The Washington Times - January 21, 2012, 03:41PM

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was hoping his long campaign effort in South Caroiina would reignite the surge his campaign had back in Iowa. However, after a delayed win in Iowa and media coverage of his opponents throwing political bombs at each other between New Hampshire and South Carolina through their Super Pacs, Mr. Santorum has found it difficult to pick up traction in the polls. 

Now, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is finding renewed support in South Carolina since his message went from attacking former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney about the time Mr. Romney worked at Bain Capitol, to attacking the media over bringing up his past marriage with Marianne Gingrich.

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Mr. Gingrich is also finding voters seem to favor that Gov. Romney should release his tax returns. Speaker Gingrich’s surge in South Carolina leaves Sen. Santorum in a tough place, as the Pennsylvania Republican was hoping he would be favored as the anti-Romney candidate over Mr. Gingrich.

Some have questioned if Sen. Santorum has the funds necessary to continue his campaign through the more massive state of Florida this upcoming week, should he not get enough support in today’s South Carolina primary. 

“We’ve raised 4 or 5 million dollars in the last couple of weeks at least. So, we’re doing fine. We’re going to get a little bump out of South Carolina. We feel we’re going to be very strong. I keep saying, the longer this race goes on the better for the Republican Party,” Senator Santorum told me at a “bloggers bash” Southern Republican Leadership Conference gathering in Charleston on Friday night. 

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“We’re going to stay in this race, because I’m the conservative that Republicans are ultimately going to choose. We’re going to keep fighting for that ground.”

Santorum appeared frustrated when I asked if he would rethink his campaign if he were only to win a third place spot in the South Carolina primary. He questioned why the media was trying to “get people out of the race.”

“The longer the race goes, the better. It’s better for the Republican Party and it’s better for the movement, because the focus is on us and what we’re doing here instead of having an end to this process, so the Obama administration and the national media can beat the living daylights out of whoever our nominee is,” he said.

“We want this campaign to go on until June, because then the focus is on us. The focus is on taking out Barack Obama, instead of the media taking out our nominee,” he added.

(LISTEN HERE)