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.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
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."
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
ThinkAgain - What company would want to have offices/plants in different states, when each state had its own education standards?
Don't you live in the USA??? Each state DOES have it's own standards, as do local cities and towns. Why do we need a THIRD bureaucrat 3000 miles away involved that knows NOTHING about the people they are dealing with. They add no value, only control that is not justified or desired by the people.
>Don't you get that not all states perform the same economically and therefore, without federal assistance,
>wouldn't be able to implement equitable education funding, with the goal of producing consistently educated students?
States will peform what they can economically perfrom. Federal mandates only increase expense, usually shifting the costs to the states and localities. Spending on education has gone through the roof in this country and yet there are more droppouts than ever and the ones that do graduate are DUMBER than ever. MORE MONEY has not helped and will not help problems that are clearly not caused by a lack of money. Libtards just love to turn every problem into a "lack of money" problem.
>Local schools have plenty of control now – AND they need some kind of guidelines and goals to ensure that we continue to >be the UNITED States of America, and not just a hodge-podge collection of localities.
It sure sounds like you really like a one size fits all federal goverment cookie cutter approach to education. And the more we have gone to that with more and more federal goverment involvement, the WORST the schools have gotten. But the unions and governement fail to acknowledge their failure and keep dumping money down the tiolet with worse and worse results.
Our schools are now churning out cookie cutter dummies that costs more and more to produce. If the schools were businesses, they would have gone under long ago for overcharging for a clearly INFERIOR product.
I wonder where I can place my bet that Paul will not win the nomination? I cannot wait for this process to be over so we stop hearing from his cult!
You know why he's laughing? Because he owns the gold market. And he wants you to switch back to the gold standard.
This guy has you all played.
Sounds like a case of one fringe element recognizing the other. I am a little surprised, though. Usually, they operate on different wavelengths.
CNN, thank you for at least REPORTING this news. Couldn't even find it on the Fox News "Fair & Balanced" website. Ron Paul is the anti-establishment candidate, and the Republicans hate him more than the Democrats it seems. RP2012
So what is Ron Paul going to complain about in a debate with Obama? Let's take a peek into the future;
Paul: We need to cut defense.
Obama: Did that.
Paul: We need out of Iraq.
Obama: Did that.
Paul: We need to get out of Afganistan.
Obama: Did that too.
Paul: We need to make the "white house" white again.
Obama: To late Ronny. welcome to 2012!
"Water and sewer are state issues, no need for federal government interference. "
yeah because states have magical barriers at the state lines meaning nothing that happens in one state ever affects other states.
Nice endorsement. I'm glad CNN covered it, many other news networks ignored it altogether. Good job CNN. Ron Paul 2012!!