Mitt Romney suspended his presidential campaign Thursday, telling a stunned conservative group that continuing his uphill battle against John McCain would hurt the Republican Party and make it more likely that the Democratic candidate would win the general election in November.
“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention … I’d forestall the launch of a national campaign and, frankly, I’d be making it easier for Sen. Clinton or Obama to win,” Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
As early as Wednesday, the Romney campaign was drafting a road map to winning the nomination, despite trailing McCain badly in the race for delegates. But according to a campaign spokesman, Romney decided to drop out as he was writing the CPAC speech late Wednesday. He repeatedly cited the Iraq war effort in his decision, saying he agrees with McCain in his approach to fighting terrorism.