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‘I’d like to see what he actually told Freddie Mac. Don’t you think we ought to see it?” Romney said.

It was another response to pressure on Romney to release his tax returns before Republican voters finish choosing a nominee.

A day earlier, Romney had called on Gingrich to release information related to an ethics investigation of Gingrich in the 1990s. Gingrich argues that GOP voters need to know whether the wealthy former venture capital executive’s records contain anything that could hurt the party’s chances against Obama.

Romney has said he will release several years’ worth of tax returns in April. Gingrich has called on him to release them much sooner. On Saturday, Romney refused to answer questions from reporters about the returns and whether his refusal to release them had hurt him with South Carolina voters.

Gingrich, buoyed by Perry’s endorsement as he left the race Thursday, has called Romney’s suggestion about releasing ethics investigation documents a “panic attack” brought on by sinking poll numbers.

The stakes were high for Saturday’s vote. The primary winner has gone on to win the Republican nomination in every election since 1980.

It’s very important, but it’s not do or die,” Paul told Fox News

Some of South Carolina’s notorious 11th-hour devilry — fake reports in the form of emails targeting Gingrich and his ex-wife Marianne — emerged in a race known as much for its nastiness as for its late-game twists.

“Unfortunately, we are now living up to our reputation,” said South Carolina GOP strategist Chip Felkel.

State Attorney Gen. Alan Wilson ordered a preliminary review of the phony messages to see if any laws had been broken.

Gingrich’s ex-wife burst into the campaign this week when she alleged in an ABC News interview that her former husband had asked her for an “open marriage,” a potentially damaging claim in a state where the Republican primary electorate includes a potent segment of Christian conservatives. The thrice-married Gingrich, who has admitted to marital infidelities, angrily denied her accusation.


Associated Press writers Beth Fouhy and Thomas Beaumont contributed to this report from South Carolina.