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Romney Congratulates McCain, Accepts 'Silver' in N.H.

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Presidential candidate former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.) addresses his supporters after the New Hampshire primary election results filter in. Video by AP, Editor: Jacqueline Refo/washingtonpost.com
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Tuesday, January 8, 2008; 8:46 PM

FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY, R-MASS. : Thank you so much. What a job you guys have done.

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Well, I spent the last about 45 minutes writing some very carefully thought notes out about exactly what I wanted to say. They're right here. But there's no podium, so I'm not going to use that.

(LAUGHTER)

I'll just tell you some things that I feel from my heart. Well, another silver, and it's -- another gold, then we got another silver. And now there have been...

(APPLAUSE)

There have been three races so far. I've gotten two silvers and one gold.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you, Wyoming.

But, tonight, congratulations go to Senator John McCain for running a first-class race. Congratulations on the gold, Senator. Great job. Let's give him a round of applause.

(APPLAUSE)

I know we'd rather have it, but he did a good job and out- competed us. And I want to say thanks to you for the work that you've done, particularly my national chair here, Senator Judd Gregg, his wife, Kathy Gregg, who was my state chair.

Where's Bruce Keough, my other state co-chair? Where's Bruce? Bruce is over here.

You know, normally we have our chairs on the stage with us, you know, not serving the soft drinks. Come on up here, Bruce. And, of course -- there's Bruce. Thank you, Bruce, our campaign manager.

Where's Jim Merrill? Come on up here, Jim Merrill. Get up here, Jim.

And you all know my sweetheart, Ann, and all of my family who are here with us.

(APPLAUSE)

This has been quite an experience for us, I'll tell you. We thought we knew New Hampshire, but now we really know New Hampshire. With almost 250 events that we've done across this state, we have learned why it is that New Hampshire is the first primary in the nation. There is a reason for it.

The people in this great state really get to know the candidates, ask them questions, learn about their heart and their character. People of New Hampshire opened their hearts and their homes to us, and for that we will always be grateful.

Thank you so much, New Hampshire.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, in all those events, as we've listened to so many people from across the state, we hear time and time again a similar message, and that is that people are frustrated. They're concerned about the future of our country, particularly our leadership in Washington.

They feel that Washington is broken. And they've heard time and again promises that haven't been fulfilled by Washington.

They've heard Washington say that they're going to stop illegal immigration, but they haven't. They've heard Washington say that they're going to get us off of our dependence on foreign oil, but they haven't.

They've heard Washington say they're going to get people insured that don't have health insurance, but they haven't. They've heard Washington say they're going to improve our schools and make them the best in the world, but they haven't.

They've heard Washington say that they're going to protect our jobs and make sure that the jobs that we have are the best in the world, but they haven't done that.

They've heard Washington say they're going to balance the budget, but they haven't done that. They've heard Washington say that they're going to make life easier on the middle class and reduce the burdens on the middle class, but they haven't.

You finally got it, didn't you?

(LAUGHTER)

And I believe that it's time to send somebody to Washington who will actually get the job done.

(APPLAUSE)

Thanks, you guys.

I don't think it's going to get done by Washington insiders, sending insiders back to Washington just to change different chairs. That's not going to get the job done.

I think you have to have somebody from outside Washington who has proven that he can get the job done in one setting after another. And as you know, I had the privilege of working in the private sector for 25 years and helped with a number of other people to make businesses stronger, not every time successful. I learned from the successes and the failures.

And then went off to the Olympics and, again, with a great team of people, helped make that successful. And, then, the position of governor of Massachusetts, got the chance to make that state more successful, did something no one thought would be possible.

We did get health care on track for all of our citizens in our state, balanced the budget all four years, rebuilt our rainy day fund.

I've been able to get the job done. And I don't care who gets the credit, Republican or Democrat. I've got no scores to settle. I don't worry about who's going to be the hero and who's not going to be.

I want to make sure that the America that this family inherits and your family inherits is an America that remains strong and the hope of the Earth. This is the greatest nation on Earth.

(APPLAUSE)

This is the greatest nation on Earth, not just because of our beautiful landscape, but because of the American people, and the heart and character of the American people, and the things they believe, the fact that Americans believe in hard work, the fact that Americans love opportunity and they love it above dependence on government, the fact that Americans are willing to take risk for the future and sacrifice for their families, that we are a family-oriented people, the fact that, by and large, Americans believe in God, and even those who don't believe in God believe in something bigger than themselves, the fact that Americans are patriotic.

I will strengthen America. As your president, when I come back here next November, I will fight across this nation, onto Michigan, and South Carolina, and Florida, and Nevada, and states after that...

(APPLAUSE)

I'll fight to be back here in November in those states and in others, but I'll also fight to make sure that we strengthen this great country by strengthening our families and our homes where our kids learn those American values, by strengthening our economy.

Look, if people wonder what direction America is going to head, if they choose a Democratic leader like Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, all they have to do is look at a state like Michigan, which has had Democratic leadership, where taxes have been going up and jobs have been going out, and where the industries are struggling.

We want to make sure that we strengthen our economy and, finally, where we strengthen our military to make sure we're safe here and abroad.

I will strengthen America. I will stand up for the values we believe in. And I'll make sure that America is, as it has always been, the hope of the Earth.

Thank you so much.

(APPLAUSE)

Thank you.



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