- Extra-time goal gives Germany World Cup title over Argentina
- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
Conservatives torn over defending, opposing Romney
Question of the Day
Post-Iowa, things went sour for this group. Romney’s second-in-a-row win in New Hampshire on Tuesday solidified his standing atop the GOP field. He was followed in that race not by Santorum but by Texas Rep. Ron Paul and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Gingrich and Perry also drew only tepid support in the opening contests.
Now, everyone’s looking to South Carolina’s Jan. 21 primary as potentially the last stand for the anti-Romney crowd.
“He is not anything near conservative enough,” said Rock Hill, S.C., resident Carlene Madison, 54, shaking her head and making an unpleasant face.
Polling shows Romney gaining ground in South Carolina. A poll conducted Jan. 4-5 by CNN/Time/ORC International showed Romney with the support of 37 percent of the state’s likely Republican primary voters, up from 20 percent a month earlier. He won Iowa with only 25 percent of the vote and New Hampshire with a more robust 38 percent.
Romney also won the endorsement this week of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, a favorite of conservatives for his consistent criticism of President Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
Romney has a difficult history with South Carolina’s Republican voters, who are some of the nation’s most conservative. In exit polling from the 2008 Republican presidential contest there, 60 percent of primary voters said they were born-again Christians. Romney, whose Mormon faith is not considered a Christian denomination by some, carried just 11 percent of their votes, fewer than his 15 percent tally overall. Mormons consider themselves Christians.
Conservatives looking to back someone else have a heavy workload in a compressed period of time. Romney’s closest rival, Santorum, is 18 points behind in South Carolina, followed by Gingrich, Paul, Perry and Huntsman, according to the CNN/Time/ORC International poll. Six percent are undecided, the survey found.
Jeffress, the Baptist minister, who once called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a cult and doesn’t consider it a Christian faith, said he is skipping the Texas conference of conservatives but might eventually recommend voting for the former Massachusetts governor.
His rationale: “It’s probably better to embrace a non-Christian like Romney, who embraces biblical values like the sanctity of life and the sanctity of marriage, rather than a professing Christian like President Obama, who embraces unbiblical positions.”
Associated Press writers Shannon McCaffrey and AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in South Carolina contributed to this report.
TWT Video Picks
By Robert N. Tracci
Congress must use its appropriations power to secure the border
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang MS-13 taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- A 'new Cold War': China's top paper warns of 'slippery slope' towards conflict with U.S.
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- DOJ investigates Nebraska parade float critical of Obama
- Jersey City Mayor: Cop killer lay in wait for police to arrive
- 'Be a leader' Perry tells Obama to confront border crisis
- PRUDEN: 'Dirty Harry' Reids increasing eccentricity
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: 'We cannot afford to wait on Congress' for immigration
- Germany wins World Cup title on Mario Goetze goal in extra time
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs