Sam Stryker | Wednesday, November 7, 2012
BOSTON – It’s all over.
At 12:55 a.m. today, Mitt Romney walked out on to a stage at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (BCEC) to raucous applause from Republican supporters. Upon reaching the podium, he told the audience he had just called President Barack Obama to congratulate him on his victory and second presidential term.
“This is a time of great challenges for America, I pray that our president will be successful in guiding our nation,” he said.
Looking forward to Obama’s second term, Romney urged politicians and citizens alike to work together for the benefit of the United States.
“The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisanship,” he said. “Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens have to rise to the occasion.”
The former Massachusetts governor advocated for all elected leaders to work together and push past partisanship.
“We look to Democrats and Republicans and government at all levels to put the people before the politics,” he said. “I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.”
Romney said he ran for office because he was “concerned” about America, but because of solid political foundations, has great hope for the future of the country.
“This election is over, but our principles endure,” he said. “I believe the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to a new greatness.”
In his address, Romney thanked his running mate, Wisc. Rep. Paul Ryan, and urged him to continue to contribute his political efforts to the American nation.
“Besides my wife Ann, Paul is the best choice I have ever made,” he said. “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.”
Romney then thanked his wife Ann and his family for their support and efforts in his run for president. Last, he acknowledged the huge team of supporters who made his campaign possible.
“I don’t believe there has ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years,” he said.
In the closing remarks of his speech, Romney said he and Ryan “put everything on the field” in the hopes of guiding America in their vision.
“We have given our all to this campaign. I so wish, I so wish, that I had been able to fulfill your votes to lead the country in a different direction,” he said. “But the nation chose another leader, and so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”
Earlier in the evening, just after 9 p.m., Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, a Notre Dame alumnus, phoned into the BCEC from Virginia on video screens with personal words of encouragement for the Romney campaign. He said he was excited with voter turnout in his state, saying four to five districts were staying open late for voting.
“We’re excited about the momentum we had going into the campaign.”
McDonnell said he was enthused with the work of Republican volunteers in the state and thought the state might swing to Romney, though its 13 Electoral College votes eventually went to Obama.
“We remain very optimistic about our chances to win here in Virginia,” he said. “But because of the exceptional work of volunteers here and tremendous ‘get out the vote’ effort, and Gov. Romney’s personal conviction and positive message … we think we’re going to carry the day.”
As hundreds looked on at the BCEC, McDonnell thanked Republican volunteers for their “incredible sacrificial support” in propelling Romney’s presidential campaign around the country.
“Your leadership, your being good ambassadors for the governor all over this great country, we know we need a change in leadership, and Gov. Romney and Paul Ryan are the ones who will do it,” he said.
At the time, McDonnell said he anticipated tomorrow morning, when he could address the former Massachusetts governor by a new title.
“I’m looking forward to calling President Romney in the morning,” he said.
Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who stood in for Obama in practice debates with Romney, phoned in to the BCEC via videoconference around 9:40 p.m. with a message of support.
“Everybody tonight better be extremely proud of the work they have done,” he said.
Portman, a veteran of nine presidential campaigns said he has never been “prouder” than his participation with the Romney/Ryan ticket. He noted the campaign’s motto from the popular television show “Friday Night Lights” – “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose” – and said this was evidenced in efforts in his home state.
“We have clear eyes. … We certainly have full hearts,” he said. “And finally, we can’t lose. We’re doing the right thing for our state and our country. We feel really good about it.”