GREENVILLE, S.C. — Mitt Romney called on Newt Gingrich to release all correspondence he'd had with mortgage giant Freddie Mac on Saturday morning, the day of South Carolina's primary, while meeting with supporters at his Upstate South Carolina campaign headquarters.
"I'd like to see the report," he told reporters. "I'd like to see what he actually told Freddie Mac. Don't you think? This is a big issue. We've got a Washington insider talking about Freddie Mac. Let's see what his report was to Freddie Mac, what he said to them, what advice he gave them."
Gingrich worked for Freddie Mac in the mid-2000s, but has said he served as a "historian" and never lobbied on Freddie's behalf.
Romney has been criticized for having not yet released his tax returns, which he said will come out in April. In recent days he's sought to turn the tables on Gingrich on the issue — he asked yesterday for him to release the House Ethics Committee report that led to a reprimand from the full House. Gingrich pointed out that the report was already public.
Romney also promised to participate in next Monday's debate in Florida, the first time he's fully committed to debating. "I'll be doing the debate on Monday," he said. "Yeah, I'm in."
Appearing with Romney were South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), who endorsed him yesterday.
McDonnell had long said he wanted a governor to be the nominee, and did not endorse Romney until Rick Perry had dropped out. But he told The Hill that he'd made up his mind weeks ago and had been in discussions with the Romney campaign for weeks about the timing of the announcement.
"I been thinking about this for a while, and we just decided yesterday was the right day to endorse," he said. "I'd been talking for a while with the governor. A southern governor in a southern state — we just thought it fit."
Romney has trailed Gingrich in recent polls of South Carolina and has sought in recent days to downplay its importance, focusing on the long term. He made little mention of South Carolina during his speech to supporters and while he made a few phone calls to local voters asking them for his vote, there was little urgency in his approach.
When Romney convinced one voter to support him, the dozen or so supporters gathered around Romney cheered.