After a second hard-fought battle that capped a nearly decade-long run for the White House, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney gave his final concession speech early Wednesday morning (November 7) in Boston after losing his race for the presidency to incumbent Barack Obama.
"I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory," Romney said nearly two hours after most networks had called the election for the president. "His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.
"This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation. ... And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation."
After saying that he'd written only one speech in preparation for Tuesday night's results — a victory one — Romney's brief, humble remarks were focused on thanking his vice-presidential pick, Congressman Paul Ryan, as well as his high school sweetheart and devoted wife, Ann.
"The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing," said Romney, echoing the reality that despite winning, Obama will once again be faced with a divided Congress that he will have to find common ground with in order to pass his legislation. "Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work."
Striking the same wistful note that he laced into his stump speeches over the past week, Romney used his final moments in the national spotlight to wish the best for Obama and the country.
"We citizens also have to rise to the occasion," he said. "We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery. ... I believe in America. I believe in the people of America."
Romney ended his remarks by telling his supporters that he wished he'd been able to fulfill their hopes and lead the country in a "different" direction. "But the nation chose another leader," he said. "And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation."
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