Mitt Romney is dropping his bid for the White House. Well done, Governor.
Romney quitting presidential race
11:47 AM CST on Thursday, February 7, 2008
The Associated Press
Republican presidential hopeful and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks during his Super Tuesday primary watch party as his wife Ann watches in Boston, Tuesday. Also Online
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WASHINGTON --John McCain effectively sealed the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday as chief rival Mitt Romney suspended his faltering presidential campaign. "I must now stand aside, for our party and our country," Romney prepared to tell conservatives.
"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror," Romney will say at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
"This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters... many of you right here in this room... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America."
McCain prevailed in most of the Super Tuesday states, moving closer to the numbers needed to officially win the nomination.
Overall, McCain led with 707 delegates, to 294 for Romney and 195 for Huckabee. It takes 1,191 to win the nomination at this summer's convention in St. Paul, Minn.
"I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating al-Qaida and terror," Romney said.
Romney's departure from the race came almost a year after his formal entrance, when the Michigan native declared his candidacy on Feb. 12, 2007, at the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation in Dearborn, Mich.
Over the ensuing 12 months, Romney sought the support of conservatives with a family values campaign, emphasizing his opposition to abortion and gay marriage, as well as his support for tax cuts and health insurance that would benefit middle-class families.
"We need to teach our children that before they have babies, they get married," he told voters at his campaign events.
But he was dogged by charges of flip-flopping, a criticism that undermined the candidacy of another Massachusetts hopeful -- John Kerry in 2004. In seeking to unseat Sen. Edward M. Kennedy in 1994, Romney said he would be a better advocate for gay rights than his rival and he favored abortion rights.
Throughout his campaign, Romney was questioned by voters and the media about his Mormon faith. Hoping assuage voters skeptical of electing a Mormon president, Romney gave speech on Dec. 6 in College Station, Texas, that explicitly recalled remarks John F. Kennedy made in 1960 in an effort to quell anti-Catholic bias. He vowed to serve the interests of the nation, not the church, if elected president.
In early voting Iowa, Romney sought votes by casting himself as the guardian of the Reagan-era conservative triad -- a three-legged stool, as the candidate put it -- of a strong national defense, strong economy and strong families.
Fueled by what would grow to more than $35 million of personal donations, his campaign hired top-notch staff in the early voting states, and Romney scored an early win when his organization topped the field at the Iowa Straw Poll in August.
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