Michigan: Romney's Victory Speech
By Juliet Eilperin
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. -- For more than a week, Mitt Romney has been trying to lead crowds in a call-and-response routine in which they are meant to express outrage as he chronicles federal inaction on issues including immigration, health care and taxes. Tonight, with his victory in the Michigan primary, they finally got it.
"You see," he told an audience of a few hundred supporters in a cramped ballroom, "America understands that Washington has promised that they'd secure our borders, but they haven't. Washington told us that they would live by high ethical standards, but they haven't. Washington told us that they'd fix Social Security."
"But they haven't!" the crowd chanted back.
"Washington told us that they'd get us better health care and better education," he said.
"But they haven't!" they cried.
"Washington told us they'd get us a tax break for the middle-income Americans."
"But they haven't!"
"Washington told us that they'd cut back on the earmarks and the pork-barrel spending, but they haven't. And Washington told us they'd reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but they haven't. And who's going to get the job done?"
At the outset of his speech, a visibly grateful Romney celebrated his win by declaring, "Tonight marks the beginning of a comeback, a comeback for America. You know, only a week ago, a win looked like it was impossible, but then you got out and told America what they needed to hear."
While Romney did not mention John McCain by name, he described his win as a vindication of his promise to bring Michigan back from its current economic slump, saying, "Tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism."
The former governor also paid homage to two former Republican presidents -- "I take my inspiration from Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush," he said -- while pointedly leaving out the current one, President George W. Bush.
And in the end, he managed to get his supporters back into the call-and-response mode, once again without a hitch.
"I have a couple of questions for you. Is Washington, D.C., broken?" he asked.
"Can it be fixed?"
"Are we the team that's going to get the job done?"
"All right, let's take this campaign to South Carolina and Nevada and Florida and all over the country," he told them. "Let's take it all the way to the White House!"
For Romney's complete speech, click here.
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