MANCHESTER, N.H. — Sweeping five contests in Northeastern primary states, Mitt Romney claimed the mantle of Republican presidential nominee — though he has not officially clinched the race — and turned his focus to a general election showdown with President Obama.More at the link.
Romney easily notched wins Tuesday night in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and New York — contests whose outcomes seemed all but assured once his chief rival, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, suspended his campaign two weeks ago.
In remarks in New Hampshire, where his campaign began almost a year ago, Romney thanked his supporters for "a great honor and solemn responsibility."
In an echo of Ronald Reagan's question during his 1980 presidential campaign — "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" — Romney asked Americans to consider Obama's "sweeping promises of hope and change."
"After the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama? .... We have seen hopes and dreams diminished by false promises and weak leadership," Romney said at his election-night party in downtown Manchester. "To all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I've met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance … hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight."
The president's campaign immediately sought to tie Romney to what it called the "failed" policies of former President George W. Bush and to paint him as a far-right conservative who is out of step with much of the country.
And at the video, Hannity's All-American Panel evaluates Romney's victory speech last night.