Undecided Voters Hear from Candidates

Fox News event in downtown Charleston hosts five of six candidates to help undecided voters make up their minds.

CHARLESTON — Not everyone leaving Saturday's undecided voters candidate forum left definitely decided. 

Rep. Tim Scott and Fox News host Mike Huckabee hosted five of the six GOP presidential hopefuls at the College of Charleston's Sottile Theater. The event featured a non-combative format, where candidates fielded questions from the audience and weren't allowed to engage with each other.

Texas Rep. Ron Paul did not accept the invitation to event.

Scott said between 11 and 16 percent of S.C. Republicans are still undecided and half those who have decided are willing to change their vote. With just a week before the Palmetto State's primary, Scott hoped the forum would give better information to undecided voters — including himself.

Closed to media and only taking attendees on a first-come, first-serve basis, hundreds ended up being turned away before the event began. 

Henry and Lynn Fralix of Charleston were among those not able to get into the event. Henry Fralix described not getting in as "disappointing," but added that he would watch the later airing at 8 p.m. on Fox News.

Right now, he's leaning toward former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, but like many undecided voters wanted to pick the candidate that's going to bring the economy back. 

Tommy Smith of Mount Pleasant was among those able to attend the forum, but he hadn't made up his mind when he exited the Sottile Theater. 

"It certainly will help," Smith said. "I'd still like to hear more."

He likes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania legislator Rick Santorum. 

Another undecided voter Justin Dearing said Perry impressed him more in person than he had in the debates and in videos he's seen of the candidate.

"I just don't think he's ready for President of the United States yet," Dearing said. 

Dearing said he likes several of Perry's proposals, including the flat tax plan and his promise to bring jobs back to the United States, but he also likes positions of many of the other candidates as well. However he's not overly thrilled with any of them.

"That's the problem there is no overarching candidate that makes you want to go out and vote for them," he said.

But some found the forum helpful in making their voting decision.

Steve Parsons of James Island came to the forum leaning toward Santorum and Perry. He left leaning toward just Santorum. Describing himself as a "values voter," Parsons said Santorum was the better speaker and better able to compete with incumbent President Barack Obama in the general election. 

Abby Brooks, who will be voting in her first election this year, and Ronda Gooch have been all over South Carolina following the candidates. The Charlotte women said the Fox News event helped them make up their minds to support former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

"He has the experience and he knows his history and can back up his plans because of his experience," Brooks said.

Gooch echoed support for Gingrich based on his experience.

"Newt is experienced and no nonsense," Gooch said.

No word on whether or not one of the state's most famous undecided voters Congressman Scott made up his mind at the forum. 

Much has been made of Scott's endorsement, which he has said may or may not be coming. 

"I hope what it says about the field is that it is so exciting," Scott told reporters prior to the forum. 

Scott said he would make a decision on who to vote in the next few days, but he hasn't decided if that will be followed by a public announcement. Scott said his decision will be a "matrix" of four factors: character, competency, sharing values and faith. 

Scott's endorsement has been highly sought after. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Scott received a text from fellow Congressman Billy Long, who just endorsed Mitt Romney. 

"I've learned that almost all the candidates (and supporters) can text," Scott said. 

Scott said he's been disappointed with the debates and other forums where the candidates haven't been focused on key, important issues surrounding the economy. He said the focus has been on social values or some past statement, instead of on issues that really matter. 

