February 7th, 2008
03:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Deny, deny, deny to the bitter end

 Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, wave to the crowd after Romney announced the suspension of his campaign at a conservative gathering.

Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, wave to the crowd after Romney announced the suspension of his campaign at a conservative gathering.

It’s always been fascinating to me how presidential candidates always profess to remain in the race until the very bitter end – until they decide to drop out. The latest example: Mitt Romney.

He had insisted passionately that there was no way he was dropping out – until he dropped out. The same had been the case with John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and so many other candidates. I suppose that’s the nature of our political process.

Watching Romney utter the words at the Conservative Political Action Conference here in Washington was still so compelling. Some of my colleagues thought it was the best speech he had given since jumping into this race more than a year ago. The refrain I heard as we were watching was one I had heard before with other candidates: Why didn’t he show this spark and fire during the course of the campaign?

In 1996, shortly after he lost his presidential bid to President Bill Clinton, the Republican nominee, Bob Dole, went on the late night talk shows and displayed what had been missing for so long during the actual campaign – his very impressive sense of humor. It was a totally different Bob Dole after the loss than the American public had come to see during the race. He was much more likable and sympathetic.

Romney gave it his all. He worked tirelessly. He pumped in tens of millions of his own dollars. But in the end, it ended for him two days after Super Tuesday.

Still, politics is very strange. He is still relatively young – and no doubt some of his supporters are already thinking about 2012. We shall see.

- CNN's Wolf Blitzer

Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Amanda

    A good move as these elections already spend billions that could be put to other purposes. If America wanted the best president possible, California and Florida would have voted for Romney. As they did not, he is wise to save his money and ours and get on with his job search.

    February 7, 2008 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. Alex


    You have been very balanced in your converage of Romney (unlike, to be honest, Dana Bash and John King).

    We are at crossroads at this point in our country with the competition on all spheres we are facing from China and India. Washington is so preoccupied by the Beltway thay have been covering that they misread the strategic issues and try to put them in political buckets such as economy and war in Iraq.

    Economy is more than inflation and the price of the dollar. The fact of the matter is that Americans are dispirited on every street–innovation is lacking, entreprenuership is not vibrant. There is a real danger that the 21st century will belong to China or India. We needed a problem solver like Romney who would NOT tolerate this pathetic 1% growth rate in the country.

    February 7, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  3. Justin

    We all know that when a candidate says "I'm in it until the end" the end is defined as when they leave the race.

    Here are my two questions - in recent times, has anyone ever self-funded their campaign (like Romney, and to some extent HRC) and won?

    Also, doesn't the crowning of McCain help Obama in his quest for the nomination? In open states, Obama and McCain have split the independents, and Obama beaten HRC 2:1 with independents. If the independents no longer have any reason to vote for McCain, don't they go mostly to Obama?

    February 7, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  4. Prince of Peace

    Wolf, you should be ashamed of your choice of words here.
    How much of YOUR money do you spend trying to give back to our country?
    I'll wager it's a big fat "ZERO!"

    February 7, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  5. Joanne Hamilton

    Perhaps Romney looked at the turn-out of voters on "Super Tuesday" and

    could see the huge numbers that voted for the Democrats and the paltry

    amount , in some cases, for the Republicans and could see the Republicans

    are not going to win the election, so why squander anymore money.

    February 8, 2008 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. vince mercado

    You have never questioned Mc Cain about his Waffling on issues such as Bush Tax cuts, at one time he voted against it because he says it favored the rich but now wants the same tax to be oermanent, Onm religion at one time he called Falwell intolerant then when it was political correct he embrace the same Falwell, Same on immigration and you thought Kerry was a waffler.

    February 8, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  7. ryan

    Romney spent $35 million, yes, but look at it in perspective; at a net worth of around $500 million he only spent about 8% of his net worth. None of these folks are starving; any candidate who isn't willing to put even 8% of his own money on the line wouldn't be worth supporting, regardless of how large or small that 8% is–it's an indication of personal committment. What percentage of their own finances have the other candidates sacrificed?

    Delia and Freedom Seeker: If you have knowledge regarding the amount of Romney's charitable contributions or the lack thereof, provide the evidence. Otherwise, don't discuss matters you know nothing about.

    February 8, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Betty Abrams

    Its seem to me that President Clinton will run the office and Hillary will have the title ONLY. Bill will will have a Strong Voice. In my opinion Bill will be the first person to win the 3rd term.

    February 9, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
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