Newt Gingrich, the winner of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, thanked supporters “who decided to be with us in changing Washington.”
The former speaker’s victory came after a late surge toward his candidacy after two strong debate performances and Texas Governor Rick Perry’s decision to quit the race and endorse Gingrich.
“The biggest thing I take from the campaign in South Carolina is it is very humbling and very sobering to have so many people who so deeply want their country to get back on track,” he said.
As the race moves to Florida and its Jan. 31 contest, Gingrich’s victory means that three of the four remaining candidates have each won a primary.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum won the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won the Jan. 10 New Hampshire primary.
After complimenting his competitors, Gingrich turned his attention to their shared target: President Barack Obama.
“If Barack Obama can get re-elected after this disaster, just think how radical he would be in a second term,” said Gingrich.