Ron Paul Finishes Last in S.C., Tells Crowd He's in for the 'Long, Hard Slog'

                                                      (Image Credit: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)

To understand Ron Paul's primary performance in South Carolina, you have only to look at his listless campaign schedule the past week.

While most of Paul's GOP rivals hit the ground running after New Hampshire, Paul went back to his home in Lake Jackson, Texas.

He held a handful of campaign events in the past week: two events Sunday and Tuesday to pick up the endorsement of state legislators, three town hall-style meetings and a whistle-stop tour of the state Friday.

The Texas congressman also left the trail Wednesday and returned to Washington to cast a largely symbolic vote against raising the debt ceiling.

Even campaign officials conceded that up until this past week, South Carolina wasn't a major focus compared to months spent campaigning in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

Even on the stump, Paul, 76, often found himself defending his non-interventionist foreign policy when it comes to U.S. involvement in foreign countries.

His views also hurt him repeatedly in Monday's debate when the conservative Republican audience in South Carolina booed Paul's answers on foreign policy.

Flush with cash from a $13 million fundraising haul last quarter, the Paul campaign is now focusing its efforts on Maine, Minnesota, Colorado and Nevada; states where TV advertising is cheaper and it's easier for independents to vote.

"This is the beginning of a long, hard slog," Paul said to the more than 150 who showed up to hear him speak in Columbia as he wrapped up his efforts in South Carolina.

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