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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Gingrich Wins Georgia; Santorum Wins Oklahoma
Aired March 6, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: All right. We're going to break away from Newt Gingrich because we've got news, important news to report right now.
A second win for Rick Santorum tonight. CNN projects Rick Santorum the winner of the Oklahoma primary. He needed this win, he got this win. Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, getting his second win of the night. Earlier, he won Tennessee. Oklahoma, an important state, 40 delegates at stake. Rick Santorum the winner.
Let's tell you -- let's show you the votes in Oklahoma right now, how we made this projection, based on the exit poll results, and Rick Santorum was out of the exit poll. Now we have 15 percent of the official vote in, Santorum with 34 percent, 18,594, 27 percent for Romney, also 27 percent for Gingrich, a close contest for second place in Oklahoma right now with 15 percent, now 16 percent of the vote in. Ron Paul coming in third.
But Rick Santorum, we project, is the winner, is the winner in Oklahoma. Earlier, we projected he's the winner in Tennessee.
But Ohio is still very, very close. We have not been able to make a projection. Look at how close it is with 20 percent of the vote in Ohio in right now, 38 percent for Santorum. He's almost 2,000 votes ahead of Mitt Romney with 37 percent, 88,111 for Santorum, 86,159 for Romney, 35,332, 15 percent for Gingrich, only 8 percent for Ron Paul.
This is with 20 percent, 20 percent of the vote in, but the news right now is that Rick Santorum we project he wins Oklahoma.
Here are the states as they're up for tonight. Right now, we projected three wins for Mitt Romney -- Virginia, Vermont and Massachusetts. Two wins for Santorum -- Oklahoma and Tennessee. One win for Newt Gingrich in Georgia. We're waiting for Ohio. Three more states getting ready at 10:00 p.m. Eastern, a little bit less than an hour from now, two of those will be closing the polls in Idaho, North Dakota, Alaska at midnight Eastern.
But you can see what's going on. It's -- Oklahoma, an important win, though, for Rick Santorum.
Ali Velshi is on the scene for us in Oklahoma.
Ali, you're at the ballot camera over there. Set the scene for us. Oklahoma, Santorum needed another win. He got it in Oklahoma.
ALI VELSHI, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, in fact, we moved over, Wolf, because there's a big watch party going on, the state chairman is speaking behind me. The governor is here, Mary Fallin. And I'll tell you, we've been in Oklahoma for the last few days talking to people. And they've been telling us, you know, they really feel more in tune with Rick Santorum in terms of the cultural values of the state. It's a very conservative state. The governor just called it the most red state in America.
Their big concern here is energy. It's got has a lower unemployment rate than the rest of the country. The pipelines all run through here. The Keystone Pipeline was going to be a big boon for this state. So they wanted a candidate who believes in their energy outlook. All of the Republican candidate share the energy outlook here so their choice was about who they felt shared their values and most people in this state who we talked to said it was Rick Santorum.
There was some questions about who could win the election and that's why a lot of people went over to Romney. But the bottom line is, the people we spoke to were saying Rick Santorum represents the social conservative values that Oklahoma represents. And yes, it's a win for him tonight -- Wolf.
BLITZER: And important win. First, we project that he wins in Tennessee, now in Oklahoma. We're still obviously waiting for Ohio right now.
But, Ali, stand by. I'm going to come back to you a little bit later. Ali Velshi, on the scene for us.
But take a look. Here are the breakdown of what has happened so far. Let me start over here in Virginia. Virginia, we projected a while ago, that Mitt Romney is the winner. He was on the ballot in Virginia, so was Ron Paul but the other two candidates, Santorum and Gingrich, didn't get on the ballot. We project the winner in Virginia, Mitt Romney. Same in Vermont, Mitt Romney, the winner there, all four candidates were on the ballot in Vermont. Mitt Romney wins easily in Vermont. He wins very easily in his home state of Massachusetts as well, 38 delegates in Massachusetts.
So those are the three wins for Mitt Romney so far tonight.
Let's go over to the wins for Rick Santorum. Right now, we projected he's the winner in Tennessee, an important state. Also Rick Santorum the winner in Oklahoma. Two important states. Rick Santorum we project is the winner.
One state for Newt Gingrich, one state being Georgia. Newt Gingrich is the winner in Georgia. He just wrapped up speaking in Georgia. We heard most of his speech. But you can see the winners so far.
