In recent weeks, the Romney campaign had been inundated with several shattering blows to the candidate. The unveiling of Vice-Presidential choice Paul Ryan has reopened concerns about the dismantling of Medicare and draconian budget cuts; the Republican Convention became a disaster with the omission of gratitude for the troops and Clint Eastwood’s meme-creating bizarre speech; Romney was savaged for comments made denigrating the Obama Administration’s reaction to Libyan riots resulting in the death of the U.S. Ambassador; and most recently, Mitt Romney was caught surreptitiously declaring nearly half of Americans as deadbeats who would vote for Obama because they demand permanent assistance from the government to run their lives.
As a result of this general downslide, donors have pulled out of creating ads for Romney, fellow Republicans and friendly pundits have mostly shunned him, and his poll numbers are declining. His campaign is in major free fall.
I expect the President will win re-election in November. However, even given the strange ride that this presidential campaign has been, nothing prepared me for what was about to happen.
Forty-seven days before election day, Mitt Romney has decided to concede.
The Underground Multiplex has obtained a copy of the transcript Mitt Romney will present tonight as he moves aside to allow Paul Ryan to take the mantle as presidential candidate for the GOP. It’s unclear who would replace Ryan as Vice-Presidential candidate, although rumors abound that Marco Rubio, Chris Christie and even Ron Paul–long considered a thorn in the side for the party–would be asked.
Here is the transcript of the speech expected to be given by Romney at 9pm Eastern Time tonight in Boston:
Before I begin tonight, I want to thank everyone involved with my campaign. They are a great team: Beth Myers, Pete Flaherty, Eric Fehrnstrom, Stu, Russ, Ashley, Ron and all the volunteers. You all made the best team imaginable and I’m proud of everything you’ve done. I know there have been reports of infighting. I want to assure you these were kept to a minimum. I take all responsibility for all the positive advances we’ve made during this campaign. You all worked very hard and I appreciate that and so does the country.
And there could not have been a better choice I could have made than Paul Ryan. That was a tough choice to make, as you all well know, because of all the unfair publicity Paul’s had to take during this campaign. I thought he gave a great speech at the convention that resonated with many Americans. I personally can remember about 10 or 12 people I’ve met on the road through this campaign who told me how proud I must be of Paul.
I also want to thank my family, Ann, who’s been terrific in supporting me and showing that women are a great part of this party and that she loves them. Tagg, Matt, Josh, Ben, Craig–you’ve all been great. I’m sorry that I kept you up at night rehearsing speeches. There were a lot of them I had to make unexpectedly. You know, I never told this story, but one night during the campaign, Ben was supposed to drive around our old neighborhood canvassing and his car was stuck in the elevator overnight. That shows you the perils of campaigning and how committed my family is to me. I promise that for all your patience, we’ll shop for new puppies for your kids.
My faith, family and friends have gotten me through some tough times. Ann mentioned during the convention about the tough times having to eat tuna and pasta casserole. I spent over two years as a Mormon missionary in France and had to learn French in a hurry. Even the time we had the accident with Seamus, riding excitedly on the roof of the car, we always had the presence of God’s love and compassion.
I have always felt that Americans shared in this sense of compassion, this sense of a belief in God and in the sense of overall goodness no matter what difficulties they may face. They are people who know what it means to do the right thing. That is why, in that spirit, I have decided to suspend my campaign for President of the United States indefinitely.
I am as certain today as when I first began this journey many years ago, that I would have been a great, compassionate and thoughtful leader. A leader who would not apologize for America and cause the deaths of Americans overseas–I just want to interrupt and say I remember the troops and thank them for their service. A leader who would not work to keep nearly half of Americans under the oppression of government entitlements, a leader who would have brought new jobs through my new plan of tax breaks for job creators, a leader who would stand up for the jobs that get sent over to China. A leader who would fight to get this country back on track. As a businessman, I know exactly how to get companies and this country back on their feet again. Even though I will no longer be front and center gaining attention with these ideas, you can be certain I will continue to work with those great men and women who love this country and will fight for tax cuts, the unborn, the sanctity of marriage and all those policies that I’ve always stood firmly on.
I give the mantle of leadership now to Paul Ryan, who I think will make a great president. I’m confident he will make a great choice for a vice-presidential running mate, whoever that will be.
I now know what it feels like to be unemployed, so I guess I will be joining the 47%. All kidding aside, I want to thank all of you for making this a memorable journey. Thank you and God Bless America.
It’ll be fascinating to see how the Republicans deal with this. The head of the party is now gone, changed over to someone perhaps they always wanted. Will this be what the GOP secretly wished for all this time or will they feel this completely crushes their chances in November? Can Romney even be taken off the ballot now? Many, many questions.