Surrounded by cheering supporters, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney conceded the election to President Barack Obama Tuesday night.
“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.”
“I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney added.
Prior to the polls closing, Romney told reporters that he did not have a concession speech, nevertheless the former Massachusetts governor offered a short and humble, yet optimistic close to his campaign.
To cheers, the Republican nominee offered his thanks to America, running mate Paul Ryan, wife Ann, his family, campaign staff, and devoted followers.
“Besides my wife Ann, Paul is the best choice I’ve ever made,” Romney said, adding that the Wisconsin congressman “will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.”
“I don’t believe that there has ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much,” he said to his supporters, surrogates, donors, and volunteers.
“You’ve been the very best we could have imagined,” he added.
Romney went on to encourage bipartisanship — noting that in difficult times division is not the answer — and added that America’s citizens must also “rise to the occasion.”
The Republican leader closed with an optimistic push for first principles.
“I believe in America,” Romney continued to cheers. “And I ran for office because I am concerned about America. This election is over but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a new greatness.”
“Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish – I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”
Romney blessed America and thanked his supporters several times more before turning to rejoin his waiting family.