GREENVILLE, S.C. -- America's voters were supposed to be introduced Thursday for the first time to the Republican Party's 2012 presidential candidates -- but they only met five hopefuls who are far down in state and national polls.
And they didn't hear many surprises. The potential candidates generally agreed they wanted lower taxes, President Barack Obama's foreign policy wasn't tough enough -- days after his direct orders resulted in the death of the world's most wanted terrorist -- and his health care plan needs to be stopped.
The party's better-known figures, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, businessman Donald Trump, and others, stayed away from this first debate of the presidential campaign. No one participating Thursday polled more than 2.5 percent in the last month's Winthrop Poll, which measures state GOP voters' sentiment.