Romney takes big leap to nomination

2012-04-04 07:18
Mitt Romney greets supporters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (AP)

Mitt Romney greets supporters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Milwaukee - Mitt Romney made a big leap toward winning the Republican US presidential nomination with a clean sweep of three primaries on Tuesday that handed a stinging defeat to chief rival Rick Santorum.

The victories in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC will increase appeals from Republican party leaders for Santorum to quit so that Romney can gird for a difficult fight against President Barack Obama in the November 6 election.

In his victory speech in Milwaukee, Romney ignored Santorum and gave voters a sense of what the general election campaign will be like, sharply criticising Obama for his handling of the US economy and high gasoline prices.

"It's enough to make you think that years of flying around on Air Force One, surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers telling you what a great job you are doing, well, that might be enough to make you a little out of touch," Romney said.

In a clear sign that Obama sees Romney as his chief obstacle to re-election, the president singled him out by name and criticised him in a speech with a sharp partisan tone on Tuesday.

‘Lights out for Santorum’

The trio of defeats puts conservative Santorum's campaign in serious trouble. He is badly trailing Romney in both delegates and fundraising.

"I think it's lights out for Santorum," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean.

"He can run a sideshow campaign for the next couple of months, but the spotlight is shining on Romney."

Santorum, a former Senator, vowed to stay in the race at least until April 24 when his home state of Pennsylvania votes and where he is hanging on to a lead in the polls over Romney.

That date looms as a potentially decisive one, with Romney likely to win five states that hold contests then and planning a big challenge to Santorum in Pennsylvania.

Tuesday's victories widened Romney's lead over Santorum in delegates to an estimated 640-264, according to CNN. Romney now has more than half of the 1 144 delegates he needs to clinch the nomination at the Republican convention in August.

‘Not moving to the middle’

Santorum wants to win enough delegates to deny his opponent an outright victory before the convention in Tampa.

"Who's ready to charge out of the locker room in Pennsylvania for a strong second half?" Santorum said to cheers in a speech after Tuesday's result.

"This isn't half time. We're hitting the field. The clock starts tonight."

"We don't win by moving to the middle. We win by getting people in the middle to move to us and move this country forward," Santorum said.

High fuel prices

A Quinnipiac University poll showed Santorum ahead of Romney in Pennsylvania by 41% to 35%, but the former private equity executive's campaign and its allies are likely to spend big on negative ads against Santorum in the coming weeks.

Obama hit out at Romney on Tuesday for backing a controversial Republican budget plan authored by a key Wisconsin backer of Romney, Congressman Paul Ryan.

"He said that he's very supportive of this new budget and he even called it 'marvellous', which is a word you don't often hear when it comes to describing a budget," Obama said in a speech.

Romney fired back that Obama was trying to deflect blame for high fuel prices that are hitting American wallets hard and could make Obama's re-election tougher to achieve.

"So the president put an ad out yesterday [Monday], talking about gasoline prices and how high they are. And guess who he blamed? Me!" Romney said in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

"Maybe after I'm president I can take responsibility for things I might have done wrong. But this president doesn't want to take responsibility for his mistakes."
Read more on:    republicans  |  barack obama  |  mitt romney  |  rick santorum  |  us  |  us elections 2012

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


You have the ability to lead and take up campaigns that can sway the crowd and make things happen. There can be a more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.