Here's Mitt Romney's victory speech, as prepared for delivery, given tonight after he was projected the winner in the Nevada contest:
Tonight, I want to thank the people of Nevada. Once again, you have given me your vote of confidence. And this time, I intend to take it all the way to the White House!
Four years ago, candidate Obama came to Nevada, promising to help. But after he was elected, his help was telling people to skip coming here for conventions and meetings. Today, Nevada unemployment is over 12%, home values have plummeted, and Nevada's foreclosure rate is the highest in the nation. I’ve walked in Nevada neighborhoods, blighted by abandoned homes, where people wonder why Barack Obama failed them.
Mr. President, Nevada has had enough of your kind of help!
Three years ago, a newly elected President Obama told America that if Congress approved his plan to borrow nearly a trillion dollars, he would hold unemployment below 8%. It hasn’t been below 8% since.
This week he's been trying to take a bow for 8.3% unemployment. Not so fast, Mr. President. This is the 36th straight month with unemployment above the red line your own administration drew. And if you take into account all the people who are struggling for work or who have just stopped looking, the real unemployment rate is over 15%.
Mr. President, America has also had enough of your kind of help!
Let me ask you a question. Did Obamacare encourage businesses to hire more people? No.
Did the Dodd-Frank Act get banks to renegotiate or make more loans?
Did the NLRB's attack on Boeing in South Carolina encourage employers to expand?
Did efforts to block the domestic production of energy and the Keystone Pipeline speed job creation?
And did those billions of dollars the President sent to his green energy buddies give anyone here a job?
Mr. President, we welcome any good news on the jobs front, but it is thanks to the innovation of the American people in the private sector, not to you!
This President’s misguided policies made these tough times last longer.
Earlier this week, he spoke with a woman from Texas during an online event. She told him that her husband has been out of work for three years. President Obama said he found that “interesting.”
Interesting? Really? I’ve got a better word: tragic. America needs a President who can fix the economy because he understands the economy!
This President began his presidency by apologizing for America. He should now be apologizing to America.
We won’t settle for a President who tells us it could be worse. What defines us as Americans is our unwavering conviction that things must be better. That conviction guides our campaign. It has rallied millions of Americans to our cause, including tens of thousands of Nevadans who gave me their support today!
They know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times.
It is better than 15% real unemployment.
It is better than $15 trillion in debt.
It is better than the misguided policies and broken promises of the last three years – and the failed leadership of one man.
Our campaign is about more than replacing a President. It is about saving the soul of America.
President Obama wants to “fundamentally transform” America. We want to restore America to the founding principles that made this country great. Our vision for the future could not be more different than his.
President Obama will grow government and amass more trillion-dollar deficits. I will not just slow the growth of government, I will cut it. I will not just freeze government’s share of the total economy, I will reduce it. And, without raising taxes, I will finally balance the budget.
President Obama’s brand of capitalism sends your money to his friends’ companies. My vision for free enterprise is to return entrepreneurship to the genius of consumer markets and to the creativity of the American people.
Like his colleagues in the faculty lounge who think they know better, President Obama demonizes and denigrates almost every sector of our economy. I will make America the most attractive place in the world for entrepreneurs, for innovators, and for job creators. And unlike the other people running for President, I know how to do that. If elected President, my priority will be worrying about your job, not saving my own.
On one of the most personal matters of our lives, our health care, President Obama would turn decision making over to government bureaucrats. He forced through Obamacare; I will repeal it.
President Obama orders religious organizations to violate their conscience; I will defend religious liberty and overturn regulations that trample on our first freedom.
President Obama is shrinking our military and hollowing out our national defense. I will insist on a military so powerful that no one would ever think of challenging it.
President Obama believes America’s role as leader in the world is a thing of the past. I believe the 21st century will be and must be an American century.
Our mission is to increase the freedom and opportunity of the American people. Our blueprint is the Constitution of the United States. We will build an America where “hope” is a new job with a paycheck, not a faded word on an old bumper sticker.
I will not attempt to bribe the voters with promises of new programs, new subsidies, and ever-increasing checks from government. If this election is a bidding war for who can promise the most benefits, then I’m not your President. You have that President today.
But if you want to make this election about restoring American greatness, then I hope you will join us.
If you believe the disappointments of the last few years are a detour, not our destiny, then I am asking for your vote.
I am asking each of you to remember how special it is to be an American.
I want you to remember why it was that you or your ancestors sacrificed to come to America and to overcome the challenges of life in a new country.
It was not for a free ticket. It was for freedom.
It was not for the pursuit of government benefits. It was for the pursuit of happiness.
We still believe in that America.
We still believe in the America that is a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom. We believe in the America that challenges each of us to be better and bigger than ourselves.
This election, let’s fight for the America we love. We believe in America.
Thank you. And God bless America.