We're still waiting for Ohio and then three states are still vote right now, Idaho, North Dakota and Alaska. Idaho and North Dakota, they close at the top of the hour, 10:00 p.m. Eastern, Alaska closes at midnight. You saw Paul Vercammen's interview with the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, earlier. We might have some clips from that, highlights of that, later to share with you as well. So, so far a mixed bag.
Let's go to Anderson Cooper. A mixed bag. Three wins for Romney, two for Santorum, one for Gingrich, but you know what, we're still waiting for Ohio, very, very close there.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, very close and critical state. We just heard from Newt Gingrich. What do you make of what you all heard from the former speaker, Alex?
ALEX CASTELLANOS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I think we see why Newt Gingrich is 1-9 tonight. You know we were talking earlier about how candidates connect with voters. I think that's a lesson in how not to. One of the things you explain to candidates is don't spend the whole campaign telling voters that you are more important than they are, how important you are. I'm speaker, I'm this, I'm that.
There wasn't a single story in there about a Georgia voter, about anybody's life, anything to connect with. You know Barack Obama, when he ran, yes, we can, we are the change we've been waiting for. He gave the voter value in the political contest. There wasn't any of that.
COOPER: We did hear -- we did hear from Speaker Gingrich over and over the term "Wall Street." And I guess he 's using that to -- I mean that's what he's referring Mitt Romney as.
ARI FLEISCHER, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY FOR PRES. BUSH: Yes, and he was also complaining about the Wall Street money, et cetera, without making note of the fact he has own super PAC, of course, which is Las Vegas money.
FLEISCHER: You know, money is money. They both have them. But the biggest issue for Newt, as he's right, he has done a tremendous amount for the Republican Party. And those of us who remember '94 when the House and Senate went Republican, Newt had a lot to do with that. But you can't go 1 for 10 and say, I'm on my way, we're going to the next state. I mean at some point, there's an inevitability here for Newt's candidacy. He can say people tried to write me off before but you know what, at some point, writing him off is going to be right.
COOPER: We've got to take a quick break because we understand Rick Santorum is going to be speaking very shortly. Want to take a quick break and we'll bring that to you live. We'll be right back.
BLITZER: Three wins so far for Mitt Romney, two for Rick Santorum, one for Newt Gingrich. We're waiting for Ohio. Let's see where it stands with 23 percent of the vote in Ohio in right now. Rick Santorum is building up a slight lead, 38 percent to 36 percent, almost 100,000 votes for Rick Santorum in Ohio, 94,000 votes plus for Mitt Romney, he's ahead by 5200 for Rick Santorum. Newt Gingrich, only 15 percent. Ron Paul, 8 percent.
Rick Santorum doing well in Ohio, 23 percent of the vote in. Our exit poll numbers earlier showed a slight lead for Romney. We have not made a projection in Ohio. We don't have enough information. We're going to wait for a lot more of the official tally to come in before we can make a projection in Ohio.
We have caucus cameras, though, all across the place. Take a look. We've got a caucus camera in Boise, Idaho. They're closing their voting at the top of the hour. In Wasilla, Alaska, they close midnight Eastern. Wasilla, Alaska, you saw Paul Vercammen's interview with the former governor, Sarah Palin, in Wasilla earlier here on CNN.
In Fargo, North Dakota, we got our caucus camera right there. They're actually counting ballots in Fargo, North Dakota, right now. They're closing at the top of the hour. So we got more races.
Jim Spellman actually is in Fargo, North Dakota. I want to check in with him before we go over to John King.
Jim Spellman, set the scene for us.
JIM SPELLMAN, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hey, Wolf. Most of North Dakota is in Central Time so the balloting has ended here. The Mountain Time portion of the state, about 15 percent of the electorate, they're still up for the -- top of the next hour. They're counting votes right here.
This is Dan and Jamie. They're the volunteers.
Dan, how's it going? What are you doing right now?
DAN, VOLUNTEER: Well, we're trying to make sure all our ballots match the number of registrants.
SPELLMAN: Uh-huh. And, Jamie, tell us so far what are your results so far?
JAMIE, VOLUNTEER: Well, we are actually the district at large so a lot of the folks that have come in from around the state are supporting Ron Paul because he was here this evening so the majority of our votes.
SPELLMAN: How many votes do you have for Ron Paul right now?
JAMIE: Well, looks like -- about 60.
SPELLMAN: And how many do you have for Romney?
SPELLMAN: And Rick Santorum?
SPELLMAN: Any votes for Newt Gingrich so far?
JAMIE: He just got on the board.
SPELLMAN: Just -- one vote for Newt Gingrich.
