tv CBS Evening News CBS January 21, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EST
>> pelley: tonight, showdown in the south. a surging newt gingrich and a sinking mitt romney in what could be a turning point in the battle for the g.o.p. presidential nomination. >> i'm moderately optimistic, though, we'll win. >> pelley: snow finally comes to the northeast while wet weather continues to drench much of the pacific northwest. alan pizzey reports another victim has been recovered from the con. the"costa concordia." and elaine quijano with a piece of south carolina history on view for the first time, nearly 150 years after going down during the civil war. captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news." >> pelley: good evening. the polls will be closing in just half an hour in the first
republican presidential primary in the south. and what happens in south carolina tonight could shake up the race for the g.o.p. nomination. here's why. a poll that came out just before the voting began today showed newt gingrich had opened a 14-point lead in south carolina over the national front-runner, mitt romney. gingrich with 40% to romney's 26%. when we asked south carolina voters today when they made up their mind in this fast-changing race, more than half, 53%, said they decided just today or in the last few days. we have a team of campaign 2012 correspondents covering the south carolina primary. first, dean reynolds in columbia with the gingrich campaign. dean. >> reporter: scott, i talked to the former speaker today, and i can tell you, he is brimming with confidence and looking ahead to future contests. gingrich campaigned right up to the last minute, believing he's
followed a winning strategy against mitt romney. >> once you began dribbing romney's record, which is, you know, for a republican, pretty liberal. it's not even a moderate by republican standards-- i think that began to slow down all of his momentum. >> reporter: the debates this week are credited with turning this race upside down and resurrecting gingrich's chances. his campaign needs an infusion of money. romney supporters are spending more than $3 in florida on ads. gingrich has yet to start. but he told us he has no worries about competing in florida's january 31 primary. >> i feel very comfortable we're going to win florida. >> reporter: do you have to win florida? >> makes it easier. if we win here, win florida, it just gets it over with faster. >> reporter: now, speaker gingrich has never lacked for confidence, scott, and i can tell you he feels like he's on a roll, and expecting good news tonight. >> pelley: dean, thanks very much. and this program note-- newt gingrich will be bob schieffer's guest this sunday on "face the
nation." mitt romney once had a sizable lead in south carolina, but he lost that over the last few days. jan crawford is with the former massachusetts governor in columbia tonight. jan. >> reporter: well, scott, the question for romney is what happened? and in talking with voters here this week, it appears they finally found someone else, that conservative alternative to mitt romney that they've been looking for. making a final push for support, romney today seemed to acknowledge the race had changed. >> we'd like to win here, of course, but we've got a long way to go. >> reporter: romney this week tried several different lines of attack against gingrich and today gave a preview of what's ahead-- questions about gingrich's honesty and integrity and charges that his work at mortgage giant freddie mac make him the ultimate washington crony. >> he also said that he was, you know, one of the authors of the reagan revolution economically, and create the these jobs. now that we've looked at the reagan diaries and seen he's mentioned only once and in a way
where reagan said he was wrong, i'd like to see what he actually told freddie mac. >> reporter: now, romney really struggled this week to find his footing. questions about his taxes were a distraction, but, scott, the bigger problem has been looming there from the beginning-- conservative voters just think he's too moderate. they're looking for someone who is going to strongly defend conservative principles and not be afraid to take on the news media, the establishment, and president obama. >> pelley: jan, thanks very much. the next primary is in florida on january 31, but the polls opened in most of that state today for early voting which will continue for the next week. rick santorum doesn't expect to come in first tonight, but the winner of the iowa caucuses is hoping to emerge from south carolina with the credibility to go on. nancy cordes caught up with the former pennsylvania senator tonight. nancy. >> reporter: scott, tan corm told me today he's hoping for a third-place finish here, but he is well aware that newt
gingrich's late surge here in south carolina has come in part at his expense. still, he says that victory in iowa validates his decision to stay in this race through florida and beyond. >> if south carolina turns out the way some of the recent polls have suggested, which is newt gingrich ahead, we have all three candidates now winning a race and that's a great place to go into florida and we're already planning-- we've got trips planned to nevada, colorado, minnesota, the next three states right after that. >> reporter: but you've already said florida is even tougher territory for you than south carolina. so what's your path to victory here? >> well, so far, i think, a total of 50 delegates have been awarded of the 2,000. 2,000. the field has narrowed down to three candidates that could be president, and let that process work a little bit and let the people of america decide, and not just one or two states picking who the final candidate
is. >> reporter: santorum shrugged off the notion that he's going to face mounting pressure to get out of this race and allow conservatives to coalesce around gingrich. he said the only pressure he's facing is from the other candidates, scott, and not from his supporters. >> pelley: nancy, thank you very much. ron paul did some last-minute campaigning in south carolina today, but he didn't spend much time in the state and he'll largely skip florida as well. paul is focusing on other states where he hopes his libertarian message will be more popular. we have had dozens of reporters talking to voters as they left the polls today. we won't talk about their votes until after the polls closed at the top of this hour but we can tell you what's on their minds. anthony mason joins us now with insight into all of this. >> reporter: scott, we asked voters today as what they saw as the most important quality in a candidate and 45 said it was the ability to defeat president obama.
