Republican Mitt Romney, who was putting up a brave front to Senator John McCain’s performance in the primaries, has finally decided to suspend his presidential campaign. The reason, he said, was that he did not want the democrats to win.
According to Romney, his decision to quit arose from noble sentiments. The former Massachusetts governor expressed concern that his continuing campaign could prevent a national campaign, and make it easier for Democrats Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama to win. “In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror,” he said, adding, “This is not an easy decision. I hate to lose.”
Of late, McCain’s nomination has seemed a very likely eventuality. At the Super Tuesday contests, Romney had scored a dismal 286 delegates, as compared to McCain’s score of 697 delegates.
Now, with Romney out of his way, the senior senator’s position as the GOP nominee for president seems almost a matter of time.
Speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, where he announced his decision, Romney said, “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.”
Romney said he disagreed with McCain on many key issues. However, he said, “But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and I agree with him on eliminating al Qaeda and terror worldwide.” According to a McCain aide, McCain called up Romney to say that he admired him and thought that he was a tough competitor.
Romney, who served a term as the governor of Massachusetts, decided to enter the race for president in 2007. The former investment banker ran his campaign on the strength of his perceived financial expertise. However, his candidature suffered from his frequent flip flops on issues such as abortion. Besides, his Mormon faith also drew considerable amount of attention.
Romney, who had funded a large part of his campaign from his personal resources, had come first in the Super Tuesday contests, from Alaska, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Utah. He also won from Maine, Michigan, Nevada, and Wyoming in the early voting contests. Mike Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses, seemed to be Romney’s most potential rival for the party’s conservative vote. He won Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia in the Super Tuesday contests.