Romney Routs Gingrich in Florida Primary

In an historic win, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney triumphed over his opponents former Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Senator Rick Santorum (PA) and Rep. Ron Paul (TX) in Florida’s Republican Primary yesterday.

Gov. Romney decisively won the contest with over 750,000 votes – more than other GOP presidential candidate in the primary’s history, giving him a lead of 46% to Gingrich, who followed in second place with 32%; Rick Santorum 13% and Ron Paul, at 7%, placing third and fourth, respectively.

In his victory speech in Tampa, the site of the upcoming Republican Convention, Gov. Romney positioned himself as the potential nominee and made it clear he was taking the fight to Barack Obama and his failure as a leader and job creator:

“Mr. President –you were elected to lead, you chose to follow, and now it’s time for you to get out of the way,” he declared to his supporters, who chanted “Mitt, Mitt, Mitt!”

Noting the acrimonious campaign atmosphere in the Sunshine State contest, Gov. Romney said, “A competitive primary does not divide us,” he said. “It prepares us. And we will win.”

 “Everyone is starting to believe Romney is the person who can beat the president and go on to turn the economy around.”

“They look at Mitt Romney and see someone who can win,” said state Rep. Will Weatherford, a Republican and Romney supporter who represents the bellwether of Pasco County, just north of Tampa. (Wall St. Journal Online

Former Speaker Gingrich, in spite of a significant loss in Florida, continued to lambast the Romney campaign for outspending the speaker in campaign advertising. Promising he will use “people power” instead of “money power” to win the nomination.

“It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader Newt Gingrich and the Massachusetts moderate,” the former House speaker said, who concluded his remarks with a line from the Declaration of Independence:  “I promise you that, if I become your president, I pledge to you my life, my fortune, my sacred honor.”

Charles Krauthammer of Fox News commented on that reference, “But the people who signed that document, whose names were under it, had they not succeed, they would have been hanged. If Newt doesn’t succeed, he returns to K Street.”

In spite of Speaker Gingrich and Sarah Palin’s grumblings that the opposition had an unfair monetary advantage, Gov. Romney should not be faulted for having a superior organization and preparation for the primary. Clearly, the campaign was effective with Florida voters:

“Preliminary exit polls found that Republican voters were heavily influenced by the debates and campaign ads that dominated the Florida airwaves for weeks. As in Iowa and South Carolina, voters were looking for the candidate who has the best chance to defeat President Obama.” (ABC News)

All four GOP candidates pledge to go the distance for the nomination. Next up: the Nevada caucus on February 4.

The Bold Pursuit is pleased to endorse former Governor Mitt Romney as the nominee for President of the United States.

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