So, Wolf, there you have it. It's been a big turnout here for Ron Paul. Definitely a lot of his supporters here. Ron Paul himself spoke here and that was a big attraction for people to come out, see the man and do their voting -- Wolf.
BLITZER: In Fargo, North Dakota, how many people are at that caucus would you estimate right now, Jim?
SPELLMAN: Well, they just finished voting. I think about 2,000, maybe 2500 people. They passed out 4,000 ballots amongst all of the different districts here, 10 districts plus an at large. And definitely about two-thirds of those are gone. So 2,025 people maybe. Big turnout here for them tonight. They're very happy with it. The Ron Paul people are cautiously optimistic but they think it's going to be a big night for them here.
They put a lot of time getting their man on the ground here and there have been no negative advertising, no television advertising, so they feel like that groundwork is going to pay off for them tonight, they hope -- Wolf.
BLITZER: He's looking forward to his first win. Let's see if it happens in North Dakota.
Jim, can you go over to another district, another table over there, and see how the vote is coming in? I'm just curious to see if what we just saw, that lopsided vote for Ron Paul, is consistent with some other districts.
SPELLMAN: How are you guys doing here in District 27? Do you have any numbers yet?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nope.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Not yet.
SPELLMAN: OK. They're still counting here in -- they're still counting here in District 27. District 22, do you guys have any numbers here yet?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No.
SPELLMAN: In District 22?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No.
SPELLMAN: No numbers here yet. Some groups, they use the hash mark method, some they create stats for each candidate and then they do the counting. So different processes here. We'll keep our eyes on it, Wolf, for sure.
BLITZER: We're keeping our eye in Fargo, in Wasilla, in Boise, Idaho. Those polls getting ready to close at the top of the hour in North Dakota and Idaho.
John King is with us watching this. You know, I'm going to go back to Ohio right now. It's a very, very close in Ohio. And this could be a long night.
JOHN KING, CNN ANCHOR: I think the last time we looked at it, it might have been Romney red, it is now Santorum purple.
Welcome to Super Tuesday and the roller coaster battleground state of Ohio. You see that right there. About 7,000 votes, a little shy of that right now, 39 percent to 36 percent. But only 24 percent of the vote in.
And Wolf, when you look at the state again, we've seen this in some other states, you're seeing a lot of purple and you think, wow, Rick Santorum is winning in a lot of the states.
BLITZER: He's purple.
KING: But just to hit a random county, tiny population counties. Rick Santorum does well in small rural counties, Tea Party voters, evangelical voters. You see that out here. But where's Governor Romney doing well? Cuyahoga County, the largest county in the state, about 12 percent of the population, largely Democratic when we get to November, but in the suburbs around Cleveland a lot of Republicans.
And look, a big Romney lead, almost none of the vote counted yet. So when you see that Santorum statewide lead at the moment, remember this is a big place to count. Romney is winning. And there's hardly any of the vote counted there. You pull back from there, Lake County, again the Cleveland suburbs up along the lake. Romney with a decent lead there, 22 percent --
BLITZER: I just need to interrupt for a second.
BLITZER: They're cheering over at Santorum headquarters in Ohio. He's getting ready to speak at some point. We're going to hear what he has to say. I think they're walking in right now. There they are right now. They're getting ready to here from Rick Santorum.
Finish your thought before we go to Rick Santorum.
KING: This is the battleground right now. And so if you look, there's still a lot of votes to be counted. Again, Hamilton County, we have hardly any of the vote in, Romney with a big lead there. So if you look at the map right now, you come back to the statewide numbers, Santorum is leading at the moment. There is plenty of time and plenty of room to see a Romney comeback.
We're going to have to watch how this plays out. You just saw the numbers change abut up to 24 percent statewide, a three percentage point or a 6,000 vote -- literally a 6,000 vote gap. Six thousand votes is not a big number when you're looking at so much of the vote still out.
Why is Ohio so important, Wolf? Santorum leading at the moment. Look, he's won Tennessee, he's won Oklahoma, these are his previous victories. Romney is taking New England, he took Virginia tonight, and if you just look at this map filling in, Ohio is the one everyone is going to wait for.
BLITZER: Santorum doing well in Ohio. He wins in Oklahoma and Tennessee. He's speaking to an enthusiastic group in Ohio right now. Let's listen in.
SANTORUM: Thank you!
(APPLAUSE) Well, thank you for coming out, Steubenville, Ohio. And God bless you. Thank you for being here.
For the folks listening at home, we're in Steubenville, Ohio.
Not too many presidential candidates come to Steubenville, Ohio, much less hold their victory party here in Steubenville, Ohio.
