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. Vote_for_Ron_Paul

    Ron Paul has no agenda (unlike both Parties) that is why he doesn't want our money (tax dollars), or our freedom.

    January 16, 2012 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  2. John

    If Ron Paul has the Tea Party backing than he Lost my vote. I will not vote for anybody that Is being Back by the the Tea Party or has anything to do with the Tea Party. These People are ruining America.Just look at the Mess the Tea Party Congress man or woman Is doing to Congress. Congress has never had has lower favorable rating that It does now.

    January 16, 2012 08:59 am at 8:59 am |
  3. Fielding Mellish

    Paul won't beat Romney, but hopefully his loyal fans will set up a third party movement.

    January 16, 2012 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  4. Cedar Rapids

    so many people supporting a nutter whose ideas will help destroy this country. They hear 'freedom' and 'peace' and have absolutely no thought as to what his policies would actually mean, they hear the soundbites and go 'that sounds good'.
    The guy wants to remove company regulations, he wants to get rid of pollution regulations, civil right regulations, thinks its ok for companies to be able to discriminitate against race, sex and religion, he wants to get rid of all welfare claiming that the church and charities can do it instead. Hes even stated that he would have not had stood up against hitler and let him take over europe, even knowning about the holocaust, despite America's allies asking for assistance. Actually think about all these things people, ask yourself what the actual end result of these ideas are, dont just swallow the buzzwords but think of the effect on the country as a whole.

    January 16, 2012 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  5. Sanjay

    Ron Paul – Foreign Policy

    1. Paul = Patriotic Air Force Veteran. Newt & Mitt – coward draft dodgers, Santorum/Huntsman never served.

    2. Troops back Paul. Paul gets 3 times the $ as ALL GOP candidates combined. 75% Americans oppose Wars.

    3. We are bankrupt, 16+ Trillion Debt, aging America, mass invasion, dying middle-class. Can't afford empire/ wars.

    4. Paul wants Strong National Defense, Not Empire, defend US – Mexican border, not Korea, Japan, Europe.

    5. Paul supports Private Aid to Isreal, Paul is a Zionist – Supports Free, Self-reliant Isreal with 400 nukes. Netanyahu = Paul.

    6. Iran = 3rd world, 0 nukes. Soviets = 30,000 nukes, murdered 100 million Christians. Eisenhower, JFK, Reagan all talked, traded with Soviets. Pakistan = 100+ nukes!!!, War with Iran = Trillions more in debt, 10$/gallon gas.

    7. Paul's view is supported by famous veterans like Michael Scheuer- ex-CIA Bin-Laden hunter, Andrew Bacevich, Chalmers Johnson etc...

    8. Paul = Founders – trade, travel, diplomacy with all, entangling alliance with none.

    January 16, 2012 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  6. Jaret

    If Paul takes South Carolina, his momentum will be unstoppable. Santorum will drop out, followed by Gingrich shortly after. In the debates, a one-on-one matchup between Paul and Romney will highlight what I've known for a long time–Romney is doing a lot of talking, but he isn't actually saying anything. Everyone agrees that the debt is THE big problem, but what is Romney going to cut? Paul has proposed $1 trillion in specific cuts. Romney has proposed that "we need to have serious cuts". Anyone notice a difference between talking about the need for cuts and proposing exactly what you'll cut? Paul can also point out that Romney's #1 campaign contributor is Goldman Sachs. Paul's top three are the USAF, US Army, and US Navy. But we're expected to believe that he's "weak on defense" or "foreign policy is his weakness". The exact opposite is true. Paul will also provide the sharpest contrast to Obama, particularly where Obama is most vulnerable–foreign policy, spending, adherence to the Constitution, and the economy.

    January 16, 2012 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  7. Angelo S

    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

    One voice, That's bull. But I can tell you what IS true is that the dynamic duo in office now will have us INVOLUNTARILY in covered wagons because they are proven, certified incompetents and puppets of the Federal Reserve crime syndicate that's been robbing us for 100 years.

    January 16, 2012 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  8. Whatever

    It should not matter what politician endorses him. I'd prefer other politicians keep their opinions to him/herself. If you like a candidate's message and believe that he will be right for the country domestically (WHICH IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERN) and then internationally, it would not matter what politician endorses or not. ALL of the incums in Congress and Sentate should be voted out ESPECIALLY in the State/Local government.

    January 16, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  9. Joe

    Somewhere Dana Bash just got more worried...

    January 16, 2012 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  10. Strategic Bob

    Why should the United States let South Carolina (too small to be a country, too big to be an insane asylum, but just the right size to be the home of treason) decide anything for us?