Little Smitty January 14, 2012 at 08:45 PM
So far most S.C. voters have shown they are nothing more than gullible saps who will believe anything the mainstream media or these flip floppin liars tells them. They've shown themselves to be no better than the gullible saps who believed what this flip floppin liar Obama told his supporters 4 years ago. There is only one candidate you can believe in this election and that candidate is Ron Paul. Obviously most of the morons in S.C. are unable to grasp this fact. And the people wonder why this country is going down the toilet. Keep believing these liars you bunch of morons and see what it gets you, because if you think things are bad now, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Mimi January 14, 2012 at 09:16 PM
Little Smitty I wonder how you justify lecturing someone else for support the candidate they believe in when you support the most radical of them all?? I find it comical that you Republican voters actually think you opinions matter. The people that you have been supporting over the last Decade have caused more damage to this country than any terrorist could of hoped for and somehow you think that is a possitive??? This country wants change and Obama is the ONLY candidate not affair of the Koch snorting brothers or the mushroom tea drinkers or the corporate puppet master leading the entire Republican Party around by their noses. If wisedom is what you seek instead of propaganda power struggle than stand behind our great President and give him the congress he needs to get things done for ALL the american people not just the greed of the 1%.
Little Smitty January 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Ron Paul is radical????? Only a moron who listens to mainstream media would call Ron Paul radical. Funny how all the other candidates are copying Ron Paul's platform in one way or another and yet the media doesn't call them radical or unelectable. But then what do you expect from a media that lies to it's viewers. As for Obama, even this fraud is copying the pages from Ron Paul's platform announcing he plans to consolidate agencies to save money. Of course Obama's plan will only save a piddly 3 billion in 10 years compared to the trillion Ron Paul will save in 1 year with his gov. cuts. If you haven't figured out yet that Obama sold every one out than your obviously as clueless as most of these S.C. voters who plan to vote for the likes of Mitt or Newt as all of these candidates, just like Obama, are controlled by the same people, that being the 1% and CFR group. All have CFR advisers surrounding them. Ron Paul on the other hand doesn't answer to the CFR or the 1%.
Little Smitty January 14, 2012 at 11:03 PM
And I have one more thing to say to all those voters out there who aren't supporting Ron Paul yet. Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who can beat Obama in this election. That's the facts jack. Without Ron Pauls voting block any other candidate can't win just like John McCain found out 4 years ago. Today Ron Pauls voting block is much larger, twice as large in Iowa, three times as large in N.H. Most of these Ron Paul voters WILL NOT vote for any of these other candidates just as they didn't vote for McCain giving Obama the win last time. Ron Paul voters see no difference between Obama and Newt and Mitt, and Rick because there isn't any difference. So if any of you voters want Obama removed from office there is only one candidate capable of doing so. And that candidate is Ron Paul. Think about that the next time your corrupt media tells you Ron Paul doesn't stand a chance. Think about that when you think about voting for someone other than Ron Paul.
ralph june January 14, 2012 at 11:54 PM
The really sad part about SC is that you can be screwed, and know that you are being screwed and will continue to be screwed, but so what as long as we get the African American out of office. you people are sad.
stanley seigler January 15, 2012 at 12:10 AM
@ralph june: The really sad part...get the African American out of office. COMMENT you people, the BO haters (perhaps racist) are sad...thought SC-etal was over racism...guess not... that there is a hated black president and the reaction to BO will illuminate racism and hopefully will eliminate it in God's lifetime...
Tonto January 15, 2012 at 01:57 AM
Oblamer won't get the "white guilt" vote Stanley. All the Hispanics he lied to aren't buying its all bush's and the congress fault either. He is scaring alot of people as his communist dictator rage has begun to show :)
Richard January 15, 2012 at 08:08 AM
"He likes former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania legislator Rick Santorum." (Voter Tommy Smith). Why don't you just come out and say it? "The single voter we talked to liked everyone except Ron Paul."
JosieSC January 15, 2012 at 12:51 PM
Chris Holly jams "Hit The Road Barack" w/ Gov Huckabee and Rep Tim Scott at FOX forum. http://youtu.be/OrR6tvo8b7w
Lindsay Street January 15, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Richard, he didn't mention Huntsman or Gingrich either. There are six candidates, not four. And there are eight voters we talked to in the story. The one person I spoke to who mentioned anything about Paul was disappointed he didn't make an appearance so he could learn more, but since the story was already lengthy and his absence was already mentioned, it was left out of the story.
Roman January 15, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Little Smitty I understand your frustration. I would rather share and show why Ron Paul should be president. Not to address SC as a whole as a "Moron'' nor should any religion play a part in this.As I understand the current President and First Lady have a lean toward the Muslim side.That's what is written is his book and documented. Here is a good place to start. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=920V3RbU3ek about 12 min.Then click the on screen link to see why and how much $$ our troop's suppout Ron Paul,about 13.5 min.
Cold War Vet January 15, 2012 at 09:57 PM
