Sen. John McCain described tonight’s victory in the New Hampshire primary a “significant victory” for Mitt Romney but said that the big surprise was that Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum failed to do better.
“I think what happened tonight, particularly with Ron Paul being the strong second, that is the significance of this vote tonight,” McCain said on Fox News.
“I always expected . . . Mitt to come in around 36 or 37 percent, something like that but the weak showing by Santorum and Gingrich is certainly surprising to me. “
McCain, who won the 2008 Republican nomination, recently endorsed Romney. He attributed Paul’s strong showing to what he described as a “rising sentiment” of isolationism, reminiscent of the 1930s.
“There’s always been tension within the Republican Party between the kind of Bob Taft wing and the Eisenhower wing of the party. And because of Iraq and because of Afghanistan there is a rising sentiment in that direction,” said McCain. “But I think it’s still a significant minority of the Republican Party, and I think that Mitt Romney really reflects the views of most of the Republicans.”
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