South Carolina has a reputation for nasty politics _ and there's a good reason for that.
The state has a rich history of electoral mudslinging and bare-knuckled brawling, particularly in its Republican presidential primary.
With little more than a week to go before this year's Jan. 21 GOP primary, it's safe to expect that under-the-radar attacks will occur in the final run-up to the voting.
Four years ago, Mitt Romney's Mormon faith came under attack in bogus Christmas cards distributed under his name. And in 2000, there was a whisper campaign suggesting that Republican John McCain's adopted daughter from Bangladesh was actually an illegitimate black child.
Romney likes to say "politics ain't bean bags" _ and he's ready for whatever comes his way.