Romney and allies step up South Carolina efforts
December 30th, 2011
11:29 AM ET
11 years ago

Romney and allies step up South Carolina efforts

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Mitt Romney has added two veteran Republican operatives to his small team in South Carolina as the state's primary nears.

And a super PAC backing Romney's presidential bid is now running television ads in the Palmetto State attacking the immigration stances of Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry, two candidates who hope their southern roots help them appeal to South Carolina voters.

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In a sign of their increasing confidence across the early state playing field, the Romney campaign has signed up Warren Tompkins and Luke Byars to help run political operations in the state before the January 21 primary.

Tompkins told CNN Friday that they are both serving as advisers in a volunteer capacity.

"Right now I want to help, and they wanted our help, and we're going to do whatever we can do to help them out," said Tompkins, who said he traveled to Boston in November to meet with Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades.

Both Republicans worked for Romney's fruitless 2008 effort in South Carolina. Byars is also a longtime adviser to Sen. Jim DeMint.

They join Romney's South Carolina state director, David Raad.

The staff hires were first reported by The State newspaper in Columbia.

Unlike the vast and expensive campaign operation he ran in South Carolina in 2008, Romney currently has just four paid staffers and one office in the state, which holds the first southern primary and has a tradition of accurately picking Republican presidential nominees.

But Romney and his team are betting that momentum, a flurry of television ads and a recent endorsement from Gov. Nikki Haley might be enough for a South Carolina win in a fractured Republican field.

The Romney campaign is currently running television ads in some of the state's media markets.

They were joined this week by the super PAC, Restore Our Future, which is now airing a television ad in the state called "Too Much." The ad is already running in Iowa.

The 30-second spot accuses Perry and Gingrich of favoring lenient policies for illegal immigrants and claims both candidates have "too much baggage on ethics."

Also see:

Nearly half of Iowa ads attack Gingrich

In early book, Rep. Ron Paul criticized AIDS patients, minority rights and sexual harassment victims

Romney and Paul battle for top spot in new Iowa poll

DNC video asks 'What is Mitt Romney hiding' in tax returns

Top Bachmann aide out after flap over campaign switch

Filed under: 2012 • Jim DeMint • Mitt Romney • Nikki Haley • South Carolina
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Mitt just dont move me !

    December 30, 2011 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    Once again an autonomous, anonymous superPAC is doing the negative campaigning. If corporations are people, how come those people can donate as much as they want anonymously, while I cannnot. Does that sound fair and balanced to you?

    December 30, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Same old group gave us G.W.Bush supporting Mitt Romney

    December 30, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. diridi

    All I could see in this is Corporations, Greed, Shipping Jobs Overseas, Bringing Cheap Labor into USA, Oil, all in one...period. And his saying–"CORPORATIONS ARE ALSO PEOPLE, MY FRIEND". Utterly nonsense.....Obama2012.

    December 30, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota

    Nice "flag waving in the background" theme, Mittens. Ought to be good for a few South Carolinian votes, yes?

    December 30, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Tony in Maine

    Veteran political operatives – hmmmm – well I guess that's why the flag and the Naval vessel bridge wing hair on the non-veteran candidate. Oh wait – we're talking experienced, and Romney has tons of experience as a primary candidate.

    December 30, 2011 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. diridi's alter ego

    T'sah from Virginia... ok... terrible attempt at poetry.. that's it.... ok... horrible, horrible, horrible, like a hell... ok... true, true, true... please don't give up on day job if you have one... ok...

    December 30, 2011 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. idirid

    T'sah from Virginia... ok... terrible attempt at poetry.. that's it.... ok... horrible, horrible, horrible, like a hell... ok... true, true, true... please don't give up on day job if you have one... ok...

    December 30, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    If I didn't know any better, I would say that Mitt Romney is pretty well connected with all of th status quo folks in DC, and all around the country.

    December 30, 2011 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  10. BeverlyNC

    If Romney is going to SC to win over voters, he needs to remove his American flag pin and put on a Confederate flag pin. It's still 1865 in SC in every way.

    December 30, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |