Romney Vows to Carry on With Campaign
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney, his family and supporters vowed to carry his campaign into the vote-rich Super Tuesday contests next week after narrowly losing Florida's primary to rival John McCain.
In his concession speech Tuesday night, Romney issued a call to arms to conservatives to support him, vowing to cut federal spending, end illegal immigration and teach children "that before they have babies, they should get married."
But it was his wife, Ann, who took the microphone after Romney delivered nine minutes of prepared remarks, who explained the reasons for continuing to fight.
"We feel as though the conservatives are starting to rally around Mitt," she said, as her husband stood beside her. "This is just a send-off point; this is not an end. It's another beginning. We have 20 more states to go after, and we will be able to do that."
The defeat marked the third time the former Massachusetts governor and the Arizona senator had gone head-to-head in a major GOP contest, with McCain winning as he had earlier in New Hampshire and South Carolina.
But Romney's team believes that as the field narrows, most likely next with the departure of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Romney's ability to raise money and spend his own millions will allow him to better highlight the contrast between their candidate's business background and McCain's long tenure in a partisan Washington.
There are 21 GOP contests on the ballot on Feb. 5, with 1,023 delegates at stake. A total of 1,191 are needed for the GOP nomination.