Nightly News | January 11, 2012
>>> you from new hampshire where we witnessed mitt romney becoming the first nonincumbent republican candidate to win the new hampshire primary after winning the iowa caucuses . he took the momentum in south carolina , where he is running into a bauz saw of attacks from some of his rivals. last night was about a big second-place finish by ron paul who says he is nipping at romney 's heels. ron mott is with us from spartanburg. good evening.
>> reporter: good evening to you. south carolina is not for the political faint of heart. the punches here can be hard and painful. all indications suggest we'll see a lot of blows delivered over the next ten days. round three, south carolina . where front-runner mitt romney landed today into an atmosphere saturated by bare-knuckle politics.
>> when mitt romney came to town --
>> reporter: his opponents are hitting him online in a 27-minute documentary and on the air with tv ads, including this attack from newt gingrich on abortion.
>> what happened after mitt romney changed his position from pro abortion to pro-life? he governed pro abortion.
>> reporter: while the group linked him to that 80 million excess, gordon gekko from " wall street ."
>> greed, for lack of a better word, is good.
>> reporter: fellow republicans were throwing punches about romney 's days running bain capital .
>> i think companies like bain capital could have helped these companies if they truly were venture capitalists , but they're not. they're vulture capitalists.
>> reporter: romney responded to the criticism this morning on the "today" show.
>> i think it's been vie, class warfare and something we expected to come from president obama , but we didn't expect that newt gingrich and rick perry would become the witnesses for his prosecution, if you will. i don't think it's helped them.
>> reporter: it hasn't helped perry and gingrich in the polls much. both were distance finishers in iowa and new hampshire . nor did it help win favor with conservative heavyweights like rush limbaugh .
>> i don't care what you think the attacks they mounted on romney are not defensible.
>> reporter: the former speaker disagreed, almost cringing at the notion.
>> i think the american people deserve to know things. i am prepared to have people be irritated on the right and on the left.
>> reporter: texas congressman ron paul , second to romney in new hampshire stayed out of the cross fire .
>> we thought we sent out a positive message out of iowa. i think we sent out a pretty positive message last night out of new hampshire . and i think south carolina is next on the list.
>> reporter: jon huntsman and rick santorum are stumping tonight in the palmetto state. both were critical on the attack on bain capital . nbc news and bain capital are partners and the weather channel .
>> ron paul supporters were fired up today.