January 29th, 2008
09:58 PM ET
12 years ago

Romney: 'Almost, but not quite'

Watch Mitt Romney discuss the Florida GOP primary results.

Watch Mitt Romney discuss the Florida GOP primary results.

(CNN) – Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney described his loss in Florida’s primary as a close call.

“Almost, but not quite,” the former Massachusetts governor told a group of disappointed Florida supporters.

He also used his concession speech to take a shot at victor John McCain. “At a time like this, America needs a president in the White House who has actually had a job in the real economy,” said Romney, who has said his private sector experience gives him a major advantage over McCain, who has had careers as a military officer and as an elected representative.

“You see at a time like this, knowing how America works is more important than knowing how Washington works.”

McCain captured 36 percent of the vote Tuesday. Romney came in second with 31 percent. The two were neck-and-neck in the polls leading up to Florida’s primary.

–CNN’s Emily Sherman

Filed under: Florida • Mitt Romney
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Bill in California

    There is no way I will support McCain. He may be a war hero, but he has betrayed the conservatives in his party. The irony is that people seem to be voting for him only because he is "electable". I know a lot of conservatives that will not vote for him no matter what.

    January 30, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. John

    I'll vote for a Democrat before I'd vote for McCain. Same thing basically.

    January 30, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Matt

    The US is going to need real economic leadership in the near future, or our financial problems are going to only get worse.

    We all need President Romney, now!

    January 30, 2008 10:51 am at 10:51 am |

    Shame on you Joy – "President Barack Hussein Obama and prepare for the terrorists to finally get their way"

    Why? because his middle name s Hussein? How ignorant can you be?

    January 30, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  5. kay

    Huck the spoiler. Go away!!!

    January 30, 2008 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. Jim B

    If Romney is the republican nominee, it will be because he bought it. As an independent, I could vote for McCain, but NEVER Romney.

    January 30, 2008 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  7. Michael

    Get out, Huckabee, and we'll have a real Republican nominee.

    January 30, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Paul in Kissimmee

    It was a toss up for me. I will certainly back who gets the nomination. I think the Republicans can be proud of the candidates we have.

    January 30, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  9. Mike

    Mitt has a problem changing from basic liberal views to conservatism when he decided to pursue this election bid. GOP voters are not fooled. The only reason he is still on the radar is because there are no other viable GOP candidates.

    January 30, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Terry

    What a scary thought that someone could actually "buy" his way into the White House. Romney clearly does NOT represent anything but a small, elitist, fringe group in America.

    Romney: "....looked like the decadent, over perfected end product of a long line of exquisite (in) breeding." (anyone???)

    Please, this is 2008. Our country is a huge integrated cross section of many wonderful backgrounds; white, black, brown, yellow, male, female.

    Out, out with the tyranny of the arrogant, middle age, rich white male. In the last eight years, their rule has almost destroyed our country. They have no idea how to interact with the rest of the world. They continue to arrogantly think they RULE the world...and don't have to peacefully coexist in it....for our own sake.

    It's time for the future to take hold. A few more years of Republican rule and our country will be completely reduced to disdained rubble in the eyes of the world, broke, polluted and without pride.

    Go away Mitt Romney.... go take a long vacation on your yacht and let people who care about PEOPLE (not just themselves and glory and power.....) run in this race.

    January 30, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  11. Brian

    That's what she said.

    January 30, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  12. Todd C.

    Another Silver?

    Stop the spin. It's over, Mr. Romney. We know you have millions of dollars and can keep going, but please just throw in the towel.

    January 30, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. jyfranca

    i voted for romney before i voted no for him

    January 30, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Jason, Sacramento, California

    Go Mitt! You're not only running against McCain but the whole bias media that have tried to diminish your influence as much as possible.

    January 30, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. larry buchas, new britain, ct

    Almost? 100,000 vote difference is almost?

    Hey Flim Flam man, we thought you were good with numbers.

    January 30, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  16. Willard Scott Orem. Utah

    Good singing groups weed out their older members who have lost their voice, and replace them with voices that are vibrant and fresh. Romney can bring sweet music into the government if given the chance.

    January 30, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  17. Jeremiah Grant, Phoenix AZ

    I am too depressed today to write much. Like many others have already expressed, I too am concerned that the Republican party may be leaving Conservatives behind. Once again, McCain failed to win a majority of self-identified Republicans and Conservatives.

    McAmnesty's snubbing of Conservatives, his lies and flip-flops, Keating Five, his lack of any knowledge on the economy, his entrenchment with the Washington establishment, his war mongering, and his long list of liberal bills and votes are all very well documented. All of that said, somehow the guy still wins. As a lifelong Conservative, this is a sad sad day.

