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Mitt Romney's Florida Victory Speech

Mitt Romney's Florida Victory Speech

By Mitt Romney - January 31, 2012

MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thanks, you guys! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

Thank you to the people in this room and to the people all over Florida, thank you tonight for this great victory. There are -- there are fewer -- there are fewer candidates tonight than when the race began, but three gentlemen are serious and able competitors and they're still in the race and I want to congratulate them on another hard fought contest in this campaign.

Primary contests are not easy. They're not supposed to be, as this primary unfolds, our opponents in the other party have been watching, and they like to comfort themselves with the thought a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak. But I've got news for them.

A competitive primary does not divide us, it prepares us and we will win. And when we gather back here in Tampa seven months from now for our convention -- ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America.

Three years ago, this week, a newly elected President Obama faced the American people and he said, look, if I can't turn this economy around in three years, I'll be looking at a one-term proposition, and we're here to collect!

You know the results. It's been 35 months of unemployment above 8 percent. And under this president, more Americans have lost their jobs and more home foreclosures have occurred than under the administration of any other president in history.

In the last 10 days, I met with a father, who was terrified that this would be the last night his family would be able to sleep in the only home his son has known. I've met seniors who thought these would be the best years of their life and now they're worried day-to-day about how to make ends meet. I met some Hispanic entrepreneurs who thought they had achieved the American dream and now seeing it disappear. In the "State of the Union" address, the president actually said these words. He says, let's remember now how we got here.

Don't worry, Mr. President, we remember exactly how we got here. You won the election! Leadership, leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses. In another era of American crisis, Thomas Payne is reported to have said, lead, follow or get out of the way.

Well, Mr. President, you were elected to lead. You chose to follow, and now, it's time for you to get out of the way. I stand ready to lead this party and to lead our nation as a man who spent his life outside Washington.

I know what it's like to start a business. I know how extra ordinarily difficult it is to build something from nothing. I know how government kills jobs and, yes, I know how it can help from time- to-time.

My leadership helped build businesses from scratch. My leadership helped save the Olympics from scandal and give our American athletes the chance to make us all proud as they did.

My leadership cut taxes 19 times and cast over 800 vetoes. We balance the budget every single year and we kept our schools first in the nation. My leadership will end the Obama era and begin a new era of American prosperity.

This campaign -- this campaign is about more than replacing a president. It's about saving the soul of America. President Obama and I have very different visions of America. President Obama wants to grow government and continue to amass trillion dollar deficits.

I will not just slow the growth of government. I will cut the spending of government. I will not just freeze government share of the total economy, I will reduce it and without raising taxes, I will finally get America to a balanced budget.

President Obama's view of a free economy is to send your money to his friends. My vision for a free enterprise economy is to return entrepreneurship and genius and creativity to the American people! On one of the most personal matters of our lives, our health care, President Obama would turn decision making over to government bureaucrats. He forced through Obama-care and I will repeal it.

You know, like his colleagues in the faculty lounge, who think they know better, President Obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy.

I will make America the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, for innovators and job creators and unlike the other people running for president, I know how to do that because I've done it before. President Obama orders religious organizations to violate their conscience. I will defend religious liberty and overturn regulations that trample on our first freedom.

President Obama believes that our role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. He's intent on shrinking our military capacity at a time when the world is facing rising threats.

I will insist on a military so powerful no one would ever think of challenging it. President Obama has adopted a policy of appeasement and apology. I will speak out for those seeking freedom and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends around the world.

You see, you see, President Obama wants to fundamentally transform America and make it something perhaps we wouldn't recognize. I want to restore to America the values and principles that made us the hope of the earth, and I'll do it.

Our plans -- our plans protect freedom and opportunity and our blueprint is the constitution of the United States. Together, we will build an America where hope is a new job with a paycheck, not a faded word on an old bumper sticker.

Now, let me be clear. The path I lay out is not one paved with ever increasing government checks and cradle to grave assurance that government will always be the solution. If this election is a bidding war for who can promise the most goodies and the most benefits, I'm not your president.

You have that president today. If you want to make this election about restoring American greatness, I hope you'll join us. If you believe the disappointments -- if you believe the disappointments in the last few years are a detour and not our destiny, then I'm asking for your vote.

I'm asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an American. I want you to remember what it was like to be hopeful and excited about the future and not to dread each new headline. I want you to remember when you spent more time dreaming about where to send your kids to college than wondering how you'd make it to the next paycheck.

I want you to remember when you weren't afraid to look at your retirement saves or the price at the gas pump. I want you to remember when our White House reflected the best of who we are, not the worst of what Europe has become.

That America is still out there. We believe in that America. We still believe in the America that is the land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. We believe in the America that challenges each of us to be bigger and better than ourselves.

This election, let's fight for the America we love. We believe in America. Thank you so much! Florida, you're the best! God bless the United States of America! Thank you! Thank you! 

Mitt Romney is the former Governor of Massachusetts and a Republican candidate for President.

Mitt Romney

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