(AP) -- Mitt Romney is declaring "I'm going to get this nomination" as Republicans in 10 states had contests to pick a challenger to President Barack Obama.
Romney on Tuesday congratulated rivals Newt Gingrich for his win in home state Georgia and Rick Santorum for wins in Oklahoma and Tennessee. Contests were still going on elsewhere during the speech on the single largest day of voting so far in the nominating battle.
Romney told supporters that it's been a long road getting to Super Tuesday and, in his words, "my opponents have worked very hard."
Romney kept most of his election night remarks honed on Obama, again criticizing the incumbent he wants to vote from office in November. He warns supporters that Obama would be "unrestrained" if he wins a second term and would trample Americans' freedoms.
Romney's prepared remarks Tuesday night:
Thank you! What a great night!
And thank you, Massachusetts! We are excited to be in the Bay State tonight celebrating with family and friends who have worked tirelessly on this campaign. And, of course, it’s an honor to have so many of the citizens I served as governor join our cause. Your support means everything to me, and I will not let you down.
Tonight, we are counting up the delegates for the convention – and counting down the days until November. We’re going to take your vote and our victory all the way to the White House!
It’s been a long road to Super Tuesday. My opponents have all worked very hard – and I’d like to congratulate Newt Gingrich on a good night in Georgia, Rick Santorum on his night, and Ron Paul for his steadfast commitment to our Constitution and his strong support in every state.
We started our campaign nine months ago on a New Hampshire farm not too far from here. It was a beautiful spring day full of hope and promise, a day that made us all recognize once again how lucky we are to be Americans. What we launched that day was not just an effort to win more votes – or more delegates – it was the start of an effort to restore the promise of America, a promise we all know has been frayed by these difficult times.
We’ve sounded our clarion call across this country, from airport tarmacs to factory floors, from door to door, and heart to heart. I’ve met with moms and dads, teachers and students, business owners and factory workers. I’ve listened and I’ve learned. I hope I’m a better candidate for it. And I will be forever grateful for this greatest of experiences.
I’ve met people like Norm Byrne, who exemplify the innovative spirit that built this country.
Norm didn’t get to go to college. He doesn’t have an engineering degree. But he does have over 100 patents to his name. He turned a small shop in his basement into a successful company that helped build an industry. And it’s entrepreneurs like Norm who are going to get the American economy back on track.
I’ve met parents like David McArthur, whose children have served and suffered for their country in war. David’s son was seriously injured in Afghanistan. He returned from the front lines only to face a new fight to get the medical care he needs – and he has surely earned. As I told David, I believe that to those who put everything on the line, we owe everything they need.
America’s veterans deserve a lot better than long lines and reduced benefits. And, as President, I’m going to make sure they get it.
As a candidate for President, I’ve had the privilege of meeting people like Norm and David.
Their stories are inspiring. But I’ve also met people who are really hurting in this stagnant Obama Economy – and their stories are heart-breaking.
Some have lost their jobs, others work two jobs just to get by. Some used to be middle class, but now they are struggling again, right back where they started. The prices for gas and food and clothing keep going up, but their paycheck stays the same.
President Obama keeps telling these Americans that the recovery is here. But, for them, the recession isn’t over.
From generation to generation, Americans have always known that the future would be brighter and better. Americans have always believed in a tomorrow full of possibility and prosperity.
That deep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America. Today, that promise is being threatened by a faltering economy and a failed presidency.
To the millions of Americans who look around and can only see jobs they can’t get and bills they can’t pay, I have a message: You have not failed. This President has failed you.
President Obama said he would create jobs. For 36 months, unemployment has been above 8%.
He said he would cut the deficit in half. He’s doubled it.
Today, our debts are too high and our opportunities are too few. And we’ve seen enough of this President over the last three years to know that we don’t need another five.
This President is out of ideas. He’s running out of excuses. And, in 2012, he’ll be out of office.
President Obama seems to believe he is unchecked by our Constitution. He is unresponsive to the will of our people; he operates by command instead of by consensus. In a second term, he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election. And if there is one thing we can’t afford, it is four years of a Barack Obama with no one to answer to.
These days, the President and his team keep telling us that things are getting better. 24 million Americans are still struggling for work, and they are high-fiving each other in the West Wing.
But, my friends, the truth is this: 8% unemployment is not the best America can do; it’s just the best this administration can do. When I am President, the American economy will not be lagging behind; it will be leading the world.
For this administration, the unemployment number is just another inconvenient statistic standing in the way of a second term. But those numbers are more than data on a spreadsheet; they are worried families and anxious faces. And tonight, I’d like to say to each of them: You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. Our campaign is on the move. And real change is finally on the way.
Times may be tough, but our citizens still believe in the promise of America. And they deserve a President who believes in them.
That’s why our campaign is about more than just replacing a President. It is about restoring America’s promise.
We won’t settle for this President’s “new normal.” I am offering a real choice and a new beginning. And I have a plan that will deliver more jobs, less debt, and smaller government.
President Obama raised the national debt. I will cut, cap, and balance the budget.
He passed Obamacare. I’ll repeal Obamacare.
He lost our AAA credit rating; I’ll restore it.
He rejected the Keystone Pipeline. I’ll approve it. He has stalled domestic energy production. I will open up our lands for development, so we can finally get the energy we need at a price we can afford.
When it comes to the economy, my highest priority will be worrying about your job, not saving my own. I have a pro-growth tax plan that will jumpstart the economy.
President Obama wants to raise your taxes. I will cut them. That starts with an across-the-board, 20% rate cut for every American. I will repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax – and I will finally abolish the death tax.
He’s proposed raising taxes for job creators. I will cut taxes for job creators.
He wants to raise taxes on savings and investment. I will help middle class families save and invest tax-free.
President Obama doesn’t have a single serious proposal for saving Medicare or Social Security. I have a plan that saves and strengthens both – and I have the courage to put it on the table.
As President, I will get our economy back on track – and get our citizens back to work. And, unlike President Obama, I actually have the experience to deliver on that promise.
I spent 25 years in business. I have been the steward of an Olympics and the leader of this great state. I’ve cut taxes 19 times. I’ve turned a budget shortfall into a surplus. I know how government kills jobs – and, yes, how it can help create them. I stand ready to lead our Party to victory – and our nation to prosperity.
I have said before – and I firmly believe – that this campaign is about saving the soul of America. And it is driven by the unshakable optimism that lies within our American hearts.
We know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times. We have been knocked down. We have been tested. But we don’t accept an America of limits. We know that America is a land of opportunity. We still get up each day and thank God that we’re Americans. And we know that with hard work and strong leadership, our greatest days are ahead.
Tonight we’ve taken one more step toward restoring the promise of America. Tomorrow we wake up and we start again. And the next day we do the same. And so it will go, day by day, step by step, door to door, heart to heart.
There will be good days and bad days, always long hours and never enough time. But, on November 6th, we will stand united – not only having won an election, but having saved a future.
It is time we believe in ourselves. It is time to Believe in America.
I’m asking you to join our cause. We need your energy and your conviction and your commitment.
I’m asking for you to pledge your support at mitt-romney-dot-com. We need your voice and your vote in this campaign.
I’m asking you to join in the fight for our freedom – and ensure that tomorrow will be better than today.
Let’s go forward together and restore the promise of America! Together, let’s fight for the country we love.
Thank you. And God bless America.