Transcript: Mitt Romney’s remarks after losing in Missouri, Minnesota & Colorado
Transcript Mitt Romney’s remarks after losing in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado on Feb. 7, 2012:
“Boy, it’s great to be in Denver tonight. Lot of snow on the ground, pretty cold, but warm to be in this room with so many friends here. And I want to say thank you to you.
“The race is too close to call in Colorado at this point, but I’m pretty confident we’ll come in number one or number two. And I’m looking for a good showing, you guys. I know there’s still some people getting back from caucuses, but I want to say thanks to the efforts that you’ve made to get out to caucus and to support my effort.
“And I want to say thanks to people also in Missouri and Minnesota who’ve taken time to vote today.
“This was a good night for Rick Santorum. Want to congratulate Sen. Santorum, wish him the very best. We’ll keep on campaigning down the road, but I expect to become our nominee with your help.
“So I want to congratulate all of my fellow Republicans, particularly Sen. Santorum, and I look forward to the contest to come.
“But we’re going to take our message of liberty and prosperity to every corner of the country. And when this primary season is over, we’re going to stand united as a party behind our nominee to defeat Barack Obama and to restore the values that have made America the greatest nation in the history of the earth.
“Now three years ago, you may have remember, Barack Obama came to Colorado to accept his party’s nomination for the presidency. And he rented out a huge stadium. He got some of those styrofoam Greek columns – remember that? He had two giant TV screens to set the mood. And on that big stage here in Denver, he made some even bigger promises.
“He said that the Democrats had a different measure of what constitutes progress. And then he went on to define it. Under his definition, progress would be measured by how many people can find a job that pays a mortgage. That was his definition.
“Now what’s happened? More Americans have lost their jobs during President Obama’s term than during any other President in modern history and more Americans have lost their homes during President Obama’s term than during any other in modern history. Under his own definition, President Obama has failed. We will succeed.
“In that same speech, he went on defining progress. He went on and he said progress will be determined by ‘whether the average American family saw its income go up instead of down.’ And during the last four years, the median income in this country has fallen by about 10%. Again, by his own definition, President Obama has failed. We will succeed.
“Candidate Obama went on to say that we could measure progress by determining whether someone with a good idea can take a risk and start a business. Do you see what’s happened to small business in this country during President Obama’s term? There were almost 100,000 fewer new business start-ups this last year than there were during the year before when President Obama came to office. So by his own definition, President Obama has failed and we will succeed.
“One more promise. Candidate Obama said that we could see progress in an economy that honors the dignity of work. Now under President Obama, the average duration of unemployment has more than doubled and there is some 14 million more people on food stamps today than when he took office. Again, by President Obama’s own definition, he has failed and we will succeed.
“Now this week, you heard President Obama on TV say that he deserves a second term because, and I quote, ‘We’ve made progress.’
“No, Mr. President. Under the definition of progress you made right here four years ago in Denver, you have not made progress.
“Three years ago, President Obama, just after his inauguration, said that if he couldn’t turn this economy around in three years, he’d be looking at a one-term proposition. And we are here to collect. We’re going to take back the White House.
“This is a moment in time when our country is crying out for fundamental change and reform. Washington cannot reform itself, and Washington will never be reformed by those who’ve been compromised by the culture of Washington.
“This is a clear choice. I’m the only person in this race – Republican or Democrat – who has never served a day of time in Washington. In the world that I come from, leadership is about starting a business – not trying to get a bill out of committee.
“I’ve said over and over that this campaign is more about changing the soul of America or protecting the soul of America than it is about changing a President.
“We all know in our hearts that the soul of this nation can be corrupted by a Washington culture of reckless spending, voting to raise their own pay, saying that they support term limits and then running for re-election time afte time after time. It’s that Washington that we have to change, and when I’m President, we will.
“This is not a moment when we can continue to do business as usual. This is not a moment when we can expect those in Washington to realize suddenly that they’ve been wrong all the time and they’ll get it right the next time. This is a time for real change in Washington. Fundamental, bold, dramatic change.
“Now, I stand before you ready to lead this party and to lead the nation. I’ve led businesses; I’ve led Olympics; I had the chance of helping to lead a state.
“President Obama recently said he’s learning. We say he’s learning too little and too late. The presidency is not a place to learn how to lead; it’s a place to exercise the judgment and leadership that has been learned over a lifetime. And that’s precisely what I will do.
“I know that many of us are concerned about our future. Over the last 30 years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a situation is hopeless or heard a long list of reasons something can’t be done. But I’ve never been very good at listening to those people, and I’ve always enjoyed proving them wrong.
It’s one of the lessons I’ve learned from my dad. My father never graduated from college. He apprenticed as a lath and plaster carpenter, and he was pretty good at it. He actually could take a handful of nails, stick them in his mouth, and spit them out pointy end forward.
“On his honeymoon, he put aluminum paint in the trunk of his car and sold it along the way to pay for the gas and the hotels. There were a lot of reasons why my father could have given up and set his sights a lot lower. But my dad believed in America.
“And in the America he believed in, a lath and plaster guy could work out to become head of a car company and the guy who sold aluminum paint out of his car could end up being governor in one of the states he sold that very aluminum paint.
“For my dad and for hundreds of thousands and millions like him and like my mom as well, this was the land of opportunity, where the circumstance of birth was no barrier to be able to achieve one’s dreams.
“In dad’s America, small businesses, entrepreneurs – these were encouraged and respected. The spirit of enterprise and innovation and daring propelled our standard of living and our economy past that of every nation on the planet.
“I refuse to believe that America is just another place on the map with a flag. We stand for freedom and hope and opportunity.
“These last few years haven’t been the best of times. But while we’ve lost a few years, we’ve not lost our way. The principles that made this the greatest nation on earth and the leader of the world have not lost their meaning. They never will. We know we can bring this country back. I believe in America. So do you.
“In this election, let’s fight for the America we love because we believe in America and its founding principles.
“Thank you so much. I appreciate all you’ve done to help. We’ve got a long way to go, and I sure love this country. Thank you so much very much!”