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Matt Rourke, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich takes part in a TV interview during a campaign event at the Grapevine Restaurant in Spartanburg, S.C., on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, the unpredictable voting day of the South Carolina presidential primary.

BOILING SPRINGS, S.C. — Newt Gingrich has a message to South Carolina voters on primary day: Come out and vote for me if you want to stop Mitt Romney from winning the Republican presidential nomination.

Gingrich stopped by The Grapevine restaurant in Boiling Springs not long after the polls opened Saturday morning. He told diners who were enjoying plates of eggs and grits that he's the "the only practical conservative vote" if Republicans want to stop Romney. Gingrich says Romney is a Massachusetts moderate.

Gingrich says he would put a stop to federal actions against South Carolina's voter ID and immigration laws.

The former House speaker has seen his support rise in South Carolina in the days before the primary. He says that "polls are good, votes are better."