COLUMBIA, S.C. - Fresh off his win in Michigan's GOP primary, Mitt Romney headed to the Palmetto State urging voters to cast their ballots for him Saturday in the GOP primary.
Before a crowd of about 500, Romney held a rally at the University of South Carolina Wednesday night.
Washington is Broken
Standing in front of a banner that read "Washington is Broken," Romney focused on his new, retooled message of cleaning up the corruption in the nation's capital.
"We are going to cut out pork barrel spending in Washington," he said. "We need Washington to get off the dime…and together we will fix Washington."
It's a message that resonated with the crowd as they cheered and shouted "Let's go Mitt!"
He also spoke about bringing jobs back to the U.S. and making sure high school and college students are ready to compete in a fierce market.
"Our public schools are not performing as well as other nations," he said. "That's got to change. Better pay for better teachers."
In God we Trust
Romney is in the heart of the Bible Belt, a fact that he seemed to understand during his speech.
When he asked the crowd about the source of America's strength, someone shouted it's "In God we trust!"
"That's right," Romney said, "We are a God-fearing people. Even those in this country that don't believe in God, believe in something bigger than themselves."
Romney has been plagued by critics who question his consistency on issues such as abortion and gay rights, as well as his religious beliefs.
CBN News spoke with some members in the audience, and they said his Mormonism mattered very little.
"I like his assertiveness," said sophomore Kara Roache. "I belong to a non-denominational church and have attended Mormon churches. I see all sides of it. I like him."
Sophomore Jessica Higgins is Southern Baptist, and she agreed.
"I like his policies and the way he plans to handle Washington," Higgins said. She added that his Mormonism doesn't "bother me at all."
Nate and Brittney Galub agree. The Lexington, S.C. couple is undecided, and they were encouraged by Nate's mother, who is Mormon, to come to the event.
"We're toying between Fred Thompson and Romney," Nate said. "My mother converted to Mormonism, but that did not influence her decision to back Romney."
In the end, the Romney's campaign hopes that people will believe in him all the way to the polls.
"We're expecting a tremendous outpouring of support here in South Carolina," the former Massachusetts governor's son Craig Romney said. "Let's go Mitt."
Be sure to check back with CBNNews.com throughout the week and weekend. David Brody and I will be in South Carolina covering the GOP primary.