Republican presidential hopefuls are in South Carolina this weekend, first for a Friday night party dinner and Saturday for a Republican state convention.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is considering a run, and polls show he’d be no sure winner in the state’s 2016 primary, the first in the South.
Friday, he reiterated he’s 91 percent certain he’s running, according to Andrew Shain of The State. “To Iowa and New Hampshire: Hello,” Graham said, a reference to the first two nominating contests. “To South Carolina: You have my heart.”
According to Shain’s account, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, began his talk by criticizing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, referring to her private email accounts and the Clinton Foundation’s acceptance of money from foreign interests.
“I’m pretty sure Saudi Arabia is not paying for the speakers tonight,,” Cruz said.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the audience of about 1,000 “We’re just a few leadership changes away” from a better country.
And former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum “showed off his Palmetto State connections when his son, John, took part in The Citadel honor guard that brought the American and South Carolina flags into the dinner hall. Santorum has two sons attending the Charleston military college,” Shain wrote. “Santorum spoke about the breakdown of the family and called for S.C. Republicans to get involved in the 2016 race.”
Santorum is scheduled to appear at Saturday’s convention, along with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.