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Romney wins Florida primary

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney walloped — that’s the word —his rivals for the Republican presidential ticket with a massive win in the Florida primary on Tuesday.

world Updated: Feb 02, 2012 00:58 IST
Yashwant Raj

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney walloped — that’s the word —his rivals for the Republican presidential ticket with a massive win in the Florida primary on Tuesday. Romney won 47 % of the votes to Newt Gingrich’s 32, Rick Santorum’s 13 and Ron Paul’s 7. The primaries score: Romney picks two states and Santorum and Gingrich one each.

With Florida settle in his favour, Romney returned to his campaign’s focus on President Barack Obama, a tactic built around selling his nomination as inevitable.

“Mr President, you were elected to lead, you chose to follow,” Romney said in a victory speech, adding, “now, it’s time for you to get out of the way.” Romney’s speech was an appeal to the core of the Republican party, which remains somewhat wary of his conservative credentials — so he spoke of faith, a clincher issue for the base.

Gingrich, on the other hand, acted the bad loser. He was surly in his post-result speech, whined about money power (reference to Romney’s millions) and the establishment. The former speaker is battling the Republican establishment, which is convinced he will never make it, but by staying on in the race, he will have damaged Romney beyond repair.

For the moment, the battle for the second spot behind Romney has opened up once again. And both Gingrich and Santorum raced to claim it on Tuesday night. It’s clear from tonight’s result, said Gingrich, that it’s going to be a two-man race: between a conservative leader (that’s him) and a Massachusetts moderate (Romney).


First lady cheers Romney


Mitt Romney’s unexpected singing on the campaign trail has won him at least one Democratic fan — Michelle Obama. Jay Leno asked the first lady about Romney’s musical talent on the “Tonight Show” on Tuesday, after the Republican presidential candidate surprised supporters in Florida with an on-pitch version of “America the Beautiful” on Monday. “It’s beautiful. And it is America’s song, and it’s a song that’s meant to be sung by every American,” the first lady said. AP