Paul scores sought-after endorsement in South Carolina
January 15th, 2012
10:13 PM ET
9 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 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. netnut

    All the other's want to be KING!!!! Ron wants you to be King of your LIFE!;-))

    ;-)) Got My Vote!!! Dr. Paul 2012;-))

    January 15, 2012 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  2. Andy

    Ron Paul 2012!

    January 15, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  3. Tom Jasper

    Well well well, it's about time! I'm guessing Ron Paul will take SC Primary. 🙂

    January 15, 2012 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. Coloradan

    Tom Davis is a champion of Liberty and a champion of the Free Market. Americans owe him their undying gratitude and must revere him as a true patriot and a Real American! God bless Tom Davis and South Carolina.

    January 15, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  5. wsjiii

    Here comes Ron Paul, get on board or move out of the way.

    January 15, 2012 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  6. Timothy Allen

    Keep telling yourselves that Ron Paul can't win. The Republican Party fell off the tracks when it invented Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). I, a gray haired Ronald Reagan Republican, became a Ron Paul supporter then and now when he was the lone voice opposing the bailouts. Don't tell me that the real Republican is a person that supoprted TARP and Individual Mandate. And oh yes....I'm a hawk who agrees that enough is enough.....weve spent trillions in the middle east with little to show. I look forward to Ron Paul's acceptance speech in Tampa.

    January 15, 2012 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  7. Aaron

    Well – that does it for me. I will be supporting Ron Paul next weekend. If Dr. Paul is good enough for Senator Davis – he is good enough for me. Rick Santorum whom I was in support of before this endorsement – Just doesn't have a grasp on monetary policy + debt. We can't afford for our next president to be led astray by his appointees. It is imperative that our next president has a firm understanding himself. There is just far too much at stake. I don't agree with Paul on every issue – but it increasingly obvious that our debt (NOT IRAN) posses the greatest risk to our National Security.

    January 15, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  8. Paul Revere

    So the Republican party manipulates the crowd to sell the hype in hopes of stirring up some more voters!!!! The only problem is their all repeating the same Reagan policy's that bankrupted the nation 3 times since 1980!!!!!! America has spent the last 30 years bailing out every sector of the economy since the Republican revolution that promised prosperity to America!!!!!!! The only thing that has happened is the wealthy have leveraged the American tax payer to a tune of 15 trillion dollars!!!!!! Why cant the Republicans at least come up with a modified plan, I'm a Republican but I'll be darn if I'm going to vote one of these Reagan copy cats into office just for repeating the Republican talking points over and over. I just hope their gamble is not correct, the Republicans are gambling that the "Right wing radio talk show followers believe everything they've been conditioned during these Republican infomercials that have run for ten years!!!!! I listen but comeon it's obvious now that the repeats have cycled through the last several years that its all a ponsi scheme to sucker peoples votes with a story of patriotism, religion, along with a sense of nationalism!!!!!! My goodness people read history these clowns are no different than Hitler's facist revolution!!!

    January 15, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  9. skipper

    The only sane politician left, Ron Paul 2012.

    January 15, 2012 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  10. Darryl Schmitz

    Thank you, Senator Davis!

    January 15, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The finals down to the convention I see is Ron Paul and Mit Romney. If that were the choices, I believe that it will be Romney as the nominee.

    January 15, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  12. ithinkthat

    Ron Paul, 2012.

    January 15, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  13. sue thomas

    Gone are the days where media ignores Ron Paul – when you get this good, you can't be ignored. Ron Paul is going to shock a lot of people...truth goes marching on! CNN get over your fear and treat this man with the respect that he has earned – years of voting solo with a voice announcing our financial collapse.

    January 15, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. Will

    Great endorsement for Paul. Now if he could only get DeMint's!

    January 15, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  15. Brian Joyce

    Why is this news not on the front page? O look who is on the front page! Huntsman will endorse Romney! Wow i am shocked. We all know Mit is not really getting those votes. People will not be lied to any more. We are sick of it! Everyone wants freedom no one wants the patriot act, the NDAA, or big government watching there every move. Lets vote for a guy that has no idea what he is doing and who will flip flop on issues depending on popular vote. He is a joke!

    January 15, 2012 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  16. Brian Joyce

    What is even more funny is watching you guys hide Paul like he is not there. We know you are lying we will bring it to light you will see!

    January 15, 2012 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  17. Jamie

    This is the game changer Dr. Ron Paul needed.

    An endorsement like this will mean that many fiscal conservatives will now side with Dr. Paul who on a national poll is running neck to neck with Obama.

    January 15, 2012 10:57 pm at 10:57 pm |
  18. Dustin

    Congrats to Dr. Paul. He deserves it. He's put 30 years into his record of consistency, it's about time someone gave the credit he deserves for being brave enough to stand up to a corrupt establishment while everyone else mocked him.

    January 15, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  19. Lindsey

    Paul is starting to get the establishment nervous. Just like we all eventually have to answer to the gospel we now as a country have to deal with our debt if we want to stay the greatest nation on earth! Ron Paul is the only candidate ready to do it! Ron Paul 2012!!!!!!!!!

    January 15, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  20. Brian Joyce

    THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES BUT THEY WILL NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOMS! I have 3 kids and each one of them have the right to live free like I did growing up. You would think that maybe a war would happen and it might ruin this great country. Maybe we get invaded. NOPE! The elite are killing this country from the inside. I love my kids to much to watch big government kill freedom in this country by passing laws like NDAA and the patriot act. What does it matter no one at CNN cares. It seems that only Ron Paul cares. He Cares about the people, the military, and the other people who live in the other countries that we used to bomb, that we are bombing, and the countries that our big government plan on bombing next. People are people and most of us want the same things. To live a good life. Not have another countries army poking guns in my face telling me what to do every day. That promotes war, war kills, and no man has the right to take another mans life. Peace not war we all need G.O.D. (good orderly direction) the only good orderly direction I see is with Ron Paul. Live and let live!

    January 15, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  21. anonoped

    A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Peace.

    A vote for any other, including Obama, is a vote for endless war, assassinations, life in detention without charge, crushing debt and enough deficit spending to enslave Americans for generations.

    January 15, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. J.V.Hodgson

    Paul and gingrich are going to be big dividers of the vote add in Perry and Santorum and an NH win by the same margins for Romney is impractical, in fact he could lose to Gingrich.

    January 15, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  23. Amanda

    Excuse me... but WHY was there NO media coverage of this on CNN live?? Or any other major news channel for that matter??? If this endorsement was supposed to be as big as the entire republican party and MSM made it out to be, then Why NO coverage?? Oh, I know.. because it was for RON PAUL! Won't stop my vote at all... RON PAUL 2012!

    January 15, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  24. Michael

    Great to see Dr. Paul getting much overdue respect. The message of liberty is really building momentum.

    January 15, 2012 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  25. queenbee

    I'm trying to figure out why an endorsement from a man who FAILED to manage or handle the affairs of his former adulterous boss to the extent that the Governor got tied up in ethics and possible legal questions about philandering and expenditures is such a coup. Never heard of Davis but we all heard of "crying in Argentina" Sanford and his affair that cost him his job.

    January 15, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
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