    As many others have also said, if it's McCain vs. HRC it's still a Liberal vs. a Liberal. Objectively, the only real difference I see between the two is McCain says he would cut spending while Billary say they will raise spending and Billary will surrender in Iraq whereas McCain will keep us there 100 years. Objectively, I will admit that those are important differences.....but all the rest of it just makes me sick inside that the GOP really has moved so far to the left that it truly does not resemble the Conservative party it once was. I was proud of that party. What I fear I am seeing now just makes me hang my head in despair and worry.

    To all you Huckabee supporters to whom family values are important, can you honestly and happily place that trust in the hands of McCain–the same guy who does not support traditional marriage? A guy who divorced his first wife because she put on weight after a car accident? The same guy who called the Religious Right "agents of intolerance"? Have you really forgotten that? So Romney has a different concept of the Trinity...does that really make a drop of difference to the shared VALUES you have in common?

    Like others, for the first time in my life I will throw my support behind a Democrat if McCain gets the nomination. I will support Obama–at least he'd be able to bring something fresh to Washington. I cannot put up with any more of the same. Nothing gets done and our country slides further and further towards collapse. I love this country and know that it is capable of so much more. McCain is not the one to bring us there.

    January 30, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  18. Sean

    Take into consideration that no Republican has spent more than Romney and where has it got him? Sounds like he would be a perfect politician. Doesn't know the value of the dollar people are giving him.

    January 30, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Jason

    Never had a job in the real economy???? Did he really say that???? As a military member, I would have to say that I live in the real economy!! When you start dismissing, in any way, shape, or form, the military as a real job, you are in for it. We don't take kindly to those who say that we don't have "real" jobs or live in the "real" world, or the "real" economy.....just a little heads up Mitt, don't slam on American Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, or Marines....

    January 30, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  20. Steven Newman

    Goodbye, Mitt. With your loss in Florida, it is now obvious that your attempt to purchase the presidency is futile. Go take you fake smile and your soulless eyes back to your money stash and never again pain us with your contrived patriotism. Once again, we see that the voting public knows when its being lied to.

    January 30, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  21. Wayne, Greenville TX

    ladeda January 29, 2008 11:37 pm ET

    I am just curious why McCain received all of the delegates, does someone care to explain?

    Simple. The parties in each state are able to set their own rules. Some states apportion the delegates by the number of votes, and others (like Florida) do winner-take-all.

    And some states have "open" primaries, where all registered voters can vote for either the Republican or Democratic candidates, while others have "closed" primaries, where you have to be a declared member of a party in order to vote in that party's primary.

    January 30, 2008 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  22. Mark

    Rudy is gone, and it's time for Mike to. Mitt will pick up the conservative vote, and all will be will. If John becomes the canditate, Ron Paul should run as a inpendent and I would vote for him before I would for John. I can't wait for Super Tuesday, like the race begin.

    January 30, 2008 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  23. Matt

    To Willard Scott:

    Good point. Now that I understand we're electing a national singer, I'll have to reconsider my vote for McCain.

    January 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Bob

    Imagine if instead of campaigning, Romney had given all that money to poor people, who had "almost, but not quite" enough money to eat, not lose their house, pay their medical bills, go to college, etc.

    Imagine if all the candidates had done that with the money they raised! We could still know who was the most fashionable by who raised the most money. They didn't have to blow it all on ads and haircuts.

    January 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. Mick

    I don't care what Mitt Romney is spending. It is HIS money. As for buying votes, who did he pay to vote for him? He is presenting his message as much as possible. The US government is like a corporation and spending, earmarks, and everything related to the economy are out of control. McCain has NO business experience, since he has been in Washington for 6 terms (in Congress and the Senate). Are we really that naive to believe that McCain will change his house after living in it for six terms? McCain conservative? Give me a break! What does John know? Extreme Islamic Jihadists, which is his answer even on questions related to the economy. Just because he served in Vietnam (ended in 1972 – 36 years ago!!) does not make him Presidential material.

    We do not need a president who focuses solely on what he did 36 years ago as a prisoner of war, or as a war veteran. I commend McCain for his determination to endure in the face of such incredibly harsh circumstances but that and six terms in Washington does not qualify him to lead this nation in such economically challenging times.

    Mitt Romney is the ONLY candidate who is NOT a product of Washington and has the conservative values, economic experience, and corporate abilities, as well as incredible organizational skills to bring together the best minds to direct this nation in a way that will reestablish us as the worldwide leader of democracy, experience, and global abilities that we have previously enjoyed, while simultaneously leading us away from the cliff of recession. We can't even afford to approach that precipice which we will fall into if McCain is elected.

    January 30, 2008 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
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