Romney Exit Will Put Damper on Spending

Speech at CPAC May Be His Smartest Marketing Move Yet

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Today at the Conservative Political Action Committee meeting (Motto: "Waiting desperately to boo John McCain since Tuesday night"), Mitt Romney announced he'd be exiting the race for the Republican nomination. Full transcript of the speech is available here, but here's the bit that matters to networks and media outlets hoping Romney was going to throw a few million more dollars their way:

And in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.

This is not an easy decision for me. I hate to lose. My family, my friends and our supporters... many of you right here in this room... have given a great deal to get me where I have a shot at becoming President. If this were only about me, I would go on. But I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, I feel I must now stand aside, for our party and for our country.
So no crazy spending war on the right.

Oddly enough, if Romney seems so gracious in this particular defeat one is tempted to think he should have been making this speech all along instead of blowing millions on TV ads. Who knows? Plenty of Republicans didn't trust him to begin with and only came around once their choices were narrowed to Romney, John McCain and Mike Huckabee.

This could lay the groundwork for a run next time around (especially if McCain loses to the Democratic choice, which is guaranteed to happen if Huck gets the VP slot). That's assuming Romney has any money left.

Republicans--and conservatives in particular--are going to go nuts for the speech for two reasons: 1) True or not, that he says he's sacrificing his bid for the good of the country resonates well with Republicans; 2) If you have the time, compare Romney's speech to Ronald Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech for Barry Goldwater way back in 1964.

For a bonus, here's a video snippet of the Gipper's speech. Granted, he's no Barack Obama, but not a shabby speech.

UPDATE: It doesn't happen often but I finally guessed something right this election cycle. The Politico writes: "He intends to run again in four years, according to a senior member of his inner circle."