Posted: January 29, 2008 10:41 PM
Romney Concedes Florida to McCain, Looks to Feb. 5
Arizona Sen. John McCain narrowly edged out former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Florida’s tight Tuesday primary after a hard-fought campaign battle between the two rivals.
After thanking Florida voters for their support, Romney congratulated McCain but then emphasized his continuing fight for the Republican nomination and his ambitions as president.
“We’re not going to change Washington by sending the same people back just to sit in different chairs,” he said in a speech in Florida. “I think it’s time for the politicians to leave Washington for the citizens to take over.”
Romney touted his business experience and told supporters that he has the best plan to strengthen the economy. “The economy is in my DNA,” he said, adding “American needs a president in the White House that has actually had a job in the real economy. Knowing how America works is better than knowing how Washington works.”
Looking ahead to Maine’s GOP primary this Friday and next Tuesday’s 22-state vote, a Rasmussen poll conducted ahead of Tuesday’s Florida contest shows Romney leading McCain in national polls by only two percent.
The two, who traded sharp barbs on the campaign trail over the past week, will head into Super Tuesday’s vote as the national front-runners and will likely seek to court different types of Republican voters.
McCain “was benefiting from the support of self-described moderates, as well as older voters and Hispanics,” the Associated Press. “Romney was favored by voters opposed to abortion and to easing the path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. About 40 percent of self-described conservatives supported him, as well, compared to about 25 percent for McCain.”