We're in a high school gymnasium. I just came from our war room, which doubles as the weight room for the high school, was pumping a little iron to get myself psyched for coming out here.
SANTORUM: And we just prepared our talk where many talks were prepared for this gym floor, in the coach's room. This is our roots. Here behind me is, well, a part of our family, because this is the where we're from. We're from down here in the areas of southeastern Ohio, West Virginia, and southwestern Pennsylvania, where -- where the folks who worked hard and built this country lived and worked for many, many decades here.
I'm particularly excited to be here with my family. When I say "my family," I mean not just my family of our immediate family, but my -- my -- my mom, who's right here. This is my mom, Kay (ph), 93...
... and Karen's mother and father, Ken and Betty Lee (ph), right over there, Garber (ph), thank you.
I got my brother here and his family, and Karen has, well, several. Karen is one of 11 children, so you can imagine brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, we've a great crew back here, all behind us, all behind us, because this campaign is about the towns that have been left behind and the families that made those towns the greatest towns across this country.
This was a big night tonight, lots of states. We're going to win a few, we're going to lose a few, but as it looks right now, we're going to get at least a couple of gold medals and a whole passel full of silver medals.
We can -- we can add to Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado now Oklahoma and Tennessee. We have...
We have won in the West, the Midwest, and the South, and we're ready to win across this country.
(APPLAUSE) I want to thank, again, my wife. I know that, you know, those who have seen her on the campaign trail, the common refrain is "More Karen, less Rick." But I'm working on it. I'm trying to get as good as she is at this political stuff.
But she has been an amazing partner for -- for me and my conscience, my -- my biggest supporter, my most important, my most honest critic, and someone who has kept our family together and continues to do remarkable and incredible things every day for me and all of us, thank you very much, my love.
We have almost all the kids here. We have John, Sarah Maria -- where are you -- Patrick, Elizabeth, Peter, and Daniel. And they're all wearing buttons for our little Bella. So we got everybody here.
We went up against enormous odds, not just here in the state of Ohio, where -- who knows how much we were outspent -- but in every state. There wasn't a single state in the list that I just gave you where I spent more money than the people I was able to defeat to win that state. In every case, we overcame the odds.
Here in Ohio: still too close to call.
But just like the folks here in Steubenville and throughout the Ohio Valley and all the -- all the valleys of this country that are the heart and soul of this country, they worked hard and they overcame odds. And that's what -- that's what we're here to talk about. And that's why we came to Steubenville. That's one of the reasons I'm so proud to have my mom and my father-in-law and mother-in-law up on stage with me. They're a part of the greatest generation of America.
They preserved liberty by sacrificing immeasurably to keep this country free from despots. Ladies and gentlemen, it's a bit different battle that we're engaged in today, but it's no less a battle for the basic liberties that this country was founded upon.
We have a group of people in Washington and in other places around this country who believe that the elites in Washington are the ones who should be making the decisions for all of us, and they have systematically gone and grown the size and scale of government to beyond where it's -- well, it's just unrecognizable. We are running deficits, where we're borrowing 40 cents of every dollar.
And as you look at all of the young people here, the leaders in Washington are saying to you, on your tab, and you will pay for this, the rest of your life.
What right does the government have to do that to the next generation?
We have people who believe that America's best days are behind us. They believe that it's no longer possible for free enterprise, a free economy, and free people to be able to build strong communities and families and be able to provide for themselves and their neighbors. No, we now need an increasingly powerful federal government to do this for us.
The reason that Karen and I ultimately decided to get into this race was because of that issue, and in particular one issue. I've said it almost every stump speech I've given. If it wasn't for one particular issue that to me breaks the camel's back with respect to liberty in this country, and that is the issue of Obamacare.
What we have -- what we will go to in a very short period of time, the next two years, a little less than 50 percent of the people in this country depend on some form of federal payment, some form of government benefit to help provide for them. After Obamacare, it will not be less than 50 percent; it will be 100 percent.
Now, every single American will be looking to the federal government -- not to their neighbor, not to their church, not to their business or to their employer, or to the community or nonprofit organization in their community -- will be looking always to those in charge, to those who now say to you that they are the allocator and creator of rights in America.
(BOOING) Ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of the end of freedom in America. Once the government has control of your life, then they got you. That's why we decided to step out. As you look, I mean, Karen and I have seven children, ages 20...
... ages 20 to three, not exactly the best time to be out running for president of the United States. We've given up our -- our jobs. We're living off our savings. Yeah, we're making a little sacrifice for a very, very big goal, and that is replacing this president on November of this year.
