Paul scores sought-after endorsement in South Carolina
January 15th, 2012
10:13 PM ET
8 years ago

Paul scores sought-after endorsement in South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (CNN) – Six days before South Carolina's presidential primary, Ron Paul scored one of the most sought-after political blessings in the state.

On Sunday, state Sen. Tom Davis endorsed the Texas congressman in Myrtle Beach. Davis is a rising star in Republican circles and a highly regarded fiscal conservative who holds sway over many tea party activists.

Tune in Thursday at 8 p.m. ET for the CNN/Southern Republican Presidential Debate hosted by John King and follow it on Twitter at #CNNDebate. For real-time coverage of the South Carolina primary, go to CNNPolitics.com and on the CNN apps for iPhone, iPad, Android or other phones.

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Paul himself told CNN the nod would bring "a lot of attention for me."

In a packed hotel conference room at a Paul campaign event, Davis stepped onto a stage in front of a few hundred Paul loyalists and explained why he would support Paul over his rivals in the GOP presidential race.

"One of the nice things about being in South Carolina every four years is you get to meet candidates first hand. And I've had that chance," Davis said.

The state senator called former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman "a fine man" and was equally kind to former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

"At the end of the day, when I sat down, I realized there were a lot of good people running for this race," Davis said. "But there's only one person, there's only one person speaking to what I believe is the core problem of our country today. The biggest threat to our liberty comes from debt."

"There is only one candidate that is talking about this problem to the degree, at the scale and with the scope that it needs to be talked about. You can't nibble around the edges anymore."

Davis' endorsement of Paul could help the Texas congressman ahead of South Carolina's first-in-the-South presidential primary on January 21. A recent American Research Group survey in the state shows a tight race between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Gingrich and Paul.

Yet Davis' endorsement also highlights a problem seen among Republicans nationwide: like-minded conservatives are unable to coalesce around one candidate.

Among the state's Republican leaders, Gov. Nikki Haley has endorsed Romney, popular state conservative Rep. Mick Mulvaney has backed Perry, and Rep. Joe Wilson previously backed former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who dropped out of the race after a disappointing finish in the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa last summer.

Senators Jim DeMint and Lindsey Graham and popular tea party figure Rep. Tim Scott have not endorsed a candidate.

After speaking at the event himself, CNN asked Paul why the Davis endorsement mattered.

"Well because he's very popular. And he's going to get a lot of support and he's going to get a lot of attention for me," Paul said. "And he's a believer."

Also see:

Group backing Gingrich hits Romney for health care law and Bain record

Romney gives cash to struggling supporter at rally

Romney super PAC pummels Santorum and Gingrich by mail

Tim Scott, the ultimate undecided voter


Filed under: Ron Paul • South Carolina
soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. mick

    Should be a big bump. A lot of 'undecideds' just made up their minds to vote for Paul.

    January 16, 2012 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  2. James

    At least somebody down there gets it. We cannot spend endlessly anymore or there will be a total collapse. Tighten the belt a little now or hang ourselves from that belt later. The choice seems simple to me.

    January 16, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  3. MAVVV

    RP is ONLY MAN to fix this country. U might die....UR children will still pay for Iraqi war and the new one coming up unles RP keeps us from going broke. Good luck Mister Doctor President RP.........

    January 16, 2012 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  4. BobRoberts

    The ONLY conservative alternative to Mittens Romney

    January 16, 2012 07:54 am at 7:54 am |
  5. microburst

    RON PAUL , 2012

    the sen.tom davis is correct , romneys famous line is (i have worked in the private sector and i know how the economy works and i can get things done) and i think thats not good enough. if you look at romneys plans , it wont really change anything obama is doing. RON PAUL on the otherhand atleast has changes that will make a good impact on our country.

    January 16, 2012 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  6. Tired of War

    About time someone says that. Nothing the candidates are talking about matters if we don't cut the spending. And by cut the spending I don't mean a few billion dollars over 10 years, I mean trillions now this year, not future spending. We now have more debt than the GDP. we are 100% to GDP, it is not long before we turn into Greece or Italy. This needs to stop now. Ron Paul is the only one offering real cuts. Forget about your media biased views about him and go to his website. He is the answer. RON PAUL 2012

    January 16, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  7. 3eyedjohnny

    So many politicians "endorse" others in hopes to get a job in that administration. The only reason Huntsman endorsed Romney is because he will be the likely repub candidate. Senator Davis actually made a strong statement for his endorsement of Paul.

    January 16, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  8. vet4life63

    Paul can defeat Obama. Its a proven fact that people want the Govt to back off, quit being so corrupt and quit labeling everyone a terrorist that has more than a weeks supply of food stocked up. For that reason alone, Paul will beat obummer.

    January 16, 2012 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  9. Steve

    If they are Reagan Republicans, will they raise our taxes 11 times, including the larest tax increase in peacetime history, just like Reagan did?

    January 16, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  10. Doug

    I like Ron Paul, he's a nice Goof Ball.

    January 16, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  11. Vic

    Ron Paul 2012!!!

    January 16, 2012 08:19 am at 8:19 am |
  12. clarke

    That is nice for Ron Paul. I can't vote Huntsman so Its Paul.

