Under fire, Romney rivals Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry backed off Thursday from directly attacking Romney’s tenure at the helm of the venture capital firm Bain Capital. They had been painting Romney as a job-killer.
Gingrich and Perry have been leading the charge against Romney ahead of the crucial Jan. 21 South Carolina primary. Romney won the first two nominating contests, in Iowa and New Hampshire, and South Carolina may be his opponents last chance to stop his momentum and prevent him from becoming the Republican presidential nominee.
Some conservatives are wary of Romney because of his shifting positions on abortion and other issues and his sponsorship, when he was Massachusetts governor, of a health care plan similar to one pursued by Obama that is widely disliked by Republicans.