NEWSROOM AMERICA STAFF
Mitt Romney won enough delegates to become the GOP presidential nominee in the Texas primary Tuesday, though his nomination won’t become official until the party’s convention in August.
The Associated Press and television news networks called the contest for Romney shortly after polls closed around the state. According to AP’s official count, Romney was on pace to win the lion’s share of Texas’ 155 delegates; he only needs about half of them to put him over the 1,144-delegate mark to secure the Republican nomination.
Romney used his victory to unite the party following a sometimes bruising primary campaign.
“I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee,” said Romney, in a statement. “Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us.”
Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, congratulated Romney and used the occasion to launch a broadside at President Obama, The Hill newspaper reported, noting that Romney and the RNC have been fundraising together since May.
“I congratulate Gov. Romney on winning the Texas primary and securing the delegates needed to be our party’s official nominee at our convention in Tampa,” said Priebus, in a statement. “Gov. Romney will offer America the new direction we so desperately need. We cannot afford four more years of President Obama’s big government agenda, deficit spending, and attacks on American free enterprise.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, tried to portray Romney as weakened by the tough primary fight.
“Tonight, after six years of trying and millions of dollars spent, and after a year of tepid support against one of the weakest fields in history, Mitt Romney has finally secured enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee,” she said in a statement.
“Romney may have finally gained enough delegates to become the nominee, but what’s been truly remarkable about his path to the nomination is how much damage he’s left in his wake as he enters the general election,” she added.
In the Real Clear Politics average of polls, Obama leads Romney by 2 percentage points. Political scientists and analysts have predicted a tight race to November.
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