After winning big in President Obama’s home state of Illinois, Mitt Romney enjoyed a rare decisive moment in his long struggle for the GOP nomination, stepping out in front of a large suburban crowd and declaring, “What a night! Thank you, Illinois.”
The former Massachusetts governor focused entirely on President Obama and the shape of economy in his post-primary speech to a boisterous crowd in Schaumburg, a suburb northwest of Chicago.
“We've had enough,” Romney said. “We know our future. We know our future is brighter than these troubled times. We still believe in America. And we deserve a president who believes in us. And I believe in the American people.”
Although acknowledging the economy is rebounding, he blamed the president’s policies for precluding a bigger bounce.
“You know, the proof of the president's failure is seeing how tepid this economic recovery is. I mean, this administration thinks that the economy's struggling because the stimulus wasn't large enough. The truth is the economy is struggling because the government is too big.”
He suggested it was time to “replace a law professor with a conservative businessman,” a reference to Obama's days as a constitutional law professor at the University of Chicago.
Romney humbly described his past and his father’s successes, saying that he learned how to create jobs through his years in business.
“I had successes and failures,” he said. “Each step of the way I learned more about what it is that makes our American system so powerful. You can't learn that teaching constitution law at University of Chicago. ... You can’t even learn this as a community organizer.”
Romney reused some of his lines from his economic speech at the University of Chicago the night before, joking that the president would not have allowed inventors like the Wright Brothers and Thomas Edison to create their innovations.
“So tonight was the primary, but November is the general election,” he said. “And we're going to face a defining decision as a people. Our choice will not be about party or even personality. This election will be about principle. Our economic freedom will be on the ballot.”