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. Tyrone Shoes

    If you value freedom and prosperity, vote Ron Paul 2012.

    January 16, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  2. Jes

    Congrats Ron Paul this is great news. Tom Davis is a true patriot.

    January 16, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Steven Bannister

    Ron Paul: The candidate for SANE people.

    January 16, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  4. mike

    Well done, CNN! Nice to see this article on Ron Paul grabbing big endorsements.

    January 16, 2012 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  5. John

    Ron Paul is the only one who is serious about fixing our financial situation and system. All the other candidates have proven in the past that what they are saying now is nothing but empty rhetoric. Tom Davis is a rising star in the party, and when a man is courageous enough to endorse Ron Paul knowing the corrupt mainstream media and party establishment are going to question him endlessly he truly shows himself to be a man of priciple.

    January 16, 2012 12:27 am at 12:27 am |
  6. G

    Don't listen to the media. Ron Paul is the only one who will serve American people's true interests.

    January 16, 2012 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  7. Marc

    Glad to see there is at least one man of principle in the GOP race. Every one of the other candidates terrify me, especially Santorum and Romney.

    January 16, 2012 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  8. logicnLA

    So someone with ties to a small percentage of people in SC endorses Paul. This appears the blind is enorsing the sacary and leading him to the clueless.

    January 16, 2012 12:46 am at 12:46 am |
  9. Joe

    Anyone who cares about their personal freedoms, cares about the financial order of this country, and cares about getting ourselves out of war... there's only one candidate: Ron Paul.

    Romney is an Obama clone if ever I've seen one. Look no further than what he did in Massachusetts to see this.

    Bizarre how so many people can be so blind.

    January 16, 2012 01:02 am at 1:02 am |
  10. BeverlyNC

    Won't matter – Paul is just too far out there. I would love him to run as a 3rd party candidate. Would sew up win for the only real leader running – President Obama.

    January 16, 2012 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  11. ed

    This is a really interesting Tom Davis any way libertarian? As far as I know, he is a true blue tea party republican, right?

    January 16, 2012 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  12. Bill

    Dr. Paul is the alternative to Romney. Thanks for reporting this CNN.

    January 16, 2012 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  13. R

    At last there is hope that there are intelligent free thinkers not bound to the Neo Con Republican hysteria that is colluding with the Democratic party, while turning a blind eye to the real problem facing the country. Lack of respect for the position of leadership they are elected to, and the sway of money filling their pockets and campaign coffers.

    January 16, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  14. jennynewyear

    This is great news. Ron Paul's message is catching on because he speaks the truth and really knows what he is talking about. He makes it clear what we need to do to get this nation back on track. He knows where the biggest problems are rooted and he is on record warning us for decades.He calls out the failings of the Federal Reserve, the Foreign Policy, Bail Oouts, Government Funded Enterprises, too much government involved in too darn many things that WASTE OUR TAX MONEY. Please VOTE RON PAUL for wise use of our resources and freedom for all people.

    January 16, 2012 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  15. Coloradan

    What the talking heads do not seam to ascertain is that this is not about Ron Paul. This is about Americans waking up to the fact that the status quo is not for We The People. Americans are beginning to understand the meaning of 'The Republic.' This country is not called 'The State of America.' This is the United States of America. 50 sovereign states that have rights above and beyond that of the Federal Government for which they have form solely to protect individual liberty and to protect our country’s borders. Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s time Americans take back our rights, our country, and our liberty!

    January 16, 2012 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  16. SPQR

    President Obama 2012 !!!

    But I would love for Ron Paul to wipe off the arrogance other the candidates faces with the nomination.

    January 16, 2012 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  17. Gabriel

    Looks like the fuel efficient Volkswagon thats been entered in the Indie 500 driven by the old timer from Texas Ron Paul
    ( car # 77 ) is in 2nd place as he heads toward the straight away in South Carolina. You can hear the crowd roar. Vote for
    Ron Paul 2012 !!!!

    January 16, 2012 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
  18. stranger in an increasingly strange land

    You are sure it wasn't John Birch or the late George Lincoln Rockwell? Both would have been right up Ron Paul's alley. Far right of course, but generally in line with Ron's core beliefs. The three of them could all buy sheets on the family plan.

    January 16, 2012 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  19. skarphace

    The keyword is fiscal conservative. Those who are will rally behind Paul. Those who are social conservatives will rally behind Gingrich or Santorum. The establishment will continue to rally behind Romney.

    I wish I could believe that social conservatives will compromise and rally behind Paul eventually. Unfortunately, one of the key phrases at the SC Tea Party rally was "no compromise". Oh well.

    January 16, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  20. A-men

    Good news for a change!

    January 16, 2012 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  21. tc

    i just dont see how anyone an take ron paul seriosly. he is not presidential material. he rally is one of those crazy guysthat runs as a independent.

    January 16, 2012 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  22. Baibars

    "To get an endorsement from someone like Tom Davis is a big deal. It would speak volumes to folks and make them take notice and give us a look." – Rick Santorum, August 2011

    Too bad Santorum! Your anti-gay anti-Muslim agenda didn't get his endorsement.

    RON PAUL 2012!!!

    January 16, 2012 02:08 am at 2:08 am |
  23. PaulorFall

    I couldn't stop smiling as i read this article. I honestly don't understand how people can't like this guy. He's the only candidate that is FOR the people, and the people themselves don't even realize it.

    January 16, 2012 02:10 am at 2:10 am |
  24. M.K.

    This guy is not leader material, he is just another millionaire trying to fix it so he doesn't ever have to pay taxes again so he can sit around and enjoy the money he has made off the sick and off medicare.

    January 16, 2012 02:13 am at 2:13 am |
  25. flarnkingsgargle

    Yeah, true conservatism!

    January 16, 2012 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
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