Romney to Obama: 'Get out of the way'
Tampa - Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney, the big winner of the Florida primary, on Tuesday turned his guns on President Barack Obama, telling the Democrat to "get out of the way".
Romney crushed his nearest rival for the Republican presidential nomination, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, by a double-digit margin in the Sunshine State, according to US media projections.
The victory puts Romney, an investment mogul and former Massachusetts governor, in a commanding position to win the right to take on Obama in the November 6 presidential election.
"Mr President, you were elected to lead. You chose to follow. And now it's time for you to get out of the way," Romney said, earning cheers from the crowd of supporters and family members gathered in Tampa.
Romney congratulated his three rivals - Gingrich, former senator Rick Santorum and Texas congressman Ron Paul - for what he called a "hard-fought contest".
"Our opponents in the other party... like to comfort themselves with the thought that a competitive campaign will leave us divided and weak," he said.
"But I've got news for them: A competitive primary does not divide us. It prepares us, and we will win."
Romney said that come August, when the Republican party holds its nominating convention in Tampa, "ours will be a united party with a winning ticket for America".
The former Massachusetts governor then blamed Obama for a series of ills, including the country's high unemployment rate and soaring home foreclosure rate.
Leadership "is about taking responsibility, not making excuses", he said, adding that this year's presidential race is "about saving the soul of America".
As president, Romney said he would cut government spending, balance the budget without raising taxes, and "insist on a military so powerful no one would ever think of challenging it".