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Five Days Before New Hampshire Primary, Confident Romney Ventures South

Mitt Romney, right, campaigns Thursday in South Carolina with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, center, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
David Goldman
Associated Press
Mitt Romney, right, campaigns Thursday in South Carolina with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, center, and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Most of the Republican presidential candidates are focused on New Hampshire, which holds its primary next Tuesday.

But while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney began his day campaigning in New Hampshire, by the afternoon he was in South Carolina, which holds its primary Jan. 21.

NPR's Ari Shapiro reported from Charleston, S.C., that Romney's campaign is confident of victory in New Hampshire, and hopes his campaigning in South Carolina could help him secure a strong follow-up showing there.

Romney edged former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum by eight votes at the Iowa caucuses on Tuesday, the first contest of the election season.

Shapiro reported that Romney on Thursday kept his focus on President Obama.

Romney campaigned with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a Tea Party favorite when she won election in 2010, and by 2008 Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry also was in South Carolina Thursday.

In New Hampshire, NPR's Greg Allen reported that the socially conservative Santorum addressed a lively town hall in Concord. Allen reported:

Speaking to a gathering of college students, he was greeted by a smattering of boos. He didn't cater his message to the crowd, launching into an attack on President Obama for his policies and defense cuts announced Thursday. Leaning heavily on irony, at one point he said, "What an inspirational leader this is!"

When students in the audience challenged him for his opposition to gay marriage, he turned the tables. Santorum asked the audience to explain to him why existing law should be changed. "How about, 'All men are created equal' and, 'Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?'" one young woman asked.

"People should be allowed to do what makes them happy?" Santorum asked. "How about three men?" in a marriage, he asked. Santorum said the federal government should be allowed to define what constitutes a marriage for the states.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has staked his campaign on a strong showing in New Hampshire, continued campaigning in the state, as did former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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