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. ????

    I voted for Ron Paul last time. I will vote for him again, even if I have to write his name in.

    January 16, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  2. Joe Sixpack

    Go Ron, GO!

    January 16, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  3. billgme

    Ron Paul is to be commended for many of his radical views. End the War on Drugs, it has been an abysmal failure. Tax the pot and there's a tremendous source of income for gov't coffers. This destroys Mexican cartels, much like bootleggers during prohibition. Also, he wants to close most of our overseas bases that we don't need and are costly. He wants to move people back to personal responsibility and a work ethic. We can't support a nation of deadbeats!

    January 16, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  4. mick

    I have never voted for a democrat presidential candidate but I will vote for Obama if Ron Paul is the republican nominee.

    January 16, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  5. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    I'd prefer the liberal version of Ron Paul ( I mean his opposite).
    He's the ultimate supporter of corporate interests. Also, I can't imagine what a disaster this nation would be without public education or many of the amenities we take for granted gone without a tax base. Imagine 60%+ illiteracy rates, homes without water supply, and little to no regulation of business or manufacturing activities ... we'd be Mexico in a generation.
    Oh honestly!! Just because a politician doesn't want the FEDERAL government involved in something doesn't mean he doesn't want state and local government to it. Schools are LOCAL issues. The federal government has no place in them. Water and sewer are state issues, no need for federal government interference. Government CLOSER ot the people is better, more cost efficient government. Maybe you need to educate yourself on the founding of our country and how far it has gotten OFF TRACK.

    January 16, 2012 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  6. ThinkAgain

    "Americans owe him [Tom Davis] their undying gratitude and must revere him as a true patriot and a Real American!"

    We "must" do this?

    So much for your love of freedom!

    January 16, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain


    Unless, of course, you're a woman, and then you don't get to control your own body.

    So much for Ron Paul's "freedom" ...

    January 16, 2012 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain

    anonoped: "A vote for Ron Paul is a vote for Peace."

    Really? How much "peace" will there be in this country when deregulated industry finishes outsourcing American jobs, there is no Middle Class, education and health care are privileges reserved for the wealthy, our infrastructure is gone because "private industry" decided it wasn't worth the cost and we're reduced to just another third-world nation?

    Ron Paul's naive worldview of "I got mine, screw you!" is dangerous for our country and our future. Those of you with kids should think this through – a vote for Paul is a vote for a dog-eat-dog world.

    January 16, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  9. conrad

    Truth and Nothing But the Truth:

    There is a vast concentration of wealth in the coastal states in this country, and frankly if it weren't for the Federal redistribution of that wealth to the poor states in the middle, those states (in particular farmers) would not be able to survive. Ever been in any small towns in western Texas, or AK, MS? They would be ghost towns in a season without federal aid. Furthermore, we are ONE nation and we fare better when we are united in our efforts ... divided we fail. We need what the middle states provide. If those states cannot survive on their own and we have no agricultural base we will be dependent on other countries for our very food. I don't like the sound of that. If those states don't get federal subsidies, the cannot compete with other countries. Agriculture is only ONE of the industries dependent on federal aid.

    I don't know what Constitution you are referring to, but the one I am familiar with did not contain a single clause which demanded we work to keep the USofA looking like it did in 1750. In fact, the constitution was specifically written in such a manner so that it could continually evolve to suit the changing needs and perspective of the people. Also, the presence of other races, and sexual orientation is a reality of the life. Why we continually want laws that explicitly deny other people the right to pursue happiness in a manner that suits them is morally beyond me.

    January 16, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  10. canadian beef

    For what it is worth, there are many Canadians that hope Dr. Paul wins this race. He is talking about things that really effect everyday Americans. He has the right answers, but doesn't get the coverage on T.V. Why? Because there are people (corporations are people...apparently) that are scared of his common sense. I hope the good voters of the United States are not scared. RON PAUL 2012!!!

    January 16, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Steve in PA

    Ridculous. In his own words, Ron Paul is "dangerous." He certainly is not the only candidate speaking to reversing the debt problem with the U.S. Government. Newt Gingrich has done so. The foreign policy of Paul will render the U.S. into a corner by informing trusted allies that you are on your own. I see the direction of our country swaying already and the fear now begins to grow with any hint of Paul getting into office.

