The elections for the Republican Party nominee has changed greatly over the past couple of days in the run up to the South Carolina Primary.
Two further candidates have now pulled out - Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Texas Governor Rick Perry. Huntsman threw his weight behind Romney and Perry backed Gingrich.
Two debates have been held, the best of the first of these is in the following video
In the second, with just four participants Congressman Paul was again largely ignored by the debate moderator - a repeat of his experience in the previous Fox News GOP debate in Myrtle Beach.
The problem facing Ron Paul is that the mainstream media (MSM) cares more about providing opportunities for inter-candidate mud-slinging than in providing an atmosphere conducive to a substantive exchange of ideas. Paul has consistently come out ahead in forums that have favored intellectual debate on real issues, such as in his excellent debate performances in Iowa and New Hampshire.
In the closing minutes of the CNN debate, after continued refusal to extend an opportunity for Paul to speak (this time of the subject of abortion), the South Carolina crowd became angry and vocally protested with boos and jeers. Under pressure, John King reluctantly ceded time to Paul. For the second time during the debate, Paul pointed out to King that, as the only medical doctor on the stage, it should be natural to think to include him in the debate questions on health care. Paul said:
"John, once again, it’s a medical subject. I’m a doctor,” drawing cheers from the crowd. “I do want to make a couple comments because I can remember the very early years studying obstetrics and I was told — it was before the age of abortion - I was told that in taking care of a woman who is pregnant, you have two patients. I think that solves a lot of the problem about when life begins.”
Dr. Paul continued:
“I also experienced a time later on in my training in the 1960s when the culture was changing. The Vietnam war was going on. The drugs were there. Pornography came in and abortion became prevalent even though it was illegal. The morality of the country changed. The law followed up. When morality changed, it reflects on the laws. The law is very important. We should have these laws. Law will not correct the basic problem. That’s the morality of the people.”
With such honest and masterful answers, it is no wonder that the audience demanded more time for Congressman Paul to speak.
Following the debate, Congressman Paul sent an email to his supporters touting his performance. He wrote:
"My debate performance tonight is already turning heads. What the crowd saw tonight was my opponents savaging each other over and over in a desperate attempt to defend their Big Government records. Me? I wasn’t touched once. Because quite frankly, I can’t be. I’ve spent 30 years fighting against establishment politicians – like my opponents – to finally put an END to politics as usual."
The brazen efforts by the MSM to silence Paul cannot be denied. And yet political pundits still pontificate in their spin rooms as to why Paul supporters behave like angry hornets. Tonight, the audience in South Carolina sent a message to the media elite. Ignore Ron Paul, and you're going to get stung.
And the final count from the Iowa caucus saw first place shift from Romney to Santorum.
With less than 24 hours to go to the South Carolina primary