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Romney bid ends

Posted by Stephen on February 7, 2008

“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention … I’d forestall the launch of a national campaign and, frankly, I’d be making it easier for Sen. Clinton or Obama to win,” Romney said. “Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

With that statement, the campaign for the GOP nomination for President of the United States came to an abrupt end for former Governor Mitt Romney.

Romney set out with a plan to win the opening rounds in Iowa and New Hampshire and then taking advantage of that momentum to score a big victory in Florida where he enjoyed support from many Jeb Bush supporters. He would then seal the deal with a big night on Super Tuesday.

A funny thing happened on the way to a February 5 victory. McCain recovered from early struggles, seized momentum and has not let go scoring big wins in the North East, Florida, and California.

While Romney realized respectable finishes, he did not win, especially in larger states. The former Massachusetts Governor spent considerable resources in California only to fall short by double digit percentage points.

For supporters, the Romney campaign consisted of a series of head scratching primaries. Polls showed Romney doing well. When the conversation turned to the economy, Romney led polls 2 and even 3 to 1 over McCain. However, the war in Iraq may be a more dominating topic than many people realize.

For others, there was a clear reason why Romney could not gain traction in the race.

“One of the biggest barriers to Mitt Romney becoming the nominee was Mike Huckabee,” Time magazine writer Mark Halperin, who was first to break the news, told FOX News. “I don’t think Huckabee stands much of a chance to overtake McCain either, but he certainly stood in Mitt Romney’s way.”

Huckabee, who continues to brush off the notion that he is nothing more than a spoiler in the race, says he will fight on. Huckabee national chairman Ed Rollins told FOX News that Romney’s exit “gives us a chance to run and contrast ourselves against McCain.”

McCain for his part, congratulated Romney on running a “spirited and dedicated campaign,” and even referred to him as a great Governor, adding that the two “agreed to sit down together and we agreed on the importance of uniting our party.”

For Romney the end is a tough pill to swallow but one he does with grace and class.

“This isn’t an easy decision. I hate to lose,” Romney said Thursday, as many in the crowd booed the decision. “If this were only about me, I’d go on, but it’s never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America in this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside, for our party and for our country.”

In the end he felt this was best for all involved, but he vowed to continue to be heard.
 
“I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next president of the United States to retreat in the face of evil extremism,” Romney said to cheers and applause as he closed his speech.

Stephen Winslow is the executive editor of Conservative Viewpoints.

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