In order to make that happen, the Republican Party has to nominate somebody who can talk about the broad vision of what America is. As I talk about in every one of my speeches, I talk about how important it is that we remember who we are.
Ronald Reagan, in his farewell address to the American people, worried about whether America would remember what made us great, that we are not a great country because we have a great and powerful government. We are a great country because we believe that rights don't come from the government, but as in our founding document, the Declaration of Independence, says, our rights come to us from our creator.
The government's job and the Constitution of this country was intended to do one thing: protect those rights, so each and every one of you would have the opportunity to build their own life, to take your own path, to create a strong family, strong neighborhood, community, state and country. That's what made America great.
We built a great country from the bottom up. And we need people to go up against President Obama and his vision of a top-down government control, of not just health care, but of energy and of manufacturing and of financial services, and who knows what else is next.
But this is a -- this is a president who believes -- who believes that he simply is better able to do this than you are, that he will be fairer than you are with your fellow man.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is an election about fundamental liberty. And the signature piece, the signature piece of legislation that points this out, where you have economic rights created by the government, and then the government using its heavy hand to force you to buy insurance, to force you to take policies that you don't want, and, of course, to force you to take coverages that may even violate your faith convictions...
(BOOING) ... in this race, there is only one candidate who can go up on the most important issue of the day and make the case, because I've never been for an individual mandate at a state or federal level. I've never...
AUDIENCE: Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick! Rick!
SANTORUM: I've never passed a statewide government-run health care system when I was governor, because, well, I wasn't governor, but Governor Romney did. And now we find out this week not only did he pass it in Massachusetts, he advocated for it to be passed in Washington, D.C., in the middle of the debate on health care.
It's one thing to defend a mandated top-down government-run health care program that you imposed on the people of your state. It's another thing to recommend and encourage the president of the United States to impose the same thing on the American people. And it's another thing yet to go out and tell the American public that you didn't do it.
We need a person running against President Obama who is right on the issues and truthful with the American public.
This race provides a great opportunity for a great contrast.
SANTORUM: Big things have to happen in this country to -- to bring us back from the brink of insolvency. Big things have to happen so we can secure our freedom and, as I talked about this morning in front of AIPAC, that we have a president that stands with our allies and defends this country and does not apologize for America around the world.
We need a fighter. We need a fighter and someone who learned what America was about by growing up in communities just like this, understanding how America and neighborhoods and families work, and believing in them, understanding they're under a lot of stress and strain right now, much of which is put upon them by the government, understanding that that's the greatness of our country. My mom and my mother-in-law and father-in-law represent here on this stage the greatest generation. And...
Mom's hamming it up a little bit over there. OK.
But the greatest generation was the greatest generation not because they had greater -- greater character or courage or perseverance than those of us today. The greatest generation was great because, when freedom was at stake, they rose to meet the call to defend this country.
We're at a time in this country when freedom is at stake and you are all blessed, as I am, to be here at a time when your country needs you, to be here at a time, like the original founders of this country, who signed that Declaration of Independence, to be here at a time when freedom was at stake and people were willing to go out and do heroic and courageous things to win that victory.
I want to thank all of you here in Ohio for overcoming enormous odds to make this a great night for us here in the Buckeye State.
I want to thank, in particular, up here on stage, Mike and Fran DeWine for all the help and support and standing up and fighting for me throughout the course of this time. Thank you.
BLITZER: All right, he's wrapping up his speech, as you can see. Rick Santorum, a very happy Rick Santorum. I'm a little worried about his 93-year-old mother standing all that time. I hope she's going to be OK.
But I've met her. She's a very, very spry 93-year-old woman. Rick Santorum, he's doing really well in Ohio right now. Take a look at this, 38 percent of the actual vote in Ohio is in. He's got 39 percent to 35 percent for Mitt Romney.
He's almost 16,000 votes ahead of Mitt Romney with 38 percent of the vote in. Gingrich and Paul are way, way behind in third and fourth place. But Rick Santorum doing well.
Some key counties, though, in Ohio have not yet reported, counties where Mitt Romney presumably will do well. John King is taking a closer look. We are going to take a close look at that.
We're also waiting to hear from Mitt Romney. Keep watching the bottom of your screens. We have Ohio, the results coming in. Much more right after this.
BLITZER: A real battle under way in Ohio right now. We're waiting to hear from Mitt Romney. He's getting ready to speak to his supporters. He's in Massachusetts right now, his home state. He won.
