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. Nancy Phx. AZ

    Mitt was never in the race for himself, please remember this. He loves America.
    Mitt did this to unite the GOP. He was never in this for himself. He ran because he sincerely wanted to serve his country. He loves America, he wants America to be strong for generations to come. He gets to keep his delegates , his delegates stay his to give to whom he thinks is best to put forth the true principles of the Republican party. That is what a suspension means. Listen carefully to what this means, He is not dropping out it ,is a suspension. There is a difference. We have not heard the last of Mitt Romney. He is an outstanding American

    February 7, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  2. Jay Ft Lauderdale

    '12, He has my support! Thank you for what you have contributed to this campaign and this great nation. Thank you Mitt Romney.

    February 7, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Kim Tennessee

    Just wondering how many would have voted for Huckabee if they had known this would happen? Just look at the upsets of Super Tuesday when they thought he was "down and out" and how close the race was in Missouri? Is it possible for Huckabee to catch up at all? Is there a GOP Hail Mary possibility? Please do the math for us! Thanks!

    February 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  4. resimc

    Its very CLAER, they are LYING.
    Unfortunatelly thats what they do, lie & lie & lie till people believe you.
    Let us wait & watch & see what is going to happen with Ron Paul, he said he won't drop as long as he have people's support (money wise).He is clearly believes in what he says.
    For the GOD's sake, whats wrong with Ron Paul? is it because he against the military establishment that wants to sell weapons to arabs & israel alike to keep the fight going?

    February 7, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. JohnS

    Talk about compromise in solving the nation's problems:

    The Dem Congress has done so bad recently, they just might lose the next time around. We will probably have a Republican House (if a Dem President is in the White House; that is, if the Dems make the right choice of Obama).

    Now, if Hillary was really that influential in the House and Senate, don't learned people think that this race would have been over by now? That is, why are those folks in the House and Senate NOT rushing to save the heart and soul of Hillary?

    You the Dems, Independents like me, moderate Republicans, and the nation would be HAPPIER to start with a CLEAN (I mean Clean) slate; NO Blue Dress Issues, No Interns, No MAJOR divisions among us. Hillary is NOT capable of brining people together. Half of this nation hates her to date!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We Need a Leader who can BRING people together (bright, dull etc.) to work for this NATION, not the Lobbyists or the fame of the Clintons. The Clintons have had their turn; so you should encourage your child, friend, etc. to move away from a dynasty!!! VOTE OBAMA

    February 7, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Thomas

    Wolf, still on his Romney bashing campaign

    February 7, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. Steve

    And maybe Obama........?

    February 7, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Patrella Maxwell [Montgomery,Alabama

    What about Ron Paul!!!!!

    February 7, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. Matt Reading, PA


    He has been showing this kind of spark and fire during the campaign!? where have you been? Romney is at the center of every debate with savyness and excitement. Even romney's concession speeches after primaries are uplifting and positive. I congratulate romney on a successful campaign. although he did not win the nomination, he has taken himself from being a nobody nationally to a leading voice in the Republican Pary.

    February 7, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  10. Patriot

    I am sure I will like and admire Hillary Clinton much, much more on the day she drops out of the nomination battle.

    February 7, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. Snake Handler

    They all lie about dropping out.But Ron Paul will stand till the end.A real American for real Americans.

    February 7, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. jeanette

    your bias is showing if you, as a political "journalist" are criticizing a political candidate. it's a free country, but aren't cnn "reporters" and "journalists" neutral on their views?

    February 7, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Brad from Canada

    Does the world need another leader that looks at citizens as economic rather than social citizens, or human beings? Romney's farewell speech was so full of neo-conservative vitriol – government control over family composition, shame on single mothers, latent racism – that my skin was crawling. He called for tax cuts while demanding an increase to defence spending to 4% of GDP. Further cuts to social welfare programs, deeper poverty, no plan to address millions without health insurance. A Romney administration would be disastrous for the poor.

    February 7, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  14. Jaime D

    My opinion of Mitt Romney is that he would have taken care of his narrow base first and the rest of us later. I like that John McCain will cross party lines to create legislation. To me that works well for the public as a whole. But most importantly I really admire McCain for not abandoning his brothers in arms when the NV offered to release him from captivity. That took real testicles.

    February 7, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  15. Mick

    Wolf Blitzer is a political pundit know-it-all. A quality non-biased goof that seems to have all of the political answers. Wolf should be king, since he is the one who seems to be able to provide all of the necessary knowledge to guide each of us in our decisions. Why did Romney say he was staying in? Because that seemed to be his plan, but then when reconsidering the whole scheme of things, the realization comes that a divided party has no chance. The Republicans have no chance anyway, or so it seems.

    Wolf, stay at your day job, we still need more of you, we just won't listen to you.

    February 7, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  16. Wayne

    Hey, what goes around, comes around. God has his way of dealing with liars and deceptive people. There was no way under the sun that Mitt Romney would have made it into the Whitehouse. That's because America can do a great deal better than that! Obama-08!

    February 7, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Dave

    You must have missed his faith speech Wolf. It was just as good.

    February 7, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  18. joe

    Feel sorry for Romney quitting. He should have stayed in. When people realize McCain is too old to run for President they will wish they would have chosen another candidate...like Romney. What's McCain going to be like 2-3 years from now...senile , or what? Wake up, American people. Case closed.

    February 7, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  19. danielskouras

    What happens to the contributions that are being held by the candiates that have not been spent in the political race. i.e. Edwards 7 million dollars etc.

    February 7, 2008 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Emmanuel hall

    when will CNN begin to challenge Obama, particularly about his matra of "Change". what change is he talking about, and what changes would he make that Hillary would not make? Why did he not recognize that his long time financial chicago supporter was a crook? ..he had 17 years to see the light, you know, getting it right. And do you think you have beat up on Hillary enough?

    February 7, 2008 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  21. Ralph C.

    "Deny, deny, deny." I'm in full agreement with you Wolf! But this is what happens when spiders get caught up in their own webs! I'm very glad and thankful that he has stepped aside. America needs real leadership right now, and he doesn't have a roll in that process, which I'm very joyous about right now.

    What we need is Obama in 08!

    February 7, 2008 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. chevy

    yes, i really do ask myself that question at night, Why not just say, " my campaign will have its time and this election is not it. I am suspending my campaign. I mean what do they do with all the donations after the races?

    February 7, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. Eric

    Barack Obama is asking where Clinton got the 5 million she loaned to her campaign but considering Obama got a sweetheart land deal and help from Tony Rezko to buy his house he really is not in the position to question where Hillary gets her money from.

    February 7, 2008 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Carla S.

    I have been watching you report on the elections, and I dont like that you always have people running down Hillary Clinton! I think She is going to win the election for President Of The United States. And I think some people is scared of her, because she knows what she is talking about. I also think that is why Barrack Obama does not want to debate with her, That is not his strong points. He is getting alot of young votes and alot of black votes. Why dont you get more people on your show that likes Hillary? Are you all Republicans? Then I would like to see more people on your show that susports her!

    February 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  25. Ryan, Los Angeles CA

    Good riddance.

    February 7, 2008 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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