Romney gathers support with McCain, Haley in Conway - - Columbia, South Carolina

Romney gathers support with McCain, Haley in Conway

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - With just ten days to go until the debate in Myrtle Beach for Republican Presidential hopefuls, Mitt Romney was in Conway Friday to campaign for votes. Romney was wrapping up a two day visit in South Carolina before heading to New Hampshire for that state's primary.

Some people say the trip to South Carolina was a surprising and early move, considering Romney sidestepped New Hampshire to come straight to the Palmetto State following his narrow victory in Iowa.

A visit from the front runner in the Republican race for President brought a certain level of excitement to the Peanut Warehouse in Conway. Romney brought more than excitement though; Governor Nikki Haley and Senator John McCain came with their endorsements.

"He hasn't just taken a vote. He's made decisions," Haley said. "We need someone who's made decisions. We need someone who had the courage and the backbone to do it. We know that Governor Romney is the person who should be the next President of the United States."

With Romney's encouragement Haley did most of the talking on stage, but Romney took a few moments to attack President Barack Obama.

"[We wondered] what would happen if we elect someone without experience to the White House, now we know," Romney said. "It's not a pretty picture."

McCain added to that, with his personal endorsement.

"I know the things he stands for and believes in," McCain said in an interview after the rally. "I also believe he has the best chance of winning the general election."

McCain said he has moved past disagreements with Romney from back in 2008 when the men competed against each other for the Republican nomination for President. McCain said he believes Romney is conservative enough to win South Carolina, and more than anything he feels business experience makes Romney the man for the job.

"He is the person that I think has the experience and background in order to get our economy back on track," McCain said. "Mitt Romney believes that business creates jobs and economic growth creates jobs. President Obama believes that government creates jobs."

Since McCain was popular enough to win South Carolina in 2008 his endorsement could make a difference for people like Stephanie Rawlinson with the Florence County Republican Party.

"I think it says a lot that Senator McCain got behind Romney obviously after they were competitors in the last race," Rawlinson said. "I think it's important that we respect that and take that into consideration when go into the polls on January the 21st."

McCain hopes it says enough to help Romney win South Carolina's primary and therefore the Republican nomination.

"I think if he does well in South Carolina that it will be very hard to keep him from the nomination," McCain said.

McCain said he will be coming back to South Carolina with Romney. So as the state's primary gets closer he will be telling many more voters first-hand about his endorsement of Romney.

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