WASHINGTON (CNN) - Mitt Romney made the decision to end his presidential run Wednesday, as he wrote what turned into his valedictory speech, said campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom.
As Romney "put pen to paper" writing his speech for the opening day of this year's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), it "evolved into a goodbye speech."Fehrnstrom said he had an idea the former Massachusetts governor's White House run was drawing to a close when Romney left the campaign headquarters Tuesday, saying he wanted what was best for the country.
Romney's senior staff was notified last night, and the rest of the staff was told the news right before Romney took the stage at CPAC on Thursday. Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham, who introduced Romney, was told at the same time but didn't let on in her comments.
Romney had not spoken to Republican rivals John McCain or Mike Huckabee before his speech. His spokesman said he would talk to his former opponents - with whom he's clashed, often fiercely, throughout the primary season - "at some point."
Fehrnstrom said it's important that at this point the party come together, adding that the eventual nominee, who they presume will be McCain, will have Romney's support - though there's no talk of an endorsement timeline just yet.
–CNN Political Producer Alexander Marquardt
Very disappointing. He has more qualifications then any of the candidates running. It will take many years for the other candidates to try and figure out how to get us out of the mess while increasing our taxes and trying to put more mandates on us. You want a new face in the White House ….this was our chance for cleaning it up. I surely won't vote for McCain, but we'll be putting the same people back in the White House.
What's best for the country will be a Democrat President.
Interesting choice of words: he "suspends" his campaign. Huh?
Opening shot of the 2012 campaign.
This goes to show once more the difference between a candidate driven by principle and one driven by ambition. Mitt was only in it for himself, he just wont get to check it off his to do list ...
Well, chalk one up for religious bigotry. Today is proof that religious bigotry against mormons is alive and well in America, from the news media and their numerous shams of interviews in which they talked to 'experts' on the mormon faith who were nothing more than religious bigots in their own right to Mike Huckabee and his evangelically bigoted cronies (who, by the way, are some of the most unchristian people in the USA). This country was to bigoted and too stupid to see past Romney's faith to realize that he was the only one who could save this country and make it great.
All is lost . . . during McCain's speech, you can see and hear the disdain he has for Romney and the joke he thinks Huckebee is – no hand of reconciliation, no humbleness or gratitude, not even a kind or grateful word – borderline disrespect – I now have no doubts about it now – I will never, ever vote for this man. His pride will be his undoing.