Mitt Romney Quits Race at CPAC (Updated)

CPAC 2008 Logo Macro View 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.

Update:(Dave Schuler):

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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brent Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He's a widower and father of two young daughters. He earned his PhD from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Triumph says:

    I didn’t realize the extent of Romney’s insanity until listening to this speech–it’s no wonder he couldn’t build any popular support!




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  2. Jeff Quinton says:

    James,
    I was just speculating on a possible endorsement tonight. It just seems really odd that McCain is added to an event today that had been pitched for a while as a Romney event.




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  3. yetanotherjohn says:

    The man has put a lot of his own money into his campaign and he is now putting the good of the country first.




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  4. Derrick says:

    “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” Mitt Romney 4/26/2007

    Flip-flopping to the bitter end.




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  5. Michael says:

    and to find and execute Osama bin Laden.

    Wait, we’re still trying to do that?




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  6. Triumph says:

    You forgot to mention his rationale for quitting: we’re at war and in order to prevent Hussein or Hillzilla from surrendering to terrorists we need to rally behind McCain.




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  7. Trevor says:

    Dave:

    In the democratic side of the suspended campaign, can the candidate choose to pledge there delegates to another Candidate who is still active?




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  8. Pug says:

    I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

    Well, that’s one way to say you believe you should quit wasting your personal fortune.




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  9. Scott Swank says:

    Saying that a Democratic president amounts to “a surrender to terror” is the sort of trash that I expect from Coulter, not a serious contender for the nomination. That is reprehensible, foul, the worst sort of rank partisanship. Good riddance.




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  10. FireWolf says:

    Wow, this almost feels like Super Bowl Sunday’s upset win for the Giants. Kind of like your heart being torn out, thrown onto the end zone, and stomped on.

    While I didn’t think Bill Kristol’s prediction was true, I now wonder “what he knew and when he knew it”.

    Politics is a hard pill to swallow sometimes 😀

    But hey, how ’bout that Obama Presidency eh? Can’t be any worse than that liberal McCain can he?

    😉




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  11. LaurenceB says:

    What a slimeball. Utterly classless.




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  12. legion says:

    Oh dear. Does this mean his 5 manly sons will now have to enlist in order to serve their country? Or will they go to work for the McCain campaign?




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  13. Pug says:

    Saying that a Democratic president amounts to “a surrender to terror” is the sort of trash that I expect from Coulter, not a serious contender for the nomination.

    We have a president who said before the 2006 elections, “If the Democrats win, the terrorists win”. The terrorists, of course, then went on to trounce the president’s party.

    This is just more of the same old garbage. Most people are fed up with it. The only exception being those who would attend CPAC.




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  14. Dave Schuler says:

    In the democratic side of the suspended campaign, can the candidate choose to pledge there delegates to another Candidate who is still active?

    Not as I understand it. The delegates remain committed to the original candidate to whom they were allocated by primary or caucus until after the first ballot.




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  15. Jeff Quinton says:

    The endorsement rumors for Baltimore tonight now appear to have been that former Gov. Bob Ehrlich is endorsing McCain (he was for Rudy previously) at the event. Romney has cancelled the appearance now.




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