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GOP candidates in SC vow to carry tea-party banner

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Sept. 5 2011 4:10 p.m. MDT

Republican presidential candidates Rep. Michelle Bachmann take part in the American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum Monday, Sept. 5, 2011, in Columbia, S.C.

Mary Ann Chastain, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Pledging fidelity to the Constitution and vowing to carry the tea party's banner to Washington, the Republicans chasing the GOP's presidential nomination are pitching themselves as the strongest candidate to roll back four years of President Barack Obama's tenure.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney says the Obama administration flaunted the constitution to push a political agenda. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota calls Obama's policies "unconstitutional." And Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he has a better record on jobs than Obama.

Labor Day marks the unofficial start to the 2012 campaign for the White House.

Five Republicans appeared during a forum Monday with Sen. Jim DeMint in his home state of South Carolina. Perry was in the state, too, but at a different event.

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