South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley predicts Mitt Romney will take first in SC primary

GILBERT, S.C. —  South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) raised expectations for Mitt Romney Friday morning when she predicted he would win the state's primary.

On a rain-soaked stage outside a barn, Haley praised Romney’s record and pointed out that of the four GOP presidential candidates, Democrats were only attacking him, arguing that means they’re “scared of him.”

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"I want us to end this in South Carolina," she said. "Give it up for who I know is going to win South Carolina, the next president of the United States, Mitt Romney."

Haley is the second high-profile Romney surrogate in as many days to set a high bar for the candidate. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty told The Hill Friday night that Romney is “likely to win Florida.”

Romney seemed relaxed during the speech, talking quickly and encouraging the audience to use their campaign signs to shield them from the rain. "Use those signs for what they're made for, keep your head dry," he said.

He then thanked the veterans in the audience, a standard line from his stump speech that has drawn loud cheers in the military-heavy state. When he said that he wanted to make sure the military "is so strong that nobody would ever think of challenging it," shouts of "Hooah," the Army's battle cry, were heard from multiple members in the audience.

He also called for cutting federal spending, hewing closely to his standard speech and making no mention of his primary opponents. Despite his rough week, Romney seemed confident and relaxed onstage.

When one man yelled, "I love you, Mitt," he joked "That's what Ann says, you shouldn't."