BY DEAN STEPHENS
CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) - Four years ago, Senator John McCain came to South Carolina trailing in the polls. But by the time he left, he won the primary and the Republican nomination. And now he is back.
When Senator McCain threw his support behind Mitt Romney he threw himself back into the primary spotlight.
"It's a different position. I'm proud to support Mitt Romney. He has a great opportunity to win this race," said McCain.
In 2008, the race was between Romney and McCain. The two engaged in a nasty campaign.
"Primaries are tough. You know someone said politics, like football, isn't a contact sport. It's a collision sport. But I'm confident when it's over we'll rally behind our nominee. Mitt Romney and I, four years ago, had a very tough combative campaign but we share the same values, principles and goals for America."
A group supporting Gingrich just released a new attack ad targeting Romney and even though he's not running, Senator McCain was targeted as well.
"It is what it is. I admire speaker Gingrich in many ways, but I've never seen Mitt and Nancy Pelosi sitting down together talking about how much he appreciates her and have to work on climate change to raise peoples taxes," McCain said with a chuckle.
South Carolina's primary is no laughing matter. Since 1980, the winner of the First in the South primary has earned the GOP nomination and Senator McCain has pledged to let bygones be bygones.
McCain also stressed the importance of Romney winning the support of the military vote across South Carolina.