    January 16, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. ThinkAgain

    2ctruth: "The biggest threat to our liberty comes from debt."

    Did you feel this way when GW Bush waged two unfunded wars, pushed unfunded Medicare Part D and cut taxes during wartime (never done in our history before)? Or are you one of those who wants this debt to use as an excuse to eliminate social spending because, like Ron Paul (and his goddess, Ayn Rand), you despise the poor and think that only those with money are worthwhile?

    January 16, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. Daniel Sandefur

    I have to admit, I was star struck by Obama inthe 2008 elections, but this time its about restoration and fufilling whatever Ron Paul can do correct this countries course, and bring it back on track!

    Ron Paul 2012!

    Tampa Bay, Fl

    January 16, 2012 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain

    @Conrad: "In fact, the constitution was specifically written in such a manner so that it could continually evolve to suit the changing needs and perspective of the people."

    I wish more people understood this. Ron Paul and all his ronbots seem stuck on this notion that we should be living in the 1800s and that there was never any need for social spending – all historical fact to the contrary.

    January 16, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    @Truth and yada yada:'Just because a politician doesn't want the FEDERAL government involved in something doesn't mean he doesn't want state and local government to it. Schools are LOCAL issues. The federal government has no place in them."

    What company would want to have offices/plants in different states, when each state had its own education standards? 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?

    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.

    January 16, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  16. Ron in Jersey

    I look forward to watching Dr. Ron Paul destroy Obama in the debates.

    January 16, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Luis, King of Los Angeles

    I'm teling you, CNN. Put these articles front page. Paul has large, enthusiastic support that is looking for news on this guy.He's a front runner but the only way to follow his campaign is with a search engine. This time around, fair coverage is just smart business.

    January 16, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. The Real Tom Paine

    Truth and Nothing But, I agree with you that schools are a local matter, along with sewars, but water issues are national in scope when you consider the size of watersheds and how pollution in one state affects the part or all of the watershed. Who is going to adjudicate a dispute between states regarding those issues, if not the Feds? Disputes between states over competing land claims and resources is what led the Constitution to be drawn up in the first place, since the Articles of Ceonfederation were hopelessly inadequate. As far as the government getting off track, the country is far more complex than the Founders could have imagined, and to say that you can draw a line and walk the whole country back to a simpler time is wishful thinking at best. If people read more on the founding of our country they would discover it was not as straight-forward as we would like to think it was, and that governing a place as wonderful as this is never an easy task. Hard Choices need to be made, and they should not be made infavor of freedom by those best equippmed to game the system with money and endless attack ads by organizations unwilling to identify who and what they are.

    January 16, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  19. John

    The country needs to get back to basics, those basics that made other nations envy her, and want to be their ally and friend,, only Ron Paul appears can bring that back .

    January 16, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  20. Doug Pederson AKA SpectateSwamp

    Who puts on the caucuses / primaries???

    Most forums are Dog and Pony shows, if the Chamber of Commerce puts them on

    Questions that people want answered; never get asked. They are the root of our problems with corrupt and low-grade candidates. Here in Canada it is the CofC that somehow co-opted this task.

    January 16, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  21. polarized

    Lindsey Graham will not endorse Paul, and you can take that to the bank. I mean he did vote for the NDAA after all.

    January 16, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Katie

    Ron Paul has no answer for how he's going to help all those people he's going to put out of work and off health insurance. He has no answer for what happens when state government refuse to shoulder the burdens placed on them once the federal government stops doing the jobs it does. He has no reply to the charge that a TRUE libertarian would not even dream of making the Federal government in charge of who can get married to whom and defining life to make abortion illegal.

    January 16, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  23. Gary

    If Newt doesn't win the nomination, I would vote for Paul as a 3rd party candidate. I will never vote for Romney ... period.

    January 16, 2012 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Kong

    I'm voting for Ron Paul in April because he is coming to my home state Wisconsin.

    January 16, 2012 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. CRH

    the fact that ron paul scares both parties and the media is enough insentive to get my vote
    it is time for this county to elect a president that is not beholding to special intrests and will not be self serving
    the more the media tries to tell us he has no chance the more we should support him
    go ron!!

    January 16, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
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