You gotta love the die-hard devotion Stanley and Mimi show towards someone who publicly states, "I'll decide what's Constitutional". A $38.6 billion loan guarantee Obama promised would create or save 65,000 jobs two years after it began was supposed to jump-start the nation’s clean technology industry by giving energy companies access to low-cost, government-backed loans. It directly created 3,545 new, permanent jobs after giving out almost half the allocated amount, according to the Energy Department. $38.6 billion divided by 65,000 is $600,000 per job. Obama is willing to back loans on ventures that no banker in his right mind would support. And why is the federal government willing to do so? Because the $38.6 billion will create 65,000 jobs. Your leader is a fool.
stanley seigler January 15, 2012 at 11:54 PM
@Cold War Vet: "...A $38.6 billion loan guarantee...Your leader is a fool. the $38.6 billion loan guarantee is taken out of context... taxpayers are on the hook for $527 million...1.4% of loan guarantee some project make money other dont...ask mitt... success example: "The Energy Department says that the green-jobs program is still on track to meet its employment goals. It claims credit for saving 33,000 jobs at Ford Motor Co. — about half of the Detroit automaker’s entire hourly and salaried U.S. workforce. The department says the biggest of its loan guarantees, for $5.9 billion, protected the jobs at Ford..." granted there is a lot of fuzzy math in most political spins...but if the companies do well, they won’t need to draw on the guarantees and won't cost the government anything. But if the companies go bankrupt, as Solyndra did, taxpayers will be on the hook. re: Your leader BO is america's leader...and his programs for the most part are spot on...he is one of OUR most intelligent, compassionate presidents.
Tonto January 16, 2012 at 12:17 AM
All Oblamer is doing is paying off union thugs. Soon America will be one giant Solyndra "government created" job :(
Cold War Vet January 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM
@Stanley: LOL x millions at BO is america's leader...and his programs for the most part are spot on...he is one of OUR most intelligent, compassionate presidents. Intelligent and compassionate leaders don't say: "We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad; Abraham-Come -Lately Lincoln was the founder of the Republican Party; I've now been in 57 states — I think one left to go; UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? It's the Post Office that's always having problems; The reforms we seek would bring greater competition, choice, savings and inefficiencies to our health care system; I didn't want to get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances; What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith; It's not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations; The Cambridge police acted stupidly; One such translator was an American of Haitian descent, representative of the extraordinary work that our men and women in uniform do all around the world -- Navy Corpse-Man Christian Brossard; and I think when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
Cold War Vet January 16, 2012 at 12:27 AM
And Stanley, don't forget your intelligent and compassionate leader's last Thanksgiving Day blessing. Obama attributed our blessings to luck and not to God. He said, "From my family to yours, I’d like to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Like millions of Americans, Michelle, Malia, Sasha and I will spend the day eating great food, watching a little football, and reflecting on how truly lucky we truly are." His statement is inappropriate for the President of “One Nation Under God” and of a people who believe “In God We Trust!” If Obama had later acknowledged God as our benefactor or stated thanks to God, one could overlook “luck” and not consider it to be a denial of God.
Cold War Vet January 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM
@Tonto: Exactly! Take the NLRB for example. NLRB’s delay regarding the Boeing lawsuit against the Boeing plant in North Charleston is not hard to understand: Prior to March 2010, the board consisted of only two members, one Dem and one Rep, who were forced to set aside hundred of cases because they were unable come to agreements. Obama put two Dems, Craig Becker and Mark Pearce, on the board via recess appointments, giving Dems a 3-1 majority, which they currently maintain. He stacked the deck to allow the board to adopt a far more union-friendly approach, which might explain why it took thirteen months to file suit, even as it was clear Boeing was spending time and money preparing its North Charleston facility.
Tonto January 16, 2012 at 02:40 AM
Its "Chicago style" new and improved communism. The Peoples Republic LRB. Yes sir, need to spank evil Boeing :(
stanley seigler January 16, 2012 at 04:24 AM
@cwv do you want to discuss diffs in GOP and DEM policies and provide refs to support yo opines...then i will be happy to respond... otherwise it is waste of yo and my time to discuss cherry picked, BO hater, party line, opines/comments (aka bs)... the issues are the GOP no reg free market policies (which caused 1929 depression and 2008 recession) v. DEMs progressive, safety net, policies for the least...not BO's t'day's message...which is a distraction.
stanley seigler January 16, 2012 at 04:59 AM
@cwv: "... the NLRB for example." "This is the outcome we have always preferred, and one that is typical for our agency,” NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon said in a statement announcing the withdrawn charges. “I am pleased that the collective bargaining process has succeeded and that the parties have begun a promising new chapter in their relationship"
Tonto January 16, 2012 at 05:24 AM
Sounds pretty desperate Stanley :)
Tonto January 16, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Oh, and Stanley, I'm glad the dems didn't drive Boeing to set up shop in China :)
Cold War Vet January 16, 2012 at 12:45 PM
@Stanley: Fathom the hypocrisy of a Government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen.


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