GOP race shifts south as rivals hope to block Romney's momentum - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

GOP race shifts south as rivals hope to block Romney's momentum

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Republican presidential candidates are converging on South Carolina, a day after Mitt Romney scored a big victory in the New Hampshire primary.

And Romney is taking some heat from his rivals.

Without mentioning him by name, Newt Gingrich is attacking Romney as a former venture capitalist whose deals cost people their jobs.

Rick Perry is refusing to back away from labeling Romney a "vulture capitalist," saying it's legitimate to criticize what he calls "get-rich-quick schemes."

Romney is dismissing their attacks as acts of desperation. And his campaign announced that it has raised $56 million for the primary through Dec. 31 and is sitting on more than $19 million in cash, dwarfing his opponents' fundraising.

Romney posted a double-digit win in New Hampshire after a squeaker the week before in Iowa -- making him the first non-incumbent Republican in a generation to pull off the back-to-back feat. He's hoping for a four-state win streak with victories in South Carolina on Jan. 21 and Florida 10 days later.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul, who finished second in New Hampshire, is striking an anti-war tone in South Carolina, a state with a strong military presence. He says the U.S. should bring its soldiers home from war and stop meddling in other countries' affairs.

Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum also have appearances scheduled in the state.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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