Nightly News | January 13, 2012
>>> on the campaign trail, mitt romney pushed back on attacks on his time running private equity firm bain capital , while newt gingrich struggled with accusations that his supporters have been less than truthful in their advertising. nbc's peter alexander on the trail in columbia, south carolina tonight. good evening.
>> reporter: brian, good evening to you. these candidates try to dash around the state, mitt romney nearly missed his event here in hilton head tonight because he was stuck in paralyzing traffic so bad that he ultimately needed a police escort. he actually called in by cell phone to the room filled with veterans. the crowd gave him a grown, but ultimately cheers when he arrived. campaigning across south carolina today, front-runner mitt romney tried to present himself as a sympathetic conservative.
>> i want to get jobs for americans. by the way, i'm concerned about our poor in this country.
>> reporter: at the same time, romney lost a new ad responding to his opponents' accusations he callously killed jobs while running bain capital .
>> this is a business mitt romney helped start. and this one. and this steel mill .
>> reporter: newt gingrich continued to challenge romney for mischaracterizing his record at bain.
>> he claims he created 100,000 jobs. "the washington post " two days ago reported in their fact check column he gets three pinnochios. that's what you get from "the post" if you're not telling the truth.
>> reporter: that same analysis found gingrich's supporters untrue.
>> i'm calling on them to edit out every single mistake or to pull the entire film.
>> reporter: meanwhile, the scathing new memo president obama 's re-election team seized on the line of attack writing, " romney and his partners made hundreds of millions of dollars while taking companies to bankruptcies."
>> santorum pushed for billions in wasteful pork voting for the bridge to nowhere , a bridge pot museum and indoor rainforest.
>> reporter: rick perry took his struggling campaign to target practice, but he was off the mark again during an interview, confusing which three federal agencies he vowed to shut down. for his part, jon huntsman who finished third in new hampshire's primary is trailing, according to some polls here in south carolina , behind comedian steven colbert who says even he is considering a presidential run.
>> so it goes. peter alexander in hilton head tonight, thanks.