Two observations on Mitt Romney's speech today. First, why the hell didn't he speak like that during his campaign? Recently, reading some of his positions, I've started to realize that I had misjudged Mr. Romney. It was hard not to. In any case, his basic decency was lost on an angry electorate in an angry country, a country which has less cause for anger than any other nation in the history of the world. The poorest among us live better than the bulk of humanity. At any other time in any other circumstances, Mitt could have had my vote. But not this climate, not this election.
My second observation goes to the pride I feel as a Republican. He could have continued; he might even have pulled it out. There was that possibility, especially with the uber right lining up behind him. But he didn't. In a small gesture of respect, I'll let him tell you why:
I disagree with Senator McCain on a number of issues, as you know. But I agree with him on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq, on finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and on eliminating Al Qaeda and terror. If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and make it more likely that Senator Clinton or Obama would win. And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.
This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters... many of you right here in this room... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.
I will continue to stand for conservative principles; I will fight alongside you for all the things we believe in. And one of those things is that we cannot allow the next President of the United States to retreat in the face evil extremism!!
It is the common task of each generation-and the burden of liberty-to preserve this country, expand its freedoms and renew its spirit so that its noble past is prologue to its glorious future.To this task... accepting this burden... we are all dedicated, and I firmly believe, by the providence of the Almighty, that we will succeed beyond our fondest hope. America must remain, as it has always been, the hope of the earth.
Thank you, and God bless America.
Can you picture any Democrat doing that? Oh yeah, Al Gore after he nearly rent the fabric of our country and pursued his options all the way to the Supreme Court demanding that every vote- the same votes the party now refuses to honor- be counted, as if they hadn't already been counted twice, made a similar speech. By contrast, when the dead in Chicago and Texas voted for JFK, that bogeyman, Richard Nixon, Republican, spared the country the strain.