If ever there was a time to be glad Mitt Romney is not the nominee of any party, today's announcement to suspend his campaign is proof of his strategic failure to use the rhetoric of fear to win.
Mitt Romney ended his presidential run Thursday, telling a conservative audience that continuing the race against rival John McCain would make it more likely Democrats would win the White House — and “in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
Boos rose from the audience at the mention of McCain’s name – and shocked calls of “no!” as he made his announcement. One young man in a blue sports coat grasped his head in his hands, his mouth wide open as he watched Romney on-stage.
“Barack and Hillary have made their intentions clear regarding Iraq and the war on terror. They would retreat and declare defeat,” said Romney.
“And the consequence of that would be devastating. It would mean attacks on America, launched from safe havens that make Afghanistan under the Taliban look like child’s play. About this, I have no doubt.”
The former Massachusetts governor, who conceded the mathematical odds standing between him and the nomination, told activists gathered for the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington that “I must now stand aside, for our party and our country."
"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. I hate to lose," the former Massachusetts governor said.
"I am convinced that unless America changes course, we will become the France of the 21st Century - still a great nation, but no longer the leader of the world, no longer the superpower," he said.
"If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention, I would forestall the launch of a national campaign and frankly I'd be making it easier for Senator Clinton or [Barack] Obama to win," Mr Romney said at the conference.