that's generally played to home's favor, as you mentioned, scott, more than half of south carolina voters made their mind up in the past few days, and nearly two-third, 64%, sailed the recent debates were an important factor in their vote. newt gingrich was widely seen as doing very well in those debates, scott. so he has to be very happy about this number. >> pelley: anthony, thank you very much. john dickerson is our cbs news political director. he's been traveling all over south carolina in these last many days, talking to the folks there. and, jon, let me ask you, what are you seeing tonight? >> reporter: well, scott, i talked to a republican strategist today, and they say voters in south carolina like to back whoever they think is the winner, and in recent days, people have been talking about newt gingrich in that way. he appeals-- even the romney campaign is conceding now it looks like it's going to be gingrich's night. he appeals to the passion. voters nod their heads, they slap their knees when he talks. if the republican race has been a contest between mitt romney and the reasonable candidate and the others who appeal to the
heart, that's what gingrich does, and it looks like the heart is having a good night tonight in south carolina. >> pelley: yes, john, but gingrich has been running on a shoe string. assuming he does well tonight, how does he go on? >> reporter: he'll have 10 days to capture this momentum in florida. it's a big challenge. it's a television state, not a retail state. mitt romney already has negative ads. he's got negative messages coming into the mailboxes of voters there and romney has a better organization. as rick santorum showed after iowa, it can be very difficult to take momentum and translate it into votes and there's also another key challenge for gingrich and that is his lack of disappear. it's one thing to get momentum. it's another thing to sustain it and that will be a big test for him. >> pelley: cbs news will be following developments in south carolina in the hours ahead and we'll have updates for you throughout the evening. divers off the coast of italy today recovered the body of a woman from the wreck of the cruise ship "costa concordia." we don't know who she is yet,
but alan pizzey is following the search. >> reporter: the victim was wearing a lifejacket when her bodie was found by police divers in a narrow passageway. the divers were able to reach the dangerously cluttered area of the ship after holes were blown in the hull to allow access. the search has been concentrated on fifth level, which is now totally submerged, where passengers would have congregated to be assigned life boats. divers also found a hard drive from closed circuit tv cameras on the ship's bridge which may help clarify why the cruise liner hit the reef and more importantly what the captain said and did before he ran the crippled "costa concordia" aground. in a newly released audio recording from the night of ship sank, the captain on his cell phone told the coast guard he would stay with his ship. "when everyone abandonedship, "the coast guard ask. the rely, "i will stay here." he did not, and later refused to go back to help stranded
passengers. now oil is leaking from the ship he abandoned. so far, the leaks appear to be from light fuel and lubricants for machinery on board rather than heavier fuel oil that would cast an environmental disaster in these pristine waters. as desperate as they are to get the 500,000 gallons of fuel off the ship before it leaks, the authorities maintain the priority must be finding the bodies of the missing. most of the massive amount of equipment needed to remove the oil is in place, and once the operation begins, it will take several weeks if the weather is good and the ship doesn't shift position. allen pizzey, cbs news, giglio, italy. >> pelley: the winter weather here at home finally arrived in the northeast, and there is more misery in the pacific northwest as two storms move across the country. more than four inches of snow fell on new york city, giving plows their first work of the season. in the midwest, nine itches of snow fell on chicago, snarling
traffic and grounding some 700 flights. nearly a quarter million people in the northwest face another cold, dark night after a snow and ice storm this week knocked out power. now rain is drenching the region, triggering the worst flooding oregon has seen nay decade, and high winds buried these coastal homes with sand. syrians speak out on political violence and repression. a hospital is reborn in earthquake-stricken haiti. and our first good look at a submarine raised from a civil war grave when the cbs evening news continues.
attack killed at least 14 people in northwestern syria today and a battle between troops and defectors near the turkish border killed another 10. the u.s. said last night the ongoing violence may force it to close its embassy in damascus. elizabeth palmer is in the syrian capital. >> reporter: on most days, damascus is still a calm eye at the center of syria's political storm, but just six miles from downtown, there's a no-man's land sealed off by the syrian army. we were held at a military checkpoint on the outskirt of duma, this suburb of damascus, for over an hour, and while we waited we could hear the sounds of gunfire. finally, the soldiers have waved us forward. we're inside the town now. it's eerily deserted, except for military atta almost every corner. just anahour earliaer, video posted on the internet showed the streets of dumaa filled with antigovernment protesters.
by the time we were allowed in, the residents told us they'd run away when the shooting started. over the years, anyone who challenged the ruling family was either exiled or jailed, like dr. chair, an opposition leader now out of prison and deeply worried. >> it must be a warning to allah those, and they must act very quickly and very effectively to avoid the progress of civil war. >> reporter: but calls for political dialogue are lost in the growing chorus of religious hatred and the volleys of gunfire. it's a tragedy for syria and the embryonic opposition. >> if the battle is lost, most of us will be either jailed or executed. we know that.
so we must not-- we must not lose our fight. >> reporter: outside the capital, spiraling mistrust and murder suggests it may already be too late. elizabeth palmer, cbs news, damascus. >> pelley: there have been mass killings in nigeria. a series of attacks in the second largest city has killed more than 140 people. the radical islamic group boko haram says it was its work. eight government buildings in the city were attacked yesterday by gunmen and suicide bombers, many of the dead were police officers. two years after the massive earthquake, a new generation of doctors helps haiti heal when we return.
