Republican Presidential Candidates Try To Woo York County Voters
ROCK HILL, S.C. —
Former Senator Fred Thompson spoke before a standing-room only crowd at the Golden Corral restaurant in Rock Hill on Tuesday afternoon and criticized his Republican rivals for not being conservative enough.
"So we've got to be more like the Democrats to beat the Democrats? I don't think so,” he said.
Thompson seems to have pinned his hopes on winning South Carolina. Winthrop University political scientist Scott Huffmon said a good showing in the state is critical for his campaign.
"Thompson is hanging a lot of his hopes on South Carolina, and it's more important that he be down here,” he said, explaining why he skipped campaigning in Michigan where the primary was Tuesday.
Eyewitness News asked Thompson what happens if he loses Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
"I'm not going to talk about ‘ifs,’” he said. “This is a successful operation in my opinion, and it's going to be."
Just two hours later, rival Mike Huckabee appeared in Rock Hill, also before a large, enthusiastic crowd. The former Arkansas governor stressed his position as an outsider.
"A lot of people have been in Washington a long time. Do we really think those that haven't ever gotten it done, will get it done if we give them another chance?" he asked.
According to some polls, both Huckabee and Thompson now trail John McCain in South Carolina. Huffmon said Saturday's primary is do-or-die for some.
"South Carolina is the make-or-break state for a lot of candidates,” he said.
Both Thompson and Huckabee will continue campaigning in South Carolina, and McCain will be in the state Wednesday night.
The three Democratic candidates are debating in Nevada before turning their attention to South Carolina.