Mitt Romney Quits Race at CPAC (Updated)
Just got signed in at CPAC and the big news is that Mitt Romney is dropping out of the race. He’s using his speech here to announce his withdrawal. His spokesman, Kevin Madden, has confirmed the rumor.
Laura Ingraham is introducing him now, using the speech to bash McCain. One wonders if all of CPAC will be spent trashing the eventual Republican nominee.
Romney’s up now. Marc Ambinder already has excerpts of the speech up, via AP.
”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 (Barack) 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 planned to say in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
”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, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.”
Obviously, not a speech he’s happy to make. He deserves credit for doing it at CPAC rather than just issuing a quiet press release and slinking away.
The fellow in the Flipper costume from last year (or, at least, someone in the same costume) is here watching the speech. One wonders if it isn’t time to change into civilian clothes. At this point, it’s rather unsporting.
Romney’s biggest applause line, paraphrased, “I disagree with John McCain on many things but we agree on the need to do everything we have to to win in Iraq … and to find and execute Osama bin Laden.”
Jeff Quinton reports that Romney will formally endorse McCain at an event in Baltimore this evening.
Although both Mitt Romney and John Edwards have announced that they have “suspended” their campaigns, the statement means different things in the Republican and Democratic parties.
In the Republican Party when a candidate suspends his or her campaign, the state parties decide how to allocate the delegates that have been pledged to the candidate as a result of the primary or caucus process.
In the Democratic Party when a candidate suspends his or her campaign, the candidate remains a candidate and the delegates pledged to him or her through the primary or caucus process remain pledged to the candidate.
Update (James): “NZ Bear” has photos and video that he shot at the speech.