Business-friendly SC may forgive Romney's job cuts

By JEFFREY COLLINS | January 12, 2012 | 2:42 AM EST

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — At first glance, South Carolina seems like a place where attacks on Mitt Romney's experience at the helm of a venture capital firm that cut jobs would resonate in the Republican primary.

The state's unemployment rate hasn't been below 9 percent in three years, and a third of its manufacturing jobs have disappeared in the last decade.

But many South Carolina workers still view their employers paternalistically, even when they are hurt by their bosses' decisions. And that may blunt the criticism that Romney is a greedy fat cat who squashes employees while lining his own pockets.

People in South Carolina have little sympathy for the Occupy Wall Street movement, and low wages are the norm. Only 1 in 20 workers belongs to a labor union.