    January 16, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  13. skyjmpr

    Really? You want to pick a 76 year old political gadfly as your candidate for President? No one doubts the sincerity of Dr. Paul's beliefs, and from some angles, a lot of what he says has a grain of sense. But really? This is the guy to make that message a reality?

    January 16, 2012 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  14. Dick Pino

    At the end of the day...at the end of the campaign trail...in November 2012, "We The People" will prevail and re-elect our President because looking back and forward, this is the only man who dared defy all odds, who stepped to the plate and made bold, courageous inroads in restoring our Nation's credibility abroad as well as making a genuine effort to clean up decadent policies here at home. To expect one man in a short four years to completely turn around an economy projected by some of the greatest pecuniary minds to take at minimum of ten years, is not only unreasonable but outright ludicrous. Two Republican administrations took a full decade to get us in this mess. It is only fair to give one equal time to get us out of it!

    January 16, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. WatchDawg

    This is just a giant manipulation of the GOP / Tea Party...it was done in support of the ANYONE BUT Romney vote. Paul may get the endorsement; however, it doesn't change his standing.
    Sorry Paul supporters, second best just isn't good enough!

    January 16, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. RLA

    Good Lord do these people have an ounce of intellect. Paul is not presidental material– let him get on with his life.

    January 16, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  17. Carlos Fernandez

    It is interesting to note that neither CNN or Fox have reported this endorsement on the airwaves. You can't find anything about Tom Davis endorsing Ron Paul on Fox News website either. Its like it didn't even happen, huh? Just another example of main stream media manipulating what info the public sees.

    January 16, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  18. Christian B.

    You know what? I am going to laugh when Dr. Ron Paul does win the election. I would love to see what new law he brings in to light for these news media companies that have been writing him off. If I were CNN I would be scared. It shouldnt take this guy's endorsement to show everyone that Ron Paul has been the ONLY true and right candidate for the presidential nomination all along, but hey, of it helps getting extra votes, great. Ron Paul's ideas without anyone's endorsement is just what this country needs.

    January 16, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  19. Alex

    Ron Paul has the strongest support of any candidate for good reason! Even with media ignoring most the time Ron Paul is surging. Ron Paul does second best against Obama in polls right next to Mitt Romney. Ron Paul is a candidate of hope in dark times. Ron Paul actually has real solutions and spending cuts for this countres problems. Ron Paul doesn't support Government censoring internet like Obama has no problem allowing (see the bill sopa)!!!!!

    Ron Paul 2012!

    January 16, 2012 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  20. Rick_Parry

    After prayer and careful reflection, that endorsement was a signal for me, I'm voting for Dr. Paul.

    January 16, 2012 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  21. RationalFew

    Good for Ron Paul... Now if only the Newt and Sanitorum would get out of the way, Paul would give Romney a good run for the money. In my book, if Romney wins it's a sure sign of diminished influence of evangelicals and the tea party. Looks like the Tea Party is just a foot note in history and distraction created by the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdock.

    January 16, 2012 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  22. Adam

    This is driving me crazy, but I can't find info on this Tom Davis. He has no Wikipedia page. He isn't listed on Wikipedia's list of south carolina senators. Hell, he isn't even listed on senate.gov. What gives? Who is this guy?

    January 16, 2012 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  23. andrea

    I have been voting and supporting Ron Paul, for many years now , when he wasn't " cool" yet . It is time , It is time for the American People to stand up for their country show some gut's and straighten out the grave wrong that's been done to the American people. get up off the couch, that the government will have you stay on , and die on , and start your american dream again , with Ron Paul this could become possible again, with out being taxed to death or share what you worked so hard for , with moochers and "entitlement thinking dead wood! .That is NOT America! That are socialist countries who are now politically enslaved to Islamic party's in their governments , I know, I am from west Europe ( originally) and have seen and felt this happen to a lot of good hard working people.Very sad to see countries go on a total " brain freeze" and welfare sate! PLease prevent this from happening , by voting Ron Paul in 2012 ,there is NO ONE that has the guts to stand up and defend our country as much as Ron is doing right now.

    January 16, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  24. The Real Tom Paine

    The only way a Paul administration would work is if everyone surrenders their free will and blindly follows him to protect their "liberties". I honestly feel that Paul supporters don't really know what they believe in, only what they are against. It always boils down to the perception that something is being taken away from them, and they are angry over that. The debt was created by decades of bad conservative policy rooted in tax cuts that redistributed wealth to a tiny fraction of the population while the rest of us saw our incomes stagnate or fall. Pensions and 401Ks were looted to pay for tax cuts and banks engaging in speculation: how does Ron Paul propose to make them accountable, or does he really adhere to the idea that the world will suddenly be filled with this wonderful virtue inspired by him, and behave accordingly? The only thats missing from his followers are the parades, huge portraits a la Kim Jong Il, and them waving some book of his sayings at rallies. His plans are wonderful, but hopelessly naive and fail to take into account real world behavior.

    January 16, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  25. Marie MD

    Please, get real. We are talking about a state full of Appalachian hikers, "demented" politicians, a teapublikan governor, a bad mannered "you lie" politician and the list goes on.
    This old guy is not going to give anyone a run for his money. He has too much racist backwards documents even if he claims he never wrote them and, yeah, that makes him another first class liar!
    A vote for him is a vote to the past of this country.

    January 16, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
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