The GOP nomination race has shifted dramatically over the past few weeks, as voters had the opportunity to express their support directly. With the South Carolina primary scheduled for this week, the race intensifies and the last four candidates in the game have to prepare for the ultimate blow. Meanwhile, here are the winners and losers of the South Carolina Republican debate.
Yesterday’s GOP debate came shortly after Texas Governor Rick Perry announced he was withdrawing from the race and endorsing Newt Gingrich, the former House of Representatives speaker. It was a two-hour show marked by clashes and abrupt attacks at Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
According to a recent Reuters/ Ipsos poll, Mitt Romney carries 35 percent support, while Gingrich is still behind him at a considerable distance, with only 23 percent. The other two candidates in the game, Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum and Ron Paul, the Texas Congressman fall in the other half of the list, with support rates that don’t really classify them as alternatives to Romney, nor endorse them to face-to-face election with Barack Obama.
The debate began with CNN moderator John King asking Newt Gingrich if he would like to comment with regards to a statement made by the Republican’s ex-wife. King asked the candidate about allegations made by Marianne Gingrich regarding his desire for an “open marriage” back in the 1990s.
Gingrich simply lashed out at the moderator saying: “I think the disruptive, vicious, negative nature of the news media makes it harder to govern this country. I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that”.
Despite being, generally, seen as a good alternative to Mitt Romney and seemingly carries the chance to withstand Barack Obama in November’s elections, The Atlantic writes that Gingrich’s “voting record is as dubious and heretical as that of George W. Bush, a leader so shameful to the tribe that it is now taboo to utter his name in debates”.
Mitt Romney was assaulted from every way with questions regarding his tax payments after the media wrote this Republican candidate paid taxes at a low 15 percent rate. One of his most spotlight moments was when he was asked whether he would release tax returns covering many years. He said “maybe” and was taking down by boos from the audience.