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Candidates look to Florida after Gingrich win

Newt Gingrich has jolted the Republican presidential race with a resounding victory in the South Carolina primary. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE NEWT GINGRICH, SAYING: "We want to run not a Republican campaign, we want to run an American campaign (applause) because we are optimistic about the future because America has always been optimistic about the future." His supporters felt he was the one to go up against US President Barack Obama. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIRIAH DERBY, GINGRICH SUPPORTER, RECEPTIONIST, 30, SAYING: "I think he has a clear cut contrast to Obama and I think that is what we really need and he has some great ideas on how he is going to get America back on track." (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BUKI, 22, UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA STUDENT, ORIGINALLY FROM WASHINGTON, D.C., SAYING: "You really see conservatives align around Newt Gingrich as the alternative to Romney because before there had been a lot switching between different candidates." Republican candidates have their eyes on Florida and beyond. Former businessman, Mitt Romney was confident he had what it took. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE MITT ROMNEY SAYING: "If President Obama thinks he can compare his record of job losses with my record of job creation, that's a battle we're gonna win. And if he thinks he can compare his record of crony capitalism with my record of free market success, that's a battle we're can win. Rick Santorum noted the three different candidates. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE RICK SANTORUM SAYING: "Well, three states, three winners, what a great country." Gingrich, Romney and Santorum have each won one of the first three contests in the state by state battle. Despite coming fourth, Ron Paul has vowed to continue his campaign. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE RON PAUL SAYING: "You know, a lot has been done here in the last week or so also there's been now three elections and a total of 37 delegates have been chosen so far - less than two percent - like one and a half percent. This is the beginning of a long, hard slog." Eyes now turn to Florida as its January 31st vote is the next up in the state by state nominating contest. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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