Romney will suspend campaign so that he does not 'aid a surrender to terror'
In a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney suspended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.
"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 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 said in a speech, excerpts of which were first published by the Associated Press.
Romney's statements that he could fight on to the convention drew loud cheers from the core conservative audience attending the annual conference.
As Romney then said, "I feel I have to now stand aside, for our party, and our country," boos were audible among the crowd.
Time Magazine's Marc Halperin first reported that Romney would announce the suspension of his campaign. The Atlantic Monthly's Marc Ambinder later reported that he had confirmed the news. Ambinder noted that by suspending his campaign, rather than ending it outright, Gov. Romney will retain his delegates at the Sept. Republican National Convention in Minnesota.
Romney, who failed to win many delegates in the Super Tuesday contest, announced at the time that he intended to stay in the race.
"The one thing that's clear is that this campaign is going on," he declared to his supporters.
However, Romney gave the speech prior to disappointing returns in California, where he and Sen. McCain had competed for the state's motherlode of delegates.
Time's Marc Halperin explained the implications of Romney's suspension on Fox News shortly before he made the announcement:
This video is Fox's Fox News Live, broadcast February 7, 2008.