    January 16, 2012 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  11. John

    My guess is that if Ron Paul were to get DeMints endoresement too it would knock a great deal of steam out of the Romney campaign. It appears like Dr.Paul will have to be taken seriously.

    January 16, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  12. TheTraveler

    Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. A wacko, a corporate puppet and a sleeze bag ... Now, if I could just find my 3 sided coin ... If these guys are the best the GOP has to offer then the Democrats will easily keep Obama in office for another 4 years.

    January 16, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  13. Worthington

    Canadians are delighted to see Ron Paul gain more support and momentum. We cheer you on Ron Paul!

    January 16, 2012 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  14. The Real Tom Paine

    I guess he's too busy getting ready to fire on For Sumter (again). Angelo S, what proof do you ahve that Ron Paul can run things any better? The ony thing Paul has run effectively was his medical practice and maing sure his district still gets funds ( while he screams about earmarks). Oh yes, and there are those pesky newsletters that he claims he knew nothing about: sounds like he's nothing more than another politician running from his dirty laundry. Jaret, there is also a difference between talking and doing: Paul has done nothing in 12 terms other than talk. He has no legislative accomplishments at all, so what was he doing there?

    January 16, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  15. Ryan

    Ron Paul is only radical insofar as he actually respects and obeys the Constitution. The establishment needs to pull its head out of the sand and wake up to the fact that Ron Paul is the only candidate who truly understands the notion that best person to live your life for you is YOU.

    Ron Paul 2012.

    January 16, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  16. jbm66

    I voted for Obama in 2008, was very disappointed... Unfortunately he is still better than the buffoons coming out of the Republican field except for Ron Paul and John Huntsman. Huntsman is gone, and with Ron Paul you have to respect someone who actually tells you the truth whether you agree with him or not. There is alot I would disagree with in Ron Paul, but Dam it has been a long time someone came around and tells it like it is.. There in no BS with Ron Paul, no special interests, I mean he really is in it for our country. I wouls love to see Obama vs Ron Paul election. Obama will have to convince his Liberal base why he supports keeping our soldiers in Aghanastan while Paul the Republican would bring them home right away.

    January 16, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  17. ialsoagree

    Is anyone else not surprised that the corporate interest puppet Ron Paul got the nomination from the "fiscal conservative" tea partier?

    January 16, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  18. Steve Corbin

    The democrats are basing their entire presidential campaign on running agaisnst Romney. and the GOP establishment is playing right along. WHY NOT throw a wrench into their plans? Ron Paul can beat Obama in November and they all know it. that's why this campaing has gone on like this so far.

    January 16, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  19. Patrick from Minnesota

    Ron Paul: the Jim Jones of the 21st century.

    Case in point: this comments page...

    January 16, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  20. Alex

    Re: TheTraveler
    Ron Paul, Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. A wacko, a corporate puppet and a sleeze bag ... Now, if I could just find my 3 sided coin ... If these guys are the best the GOP has to offer then the Democrats will easily keep Obama in office for another 4 years.

    January 16, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |

    Actually Ron Paul would kill Obama in the general election fight being that Obama signed a law called NDAA in which Americans can be locked up indefinetely without an attorney if they are suspected to have ever done anything questionable according to the rule of law such as even accidently entering a questionable forum that is anti government. Obama also has no problem with a bill like sopa which would essentially censor the interner and is a huge threat to freedom of spech on the internet.

    I have no doubt Ron Paul would own Obama on his record if it came down to an election.

    Obama, like Romney is supported by Wall Street. Ron Paul is supported by the American people.

    January 16, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  21. amd227

    Congratulations Dr. Paul. My family is comprised of police officers and military veterans. All say you have their vote. Thank you for continuing the fight for our personal liberty. Ron Paul 2012!

    January 16, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  22. Sheila

    P.S. Even people who are not for Ron Paul deserve to know truthful news and what's really happening. The truth about Tom Davis endorsing Ron Paul that is.

    January 16, 2012 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  23. Johnny

    It will be tough but I can see Paul winning the SC Primary. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich will attract the attention and hopefull will dilute each other's support, making way fo a Paul victory. Beware of the talking heads and pundants who dismiss Paul's campaign or say that a win doesn't matter. The truth is there are 1142 delagate votes needed to win the nomination. To date Romney has 12 and Paul has 9. It's a long way to 1142, but the momentum is shifting towards Paul.

    January 16, 2012 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  24. rightospeak

    Smart man, Senator Davies. In spite of media attacks ,Ron Paul does well ,because he is the only one with a message and a plan to improve the U.S. Ron Paul 2012 ! Personally , I am happy to see this endorsement.

    January 16, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  25. That Dude

    Ron Paul 2012! They will need to cheat him out of this victory to keep him down. Everyone watch for voting fraud.

    January 16, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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