Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the presidential race and congratulated President Barack Obama in a speech to supporters at his campaign headquarters in Boston shortly before 1 a.m. EST.
“I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory,” Romney began.
“I ran for office because I am concerned for America … Like so many of you, Paul [Ryan] and I have left everything on the field,” he added.
Romney also asked his supporters to pray for President Obama as he leads the country for another four years.
“This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray the president will be successful in guiding our nation,” the Republican said.
Added Romney, who lost his bid to unseat Obama: “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction,” Romney said during his remarks, “but the nation chose another leader.”
The defeated GOP candidate challenged both Democrats and Republicans in Washington to “put people before the politics” and take the country in the right direction.
Addressing his wife, Romney said: “I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life. She would have been a wonderful first lady.”
Chants of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!” rose from the crowd as Republican Mitt Romney closed his concession speech. He kissed his wife, Ann, who joined him on stage in Boston, and gave running mate Paul Ryan a big hug.
Moments before Romney gave his concession speech, the Associated Press’ official Twitter account claimed the GOP candidate conceded to President Barack Obama in a phone call.
“Republican Mitt Romney has called President Barack Obama to concede the presidential race,” the tweet read.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Featured image via AP