Here is the delegate count as of today. This is what happened today so far in the races that we have projected winners. So far, Romney with 81 delegates, Gingrich 34 -- he took Georgia -- 20 for Rick Santorum, six for Ron Paul. Here is the totals from all the contests, from Iowa until today. Let's put it up on the screen right now, all of the delegate count.
An update, 288 for Romney, 106 for Santorum, 73 so far for Gingrich, 52 for Ron Paul. They key number, the magic number, 1,144. That is what you need.
All right, Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, they're getting ready to speak right now. You see them right now.
Ann Romney will introduce her husband. We are going to hear what she has to say. We're going to hear what Mitt Romney has to say.
Watch the bottom of your screens, because the Ohio numbers are coming in. They're coming in relatively quickly right now. Santorum slightly ahead so far. But there are a bunch of key counties where we virtually have no numbers yet, numbers where Romney presumably is strong. We'll see what happens.
Let's listen in to Ann Romney introduce her husband.
ANN ROMNEY, WIFE OF MITT ROMNEY: What a fabulous welcome from Massachusetts. Thank you so much. And what Kerry said is so true. Where he's known best, we're winning by 72 percent.
A. ROMNEY: So far, three wins tonight and counting. So here we go. We have ten states to thank people in. I'm going to see if I can get through this list. So let me see if I can do this.
In Alaska, by the way, they haven't even caucused yet, but we are going to thank them anyway. Lieutenant-Governor Mead Treadwell, Senator Lisa Murkoswki.
In Georgia, Attorney General Sam Owen and Eric Tanneblock (ph), thank you. Idaho, Governor Butch Otter, Senator Jim Risch, Frank Vandersloot, Diamond Watkins, Travis Hawks.
In North Dakota, thank you to Senator John Hoeven.
In Ohio -- here we go -- Senator Rob Portman, the Linder family, Eddie Crawford, Ron Weinberg and honorary buckeye Donald Trump.
A. ROMNEY: He was on the radio for us all the time in Iowa.
In Oklahoma, thank you to Senator Tom Coburn, Thad Balkman (ph), Ryan Leonard, Fred How (ph) and Harold Ham.
In Tennessee, Governor Bill Haslam, Senator Lamar Alexander and Commissioner Bill Haggerty.
In Vermont, Darcy Johnston and State Senators Randy Brock and Vince Elusey (ph), thank you.
More states, guy, sorry.
In Virginia, a big thank you to governor Bob McDonnell. We love him.
A. ROMNEY: Also, our wonderful friend, Lieutenant-Governor Bill Bolling, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Eric, thank you for that endorsement.
Bobby Killberg (ph), Jack Gerard and Tom Ferrell.
Finally, Massachusetts, thank you!
CROWD: We want Mitt. We want Mitt. We want Mitt. We want Mitt. We want Mitt. We want Mitt. We want Mitt.
A. ROMNEY: I have to thank Senator Scott Brown, who's going to be your next senator. Some of our favorite governors, Bill Weld and Paul Cellucci -- our hearts go out to Paul and all the health struggles he's in.
House Minority Leader -- oh, thank you Brad Jones. Chris Collins, Sandy and Paul Edgerly (ph), Bob McGin (ph) and Ron Kaufman (ph).
And a special thank you to the thousands and thousands of volunteers all across this country. Ten states tonight, we have thousands of people making phone calls.
Thank you. We could not do it with all of you. So thank you. We're going to wait for more returns and more good news. Thank you.
CROWD: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt.
BLITZER: I have -- I have something to say about some of the women that I'm hearing from. And we've been all across this country. Do you know what women care about? This is what I love. Women care about jobs.
A. ROMNEY: Women care about the economy. They care about their children. And they care about the debt. And they're angry. And they're furious about the entitlement debt that we're leaving our children. So this is what we're hearing when we're out there. This is our message. It's an economic message. It's about the future for our children. That's what I'm hearing out there.
So from all of that, we know the guy that knows how to do and fix all of that. I said, Mitt, I'm never going to do this again, but here we are. The reason I'm here and the reason I'm behind Mitt and the reason I'm fighting so hard and out there is because I believe he is the only person that can turn around America.
So let's let him do that.
MITT ROMNEY: She's the best. She is the best.
Thank you. Wow. What a -- she is -- she is the best. And that was my son, Tagg, with her, and his wife, Jen, and their children, Allie, and Joe, and Thomas. Great to have my family here, to be back in -- in our home of Massachusetts. It's wonderful to be able to be able -- be able to go home tonight for the first time in two months. And...
