AIKEN, S.C. — Members of the tea party insisted they were turning the GOP into a populist, anti-establishment bastion. Social conservatives have long argued that values and morals matter more than money. Yet in the end, the corporate and economically conservative wing of the Republican Party always seems to win.
Thus was Mitt Romney so confident of victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary that he left the state briefly on Tuesday for a fundraiser in New York City. And why not? The power of big money has been amplified in this campaign by the super PACs let loose by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and lax regulation.