Thursday, January 19, 2012
  Reactions to the SRLC/CNN Town Hall Debate in Charleston, SC

Romney for President
9:59 p.m.

Boston, MA – South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis made the following statement following tonight’s debate:
“What was clear tonight is that we need a reliable leader with a lifetime of leadership experience, not another president who spent his life in politics. Mitt Romney will lead our country down a different path than the continued failure pursued by our current administration. With unemployment near ten percent in South Carolina, our state cannot afford more big-spending, job-killing policies from this administration. Mitt Romney will cut spending, lessen the regulatory burden, and create an environment that will allow businesses to grow and hire. I urge South Carolinians to get to the polls on Saturday and vote for Mitt Romney – it will be a vote for change in Washington.”

Romney for President
10:02 p.m.
Boston, MA – Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon made the following statement on tonight’s debate:
“Mitt Romney won tonight’s debate. Unlike our current president, Mitt Romney actually knows how the economy works, how jobs are created, and how businesses grow. With his economic know-how and solid economic plan, South Carolinians can be confident that our future will be bright with Mitt Romney in the White House.”

Rick Santorum for President
10:10 p.m.

Charleston, SC - At this evening's CNN/Southern Republican Leadership Committee Republican Presidential Debate, Rick Santorum exposed their inconsistent records as conservatives and established himself as the conservative to defeat Barack Obama Governor Romney and Congressman Gingrich


Hogan Gidley, National Communications Director, said: "Rick Santorum showed tonight that he is the one candidate who has the record and the ability to defeat Barack Obama. He systematically dismantled Governor Romney and Congressman Gingrich on the biggest issues facing this nation. The reason the Tea Party was created mainly because of three issues: health care individual mandate, big bank bail outs and immigration. Rick Santorum is the only candidate to defeat Mitt Romney head-to-head and he is the one consistent conservative alternative in this race to take on Barack Obama this fall."


On Capitalism:

"I believe in capitalism that works for not just the high financiers, but the working man and woman too... We need to talk about how we're going to put the men and women who built this country back to work... South Carolina can compete with anybody, we just need to give them the ability to compete. We need to make our pitch to Reagan Democrats, tell them to sign up with us and we'll put 'em back to work!"


Should Government Help Veterans:

"The President can't cut a dime from social welfare programs, but he can cut a trillions from the military and our veterans. That's disgusting."


On Government Healthcare:

"I was fighting for private sector health care when these two guys were playing footsy with the left... It took Newt 10 years to figure out government run health care was wrong, while guys like Rick Santorum knew it was wrong from the beginning."


On Newt Gingrich's Suggestion To Drop Out:

"Grandiosity has never been a problem with Newt Gingrich... these are just not cogent thoughts.


On Campaign Regret:

"I would change nothing... After over 700 town hall meetings, this goes to prove that hard work and good ideas still payoff in America."


On Amnesty For Illegal Immigration:

"My grandfather came here legally and sacrificed because America was worth it."


On A Culture Of Life:

"You have a lot of people who go out and whisper that they're pro-life. It's another thing to lead."

To learn more about former Senator Rick Santorum, please visit



Democratic National Committee
11:07 p.m.

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz on GOP Presidential Debate:

Romney’s Dodging on Taxes, Inability to Explain What he Did in Private Sector as a Corporate Raider Show Why he Fails to Resonate with the Middle Class

Charleston, South Carolina – Following tonight’s Republican debate in South Carolina, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz released the following statement: 

“If anyone in America needed additional evidence as to why Mitt Romney’s had such a bad week, why Americans’ unfavorable views of him have soared, and why he is failing to resonate with middle class Americans, they should have gotten all they needed and more tonight.  In short, Mitt Romney doesn’t understand the needs of the middle class, doesn’t relate to typical American families, and would be a disaster for Americans trying to get ahead and achieve the American Dream.

“For anyone hoping to get a straight answer from Romney on whether or not he will finally come clean with the American people and run a transparent campaign, tonight was a disappointment.  Romney ducked and dodged on whether or not he would agree to follow the precedent set by President Obama and previous presidential candidates by releasing his previous comprehensive federal income tax returns for multiple years.  Even Romney’s father, George Romney, released twelve years of his tax returns when he ran for president.  Mitt Romney, it seems, doesn’t want the American people to know more about the details of the roughly 15 percent rate he pays in taxes – a far lower rate than what is paid by the typical working family.  And with news reports this week that Romney has millions of dollars invested in overseas accounts – tax havens like the Cayman Islands – it raises further questions about why Romney is dodging the issue altogether.  So dissembling and disjointed was Mitt Romney’s response tonight that he was actually booed by the audience.

"If his dodges on taxes weren’t bad enough, Mitt Romney continued to refuse to come clean about what he was really doing in the private sector as a corporate buyout specialist.  Mr. Romney offered yet another job creation figure – 120,000 – after failing to substantiate the ‘100,000’ and ‘thousands’ he’s used in just the past few weeks.  Why is Mitt Romney having such a hard time describing his job creation record?  Because it was the last thing on his mind when he was raiding companies, bankrupting them and laying off workers while reaping huge profits for himself and his investors.  What was on his mind?  Just as one of his former colleagues has said –Mitt Romney had one goal and one goal only – creating wealth.  Period.

“Once again, when it comes to Mitt Romney, the facts just don’t add up.  He thinks he can play by his own set of rules – Romney’s Rules – under which he doesn’t have to level with the American people, doesn’t have to release his tax returns and doesn’t have to be straight about his record.  But the American people expect candidates to operate by the same set of rules as everyone else – and Romney’s failure to do so is clearly why he is having so much trouble resonating with typical American families.”