>> pelley: of health of former penn state football coach joe paterno has taken a turn for the worse. paterno's doctors have said tonight his situation is serious. paterno, who is 85, has been battling lung cancer, diagnosed days after he was fired last november in the wake of that child sex scandal a at the scho. the people of haiti this month are marking the second anniversary of the massive 7.0-magnitude earthquake that killed 316,000 people and made one million people homeless. tonight, our medical correspondent dr. jon lapook has paid a return visit to one
devastated town. >> reporter: three months after the earthquake in haiti, we visited a makeshift clinic near the northern city of port depei. this hospital was so poorly equipped, the only oxygen machine was taken from a premature baby to help save a woman in labor and her unborn child. the mother and her newborn survived. the premature baby died. now, nearly two years later, these haitians are laying the foundation of one of the largest, most sophisticated projects in haiti-- a state-of-the-art teaching hospital. and there's oxygen outlets in the wall. it's the mission of dr. paul farmer to prevent any further deaths from such unacceptable causes as lack of proper equipment. is there any other facility in all of haiti that is like this? >> i doubt it. there's a couple nice hospitals in port-au-prince, but they're very difficult to access for poor people. >> reporter: farmer is cofounder of partners in health, a nonprofit that's collaborated with the haitian government to
build a hospital that's free of charge to patients. paul, how does it make you feel to walk through this big, beautiful hospital? >> about time is how i feel. >> reporter: farmer is fed up with the double standard in health care. >> this is a serious problem in health care delivery. it's setting standards based on whether or not someone is poor or a country is poor. people living in poverty and with sickness deserve something better than what they've been offered, which is the sharp end of a stick. >> reporter: dr. farmer knows the challenges of getting resources directly to the haitian people. a lot of people in the united states say haiti, it's a lost cause. we've poured billions into that country. and it's just money that's going down the hole. it's wasted. what do you say to them? >> what i would say to someone who says hate sea lost cause, it's all wasted, that's not our experience. we've built or rebuilt a dozen hospitals and have thousands of employees working in the public sector all in haiti, and, you
know, so that's-- that's a successful experience. there's room to teach here. >> reporter: this facility will also help teach a new generation of haitian doctors and nurses to heal the wounds of a broken country. dr. jon lapook, cbs news. >> pelley: and there is other progress in haiti. the number of people living in camps went down 65% from 1.5 million to half a million. the number of camps has fallen by half. so there is progress, but far to go. a civil war submarine has been raised from the waters off south carolina. elaine quijano has that story next.
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now more than ever, it's important to get financial advice from people who share your military values. for our free usaa retirement guide, call 877-242-usaa. >> pelley: finally tonight, even as south carolina republicans were make history at their primary today, a newly displayed piece of the state's civil war history is attracting attention from all over the country. elaine quijano takes us on a voyage through time. >> reporter: no one knows more about the history of the hl "hunley" than south carolina state senator mcconell. >> when the "hunley" went out in 1864 and sank the uss "housatonic," it forever changed the rules by which warfare would occur on the water.
>> reporter: the "hunley" completed its mission but then sanked four miles off the coast of south carolina. mcconell has worked to salvage the vessel's legacy since 1995. this is not just about south carolina's history. >> it's about america. and it's world history because it is the world's first successful combat submarine. >> reporter: the submarine was carefully raised from the ocean floor in 2000. last week, the steel truss that lifted the vessel was removed allowing the public it see the "hunley" unobstructed for the first time. when you look at that what do you see? >> i see a sleek, hydrodynamically designed vessel, 50-something years ahead of its time. >> reporter: a new orleans lawyer, horace hunley, designed it. it was powered by hand crank and depth controlled by filling tanks with sea water. this artist'sa rendering reveals
how the "hunley" sang the uss "housatonic" by ramming it with a torpedo. the reason the "hunley" sank remains a history. eight sailors were aboard. the men were found still at their stations 156 year after their mission. senator mcconell is one of a select few who sat inside. >> it's like having your head up in darth vader's mask. you can hear your breathing and the echoing of everything around your head. >> reporter: when conservation work is complete, the "hunley" will be placed in its own museum, a permanent resting place for what was in its day the only weapon of its kind. elaine quijano, cbs news, north charleston, south carolina. >> pelley: amazing. that's the cbs evening news for tonight. i'll be back with updates on the south carolina primary. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, i'm scott pelley, see you again soon. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org ,,,,,,