Feb 07,2008 00:00
WASHINGTON -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney announced Thursday he is suspending his run for the Republican presidential nomination.
"I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America, in this time of war, I feel I now must have to stand aside for our party and for our country," Romney said in a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
"I will continue to stand for conservative principles," he said to cheers and applause. "(But) we cannot allow the next president of the United States to retreat in the face of evil extremism" if either Sens. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., or Barack Obama, D-Ill., were elected president.
Romney's campaign leaders were disappointed with the candidate's lackluster showing in Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses.
While noting he disagreed with GOP front-runner Sen. John McCain of Arizona "on many issues," Romney said he agreed with McCain on the war in Iraq, finding and executing Osama bin Laden, and eliminating al-Qaida and terrorism.
"I hate to lose," Romney said. "If this were about me, I'd go on. But it's never been only about me."
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