Mitt Romney wins the New Hampshire primary
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney cruised to an easy victory in New Hampshire last night, netting 97,339 votes (or 39%), despite facing criticisms over his “I like being able to fire people” remark and his jobs record as the CEO of Bain Capital.
Ron Paul, the GOP congressman from Texas, finished a distant second with 56,601 votes (or 23%).
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman’s decision to skip the Iowa caucus and focus his campaigning in New Hampshire helped him finish third with 41,796 votes or 17%.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, who nearly defeated Romney in the Iowa caucus, struggled to connect his social conservative message with New Hampshire voters. Santorum fell to fifth place with 23,204 votes (or 9%), trailing behind New Gingrich by 125 votes.
Transcript of Mitt Romney’s remarks after winning the New Hampshire primary on Jan. 10, 2012:
“Thank you. Thank you, New Hampshire. Tonight we made history![Applause]
“This state has always been a very special place for our family. Ann and I have made our home here. We’ve filled it with great memories of our children, our grandchildren.
“The Granite State moment that we’ve just enjoyed is one we will always remember.
“And I have our five sons behind me and our daughters-in-law and grandkids somewhere around here. Where are they? They’re right behind us. It’s great to have family here.
“You know, tonight we celebrate; tomorrow we go back to work.[Applause]
“We do remember when Barack Obama came to New Hampshire four years ago. He promised to bring people together. He promised to change the broken system in Washington. He promised to improve our nation. Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we’re faced with a disappointing record of a failed president.
“The last three years have held a lot of change but they haven’t offered much hope.
“The middle class has been crushed. Nearly 24 million of our fellow Americans are still out of work, struggling to find work, or have stopped looking. The median income in America has dropped 10% over the last four years, and soldiers returning home from the front lines are waiting now in unemployment lines. Our debts too high and opportunities too few.
“And this president wakes up every morning and looks across America and is proud to announce: it could be worse.[Laughter]
“It could be worse? That’s not what it means to be an American – it could be worse. Of course not.[Applause]
“What defines us as Americans is our unwavering conviction that we know it must be better and it will be better.[Applause]
“That conviction guides our campaign. It’s rallied millions of Americans in every corner of this country to our cause.
“Over the last six months, I’ve listened to anxious voices in town halls and town meetings, visited with students and soldiers. In break rooms and living rooms, I’ve heard about stories of families getting by on less, of carefully planned retirements now replaced with jobs at minimum wage.
“But even now, amidst the worst recovery since the Great Depression, I’ve rarely heard any speech of hopelessness. Americans know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times.[Applause]
“We still believe in the hope, the promise, and the dream of America. We still believe in that shining city on the hill. We know that the future of this country is better than the 8% or 9% unemployment. It’s better than $15 trillion in debt. It’s better than the misguided policies and broken promises of the last three years and the failed leadership of one man.
“The president has run out of ideas. Now he’s running out of excuses.[Applause]
“And tonight, we’re asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time.[Applause]
“President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial, and in the last few days, we’ve seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him.[Crowd boos]
“This is such a mistake for our party and for our nation. The country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy. We have to offer an alternative vision. I stand ready to lead us down a different path where we’re lifted up by our desire to succeed not dragged down by the resentment of success.[Applause]
“In these difficult times, we can’t abandon the core values that define us as unique nation. We are one nation under God.[Applause]
“Make no mistake, in this campaign, I will offer the American ideals of economic freedom, a clear and unapologetic defense, and we’re going to win with that message.[Applause]
“But you know that our campaign is about more than replacing a president. It’s about saving the soul of America.
“This election is about a choice between two very different destinies. President Obama want to fundamentally transform America. We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great.[Applause]
“He wants to turn America into a European-style social welfare state. We want to ensure that we remain a free and prosperous land of opportunity.[Applause]
“This president takes his inspirations from the capitals of Europe. We look to the cities and towns across America for our inspiration.[Applause]
“This president puts his faith in the American government. We put our faith in the American people.[Applause]
“This president is making the federal government bigger, burdensome, and bloated. I will make the federal government simpler, smaller, and smarter.[Applause]
“He raised the national debt. I will cut, cap, and balance the federal budget.[Applause]
“This president has enacted job-killing regulations. I’ll eliminate them. He lost our AAA credit rating. I’ll restore it. He passed Obamacare. I’ll repeal it![Applause]
“And when it comes to the economy, my highest priority as president will be worrying about your job – not about saving my own.[Applause]
“Internationally, President Obama has adopted an appeasement strategy. He believes that America’s role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. I believe that a strong America must and will lead the future. He doesn’t see the need for overwhelming American military superiority. I will insist on a military so powerful no one will ever think of challenging it.[Applause]
“He criticizes our friends like Israel. I will always stand with our friends.[Applause]
“And he apologizes for America. I will never apologize for the greatest nation in the history of the earth.[Applause]
“Our plans protect freedom and opportunity and our blueprint is the Constitution of the United States.[Applause]
“Now the path I lay out is not one paid with ever increasing government checks and cradle-to-grave assurances that government will always be the solution.
“If this election is a bidding war for those who could promise the most benefits, then I’m not your president. You already have that president.
“If you want to make this election about restoring American greatness, then I hope you’ll join us.
“If you believe that the disappointments of the last three years are a detour not a destiny, then I’m asking for your vote. I’m asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an American. I want you to remember what it was like to be hopeful and excited about the future – not to dread each new headline.
“I want you to remember when you’ve spent more time dreaming about where to send your kids to college than wondering how to make it to the next paycheck.
“I want you to remember when you weren’t afraid to look at your retirement savings or the price at the pump.
“I want you to remember when our White House reflected the best of who we are – not the worst of what Europe has become. That America is still out there. We still believe in that America. We still believe…[Applause]
“We believe…We still believe in the America that is the land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. We believe in the America that challenges each of us to be better and bigger than ourselves.
“This election – let’s go on to fight for the America that we love because we believe in America.
“Thank you so much. God bless America.”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Election 2012 – New Hampshire Republican primary results
- WhatTheFolly.com: John McCain endorses former rival Mitt Romney for president
- C-Span.org: Video of Mitt Romney’s remarks after winning the New Hampshire primary
- Mitt Romney’s campaign website
- CBSNews.com: Mitt Romney: “I like being able to fire people” for bad service
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