What a -- Ann said it right. What -- what a great night. There are three states now tonight under our belt, and counting. We're going to get more before this night is over. We're on our way.
We're -- we're so excited to be in the Bay State tonight, celebrating with family, with friends who've worked just tirelessly on this campaign. And, of course, it's -- it's such an honor to have the citizens that I served as governor as part of our cause. Your support really means everything to Ann and me, and I'm not going to let you down. I'm going to get this nomination.
Tonight, we're -- we're doing some counting. We're counting up the delegates for the convention, and it looks good. And we're counting down the days until November, and that looks even better.
We're -- we're going to take your vote, a huge vote tonight in Massachusetts, and take that victory all the way to the White House.
AUDIENCE: All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! ROMNEY: Now, it's been -- it's been a long -- it's been a long road getting to Super Tuesday, let me -- let me be honest. And -- and my opponents have worked very hard. I want to congratulate Newt Gingrich on a good night in Georgia, and Rick Santorum on his good night, and -- and Ron Paul for his steadfast commitment to our Constitution and his strong support almost everywhere you go. He's got good followers. Thanks, you guys. Nice races.
Now, we -- we officially started our campaign about nine months ago, not very far from here at a farmhouse in New Hampshire. It was a beautiful spring day full of hope and promise, a day that made us all recognize once again how lucky we are to be Americans. What we launched that day was an effort not just to win more votes or more delegates -- delegates. It was the start of an effort to restore the promise of America, a promise that we know has been frayed by these difficult times.
We sounded our clarion call across the country, from airport, tarmacs, to factory floors, to door-to-door, heart-to-heart, face-to- face across the country. I met with moms and dads and teachers and students and factory workers and business owners. I've listened, and I've learned. I hope I'm a better candidate, by the way, for having done all that. And I...
I'm going to forever be grateful to you for the help that you've given me and -- and grateful also to all those people who helped me through this process and -- and taught me along the way.
I met some extraordinary folks. I met someone named Norm Burn (ph), who, for me, exemplifies the innovative spirit that really built the country. Norm didn't go to college, didn't get an engineering degree, but he does have 100 patents in his name. And he turned a small shop in his basement into a very successful company that employs a lot of people. It's -- it's entrepreneurs like -- like Norm Burn (ph) who are going to get America's economy back on track if we can get the government out of the way.
I've -- I've met parents like -- like David McArthur (ph) -- maybe you saw him on "The Huckabee Show" -- whose children, in his case, have served their country in war. David's son was seriously injured in Afghanistan, as he described. He -- he only returned from the front lines to face a new fight, to get the medical care he needed and he surely has earned. And as I told David, I believe that to those who put everything on the line for us, we owe everything to them that they need.
(APPLAUSE) You know, America's -- America's veterans, they deserve a lot better than long lines and reduced benefits. And as president, I'm going to make sure they get the care they deserve.
So -- so, in running for -- for office, I've had the chance of meeting people like Norm and David, and their stories are, of course, inspiring. But I've also met some people who are -- who are hurting under this stagnant Obama economy. And their stories are heartbreaking.
Some people have lost their jobs. Others are working two jobs just to make ends meet. Some used to be middle income, and now they're struggling again, right back where they started. As you know, the prices for gasoline and food and clothing and health care keep going up, but their paychecks stay the same, if they're lucky.
President Obama keeps telling these Americans that the recovery's here. But for them, the recession is not over. That's for sure.
You know, from -- from generation to generation in this country, Americans have always known that the future would be brighter and better. We've always believed in a tomorrow full of possibility and prosperity and security, that -- that deep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America. But today that promise is being threatened by a faltering economy and a failed presidency.
To the millions of Americans who look around and can only see jobs they can't get and bills that they -- that they can't pay, I have a message: You have not failed. You have a president that's failed you, and that's going to change.
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
ROMNEY: You know, when he was campaigning, President Obama said he'd create jobs, but for 36 straight months, unemployment has been above 8 percent, and he's also said he'd cut the deficit in half, and he's doubled it. I mean, as you know, the debts today are too high, the opportunities are too few, and we've seen enough of this president over the last three years to know that we don't need another five of this president. That's for sure.
AUDIENCE: We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! ROMNEY: This -- this -- this president's run out of ideas. He's run out of excuses. And in 2012, we're going to get him out of the out -- out of the White House.
Now, President Obama seems to believe he's unchecked by the Constitution. He's unresponsive to the will of our people. He operates by command instead of by consensus. In a second term, he'd be unrestrained by the demands of re-election. And if there's one thing we cannot afford is four years of Barack Obama with no one to answer to.
