Following is Mitt Romney's New Hampshire victory speech, as prepared for delivery:
Thank you, New Hampshire! Tonight, we made history!
This state has always been a special place for our family. Ann and I made a home here and we’ve filled it with great memories of our children and grandchildren. And this Granite State moment is one we will always remember.
Tonight, we celebrate. Tomorrow, we go back to work.
We remember when Barack Obama came to New Hampshire four years ago.
He promised to bring people together.
He promised to change the broken system in Washington.
He promised to improve our nation.
Those were the days of lofty promises made by a hopeful candidate. Today, we are faced with the disappointing record of a failed President. The last three years have held a lot of change, but they haven’t offered much hope.
The middle class has been crushed. Nearly 24 million of our fellow Americans are still out of work, struggling to find work, or have just stopped looking. The median income has dropped 10% in four years. Soldiers returning from the front lines are waiting in unemployment lines. Our debt is too high and our opportunities too few.
And this President wakes up every morning, looks out across America and is proud to announce, “It could be worse.”
It could be worse? Is that what it means to be an American? It could be worse?
Of course not.
What defines us as Americans is our unwavering conviction that we know it must be better.
That conviction guides our campaign. It has rallied millions of Americans in every corner of this country to our cause.
Over the last six months, I’ve listened to anxious voices in town meetings and visited with students and soldiers. In break rooms and living rooms, I’ve heard stories of families getting by on less, of carefully planned retirements now replaced by jobs at minimum wage. But even now, amidst the worst economy since the Great Depression, I’ve rarely heard a refrain of hopelessness.
Americans know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times. We still believe in the hope, the promise, and the dream of America. We still believe in that shining city on a hill.
We know that the future of this country is better than 8 or 9% 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.
The President has run out of ideas. Now, he’s running out of excuses. And tonight, we are asking the good people of South Carolina to join the citizens of New Hampshire and make 2012 the year he runs out of time.
President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial. In the last few days, we have seen some desperate Republicans join forces with him. This is such a mistake for our Party and for our nation. This country already has a leader who divides us with the bitter politics of envy. We must offer an alternative vision. I stand ready to lead us down a different path, where we are lifted up by our desire to succeed, not dragged down by a resentment of success. In these difficult times, we cannot abandon the core values that define us as unique -- We are One Nation, Under God.