[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner]  While watching the Ravens game, I switched over to C-Span during a commercial and found Rick Santorum speaking to South Carolina voters. He mentioned that Barack Obama wants to degrade America's military, and added that Europe proved countries could not maintain a welfare state and a strong military. And then he turned to the British Empire. I don't yet have a transcript of Santorum's remarks, but he quite definitively stated that, long ago, "the sun never set" on the British Empire.