“We have to nominate someone capable of telling the truth against Barack Obama, because you’re not going to beat a billion-dollar machine of dishonesty otherwise,” Gingrich said.
Gingrich and other White House hopefuls are trying to prevent Romney from claiming a win in South Carolina that might effectively wrap up the nomination. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is leading nationally and is raking in more campaign cash than his competitors.
In a fundraising appeal, Gingrich said time is running out to challenge Romney.
“We’re going to do it next week in South Carolina or he’s almost certain to be the Republican nominee,” Gingrich said.
After winning the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3, Romney made history yesterday as the first Republican non-incumbent to win both the New Hampshire primary and the caucuses since Iowa began kicking off the party’s presidential nominating process in 1976.
New Hampshire Totals
Romney got 39 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, according to an Associated Press tally. U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas had 23 percent and former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. won 17 percent.
Gingrich barely beat former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for fourth place, each with 9 percent of the vote. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who didn’t focus on New Hampshire, got less than 1 percent. All are seeking better showings in South Carolina and Florida, which holds its primary on Jan. 31.
Issues such as gay marriage and abortion hold greater sway with South Carolina voters, and the candidates are playing up their conservative credentials. Gingrich released an ad that attacks Romney’s position on abortion, calling him a “Massachusetts moderate” who “can’t be trusted.”
Romney has said he changed his mind on abortion and now favors anti-abortion laws.
Romney today said the next primary is a bigger hurdle, referencing his first run for the presidency in 2008.
“I face more of an uphill battle in South Carolina than in New Hampshire,” he told reporters on a flight to Columbia, South Carolina. “Last time I came in fourth, so our team recognizes that this is going to be a challenge.”
Money will help; Romney’s campaign today said he raised $24 million in the last three months of 2011 and had $19 million in cash. Paul brought in $13 million, and Gingrich raised about $9 million in the same period, according to earlier statements from their campaigns. All the candidates’ finance reports are due at the end of the month.
Paul and Perry today told South Carolina voters that they have a chance to make a difference.