At 12:55 AM, EST, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took the stage in Boston to officially concede the 2012 presidential election to President Barack Obama.
Romney gave a brief, subdued speech in which he thanked his supporters and reaffirmed his love for the country that he has twice run to lead.
Romney wished Obama and his family well, and said that “This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation.” He then thanked vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan — who received a loud ovation from the subdued crowd — along with his campaign staff, supporters, and his wife and sons.
“I believe in America. I believe in the people of America. And I ran for office because I’m concerned about America,” Romney said to applause from the audience. “This election is over but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and renewed greatness.”
In an ironic note, Romney also asserted that “at a time like this we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing” — a statement which stands in direct opposition to his conduct throughout his six-year quest for the White House.
The build-up to Romney’s concession was a source of intrigue, as Romney’s campaign initially refused to acknowledge that it had lost Ohio. Although all of the major news organizations had called the state for President Obama — putting him above the necessary 270 electoral vote threshold — Romney held off for almost two hours before calling President Obama and formally ending his quest for the White House.
A full transcript of Romney’s concession speech is available here.