To Gingrich supporters, a ‘win for the conservative movement’

When the polls closed in South Carolina and Newt Gingrich was projected to be the winner of the South’s first primary, his party in a hotel ballroom was filled more with reporters than supporters. But dozens roared as the former House speaker, whose candidacy has repeatedly been declared dead, appeared to take a decisive victory over front-runner Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican nomination.

“South Carolina saved America,” said Barbara Marks, 78, wearing a sequined starts-and-stripes hat. The Nevada woman traveled to South Carolina to support Gingrich. “We have a good candidate in Newt. He’s honest, he’s smart, he loves America and we need him,” she said.

Jason Watson, 42, of Myrtle Beach, spent the past two weeks volunteering for Gingrich along the coast, handing out yard signs and helping with security at events.

“In my eyes, it’s a win for the conservative movement,” said Watson, an offshore fisherman. “He’s the candidate for conservatives in the Republican party.”


Watson said he has admired Gingrich since the 1990s for the work he did with President Clinton on creating jobs and lowering taxes.

“He and Clinton together made the economy run,” he said. “He’s the professor I always wished I could have had.”