Primary day with South Carolina's Rep. Joe Wilson

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Without a doubt, one of the best venues for political reporters to learn what’s on the mind of Republican voters in South Carolina is to spend the presidential primary day with Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

For the fourth time since 1996, that’s what HUMAN EVENTS did on Saturday, as we joined Wilson to meet with Republican voters who went to the polls throughout his five-county district.

In introducing us to his fellow Republicans from the Palmetto State’s capital city of Columbia all the way to the Georgia border, the six-term House member also thanked poll workers, checked on the turnout throughout the day and offered his own assessment of how the much-watched primary is coming.

“The top concern of Republicans here is jobs, jobs, jobs,” Wilson told us, “and they very much want a nominee who can defeat Barack Obama.”  Underscoring his view that fellow GOPers were enthusiastic about the 2012 race, Wilson cited the large turnout among primary voters (“It may be the biggest turnout we’ve ever had”) and added his own strong feelings that Republicans unite behind their eventual nominee.

As if to underscore the attention the South Carolina primary was attracting nationwide and overseas, Wilson was accompanied on his trek by Peter Burian, ambassador to the U.S. from the Slovak Republic, and Guillaume Scheurer, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Switzerland.

Once state campaign chairman for the presidential bid of Tim Pawlenty, Wilson has not voiced who he supports, after the former Minnesota governor left the race.  As hard as HUMAN EVENTS pressed him, Wilson wouldn’t say who he voted for in the primary.  However, his ever-outspoken wife Roxanne freely volunteered that she “voted for Newt because he can clean Barack Obama’s clock” in any debate.