COLUMBIA, S.C. - The Oprah and Obama tour hit South Carolina yesterday, with the talk-show host and medial mogul exhorting nearly 30,000 people to ignore Barack Obama's detractors and help him capture the Democratic nomination and the presidency.

"South Carolina - Jan. 26th is your moment," Winfrey said, referring to the state Democratic primary date during a campaign stop alongside the Illinois senator. "It's your time to seize the opportunity to support a man who, as the Bible says, loves mercy and does justly."

Obama's campaign said more than 29,000 people attended the event at the University of South Carolina's football stadium. It had the feel of a rock concert, with bands playing for early arrivals and campaign supporters yelling "Fire it up!" to the crowd.

- AP

Huckabee stands by AIDS statement

WASHINGTON - GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee said yesterday he would not run from his statement 15 years ago that AIDS patients should have been isolated.

Huckabee acknowledged the prevailing scientific view then, and since, that the virus that causes AIDS is not spread through casual contact, but said that was not certain. He cited revelations in 1991 that a dentist had infected a patient in an extraordinary case that highlighted the risk of infection through contact with blood or bodily fluids.

"I still believe this today," he said in an interview on

Fox News Sunday

, adding that "we were acting more out of political correctness" in responding to the AIDS crisis. "I don't run from it, I don't recant it," he said of his position in 1992. Yet he said he would state his view differently in retrospect.

- AP