ROMNEY: So these days, you hear the president and his team, they keep telling us that things are getting better, but 24 million Americans are still struggling for work. They're high-fiving each other in the West Wing, but, my friends, the truth is, 8 percent unemployment is not the best America can do. It's just the best that this administration can do.
Look, when I'm -- when I'm president, this America -- American economy will not be lagging behind. This American economy will be leading the world as it has and as it should and as it will do in the future.
AUDIENCE: Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!
ROMNEY: You know, for this administration, the unemployment number is just another inconvenient statistic standing in the way of a second term, but those numbers are more than data on a spreadsheet. They're worried families and anxious faces. And tonight, I'd like to say to each of them: You are not forgotten. We will not leave you behind. Our campaign is on the move, and real change is finally on the way.
AUDIENCE: We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt! We need Mitt!
ROMNEY: These -- these times may be tough, but our citizens still believe in the promise of America, and they deserve a president who believes in them. That's why our campaign is about more than just replacing a president. It's about restoring America's promise, and we will do it.
AUDIENCE: Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go!
ROMNEY: We won't settle. We won't settle for this president's new normal. I'm offering a real choice and a new beginning. I have a plan that'll deliver more jobs, less debt, and smaller government. President Obama raised the national debt. I will cut, cap and balance the budget, finally.
He passed Obamacare; I will repeal Obamacare.
He lost our AAA credit rating; I will restore our AAA credit rating.
Amazingly, he rejected the Keystone pipeline. I will approve it.
You know, he has -- he has stalled domestic energy production. I'm going to open up our lands for development so we can finally get the energy we need at a price we can afford.
Look, when it comes to the economy...
AUDIENCE: Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go! Go, Mitt, go!
ROMNEY: When it comes to this economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not worrying about saving my job.
I've -- and, by the way, I've got a pro-growth tax plan, jobs plan that's going to jump-start the economy. President Obama wants to raise your taxes; I'm going to cut them. That starts with an across- the-board 20 percent rate cut for every American.
And, by the way, I'm also going to repeal the alternative minimum tax, and I will finally abolish the death tax.
The -- the president has proposed raising taxes for job-creators; I will cut taxes for job-creators. (APPLAUSE)
The president wants to raise taxes on savings and investment. I will help middle-class families save and invest tax-free.
You know, it's interesting. After three years, this president does not have a single serious proposal for saving Medicare or Social Security. I have a plan that saves both of them, and I have the courage to put that plan on the table, and we'll win with the truth.
As president, I will get our economy back on track and get our citizens back to work. And unlike President Obama, I actually have the experience to deliver on that promise.
As you know, I spent 25 years in business. I've been the steward of an Olympics and the leader of this great state that we're all in tonight. I cut taxes 19 times here. I turned a budget shortfall into a surplus. I know how government kills jobs, and, yes, I know how it can help create jobs. I stand ready to lead our party, and I stand ready to lead our nation to prosperity.
AUDIENCE: All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way! All the way!
ROMNEY: I've -- I've said this before, and I've said it -- I'm going to say it again. This campaign is -- is not just about a name on a ballot. It's about saving the soul of America. And it's driven by an unshakable optimism that lies within the heart of every American citizen. We know that our future's brighter and better than these troubled times. We've been knocked down, we've been tested, but we don't accept that an America like this nation has limits. We know America is a land of opportunity. We still get up every morning and thank God that we're Americans. And we know...
AUDIENCE: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
ROMNEY: We also know that, with hard work and with strong leadership, with a president that will tell the truth, with -- with a president that will live with integrity, that our greatest days as a nation are ahead of us, thanks to the American people. And tonight, we've taken one more step towards restoring the promise of tomorrow.
Tomorrow, we wake up and we start again. And the next day, we'll do the same. And so we'll go, day by day, step by step, door by door, heart to heart. There will be good days; there will be bad days. Always long hours, never enough time to get everything done.
But on November 6th, we're going to stand united, not only having won an election, but having saved a future. (APPLAUSE)
It's time -- it's time -- it's time to believe in ourselves. It's time to believe in ourselves. It's time to believe in America. And I'm asking you to join our cause. We need your energy and your conviction and your commitment. I'm asking for you to pledge your support at mittromney.com. Get online. We need your voice and your vote in this campaign.
And I'm asking you to join in the fight for our freedom and ensure that tomorrow will be better than today. Let's go forward together and restore the promise of America. Together let's fight for the America we love. Thank you, and God bless this great land. God bless the United States of America. Thanks, you guys.