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. fiskenmann

    Whoop-dee-do! I guess that means the nomination is in the bag....(insert chuckle here).

    January 16, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  2. Don Raihala

    It is the urgency of Ron Paul's economic message that needs to be received and understood by the American public. Until then, we remain sheep trapped in our master's pen.

    January 16, 2012 02:46 am at 2:46 am |
  3. lewtwo

    To Be fair: Ron Paul is the only one who has had the nerve to lay out is budget plan. The rest talk about making cuts but are afraid to say what they will cut. Really a mute point in either case because those cuts will never get through congress.

    January 16, 2012 02:58 am at 2:58 am |
  4. ken

    Paul should be the nominee. I never understood why people select idiots and not right candidates. e.g. instead of Cliton we have Obama.

    January 16, 2012 03:02 am at 3:02 am |
  5. Anonymous

    After 2 Bachman stories I finally found a hidden Paul report.

    January 16, 2012 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  6. Skeptic14

    You might want to mention this on the air?

    January 16, 2012 03:18 am at 3:18 am |
  7. Independent Thought

    This is the endorsement all the candidates were gunning for.

    This puts Paul on the upswing going into the South Carolina vote this week.

    January 16, 2012 03:20 am at 3:20 am |
  8. A

    Dear USA

    We, the world, knows you tried to right the wrongs of the Bush admin by voting for Barack.

    Please vote for Ron Paul. For the US, for the World!

    January 16, 2012 04:35 am at 4:35 am |
  9. EnigmaX

    Yeah!!! Go Ron Paul!!!! I've got almost all of my family in SC voting for you!!!

    January 16, 2012 04:40 am at 4:40 am |
  10. skekLach

    Thank you, CNN. I was honestly thinking this would be another one to go to the seeming blackout on Paul so far. I'm glad to see you cover it though and give him the respect he deserves.

    January 16, 2012 05:02 am at 5:02 am |
  11. bigfoot

    Well, yeah....duh. Does it surprise anyone that in this racist state someone would endorse Ron Paul on MLK Day when it was Ron Paul so adamantly opposed to establishing the holiday?

    January 16, 2012 05:16 am at 5:16 am |
  12. willie floyd

    If Paul ever gets in the WH, Canada may have to open their arms to accept a lot of Americans!! As bad as the other clowns are, he is by far the very worst.

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    January 16, 2012 05:55 am at 5:55 am |
  13. James

    I urge independents & Dems in "open" (everyone can vote in either primary, just not both) primary states like SC( there are 18) to vote in their primaries for the most UNLIKELY GOP candidate as Republicans did in '08 when Bush was not facing any opposition, as Prez Obama is not as well.

    This would keep the GOP from getting their nominee early & help keep their super-pac ads from attacking the Prez too early (they will soon enough). It will keep them attacking each other. So, in SC, please, if you are an independent or Dem, vote for Ron Paul or Rick Perry, since they have no chance of defeating our Prez in a general election.

    It is not against the law & it is perfectly acceptable to do so & is not doing anything wrong. The GOP has done it to their benefit.

    January 16, 2012 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  14. nytw

    Sounds like Ron Paul is willing to sell out his libertarian beliefs to get the support of the Tea Party. He is nothing more than typical politician. He is part of the problem not part of the solution.

    January 16, 2012 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  15. WB

    Good for Paul. It is hard to imagine why a Tea Party member would vote for Romney, a Wall Street insider. Wall Street wolfs caused this economic mess, why would want one for president?

    January 16, 2012 06:29 am at 6:29 am |
  16. one voice

    Ron Paul wants to take us back to the days when our only means of transportation was the covered wagon, NO THANKS. Obama /Biden 2012

    January 16, 2012 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  17. taylor

    Big big big big big big Whoop!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2012 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  18. Name

    Go Ron Paul! He is the only fix to this unbelievable mess were in.

    January 16, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  19. Mike

    Ron Paul is the only candidate worth my vote. Excellent news!!!!

    January 16, 2012 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  20. Mark

    Ron Paul is the only one who understands the issues and has the clout to do something about it without the enevitiable lobbiyist dagger in the back repercussions.

    January 16, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
  21. Nancy

    I have to admit the old man is starting to grow on me. He is the only politician who hasn't flip flopped on any issue. He has no hypocritical baggage. He's been married to the same woman for 50 years. He's a doctor. The only thing that I disagree with is his stance on being anti abortion, but then again he's an obstetrician. Other than that I think he's got my vote. However, I still have the right to say Romney is handsome.

    January 16, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
  22. Pat

    Ron Paul 2012!

    January 16, 2012 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  23. Noah

    Ron Paul is a true American Hero!

    January 16, 2012 07:12 am at 7:12 am |
  24. Oldfan

    Ron Paul 2012!

    January 16, 2012 07:39 am at 7:39 am |
  25. Say it ain't so

    I see his star is on the rise.

    January 16, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
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