Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination Tuesday, winning enough delegates in the Texas primary to secure a majority of Republican delegates, but Romney’s victory was overshadowed by the ongoing controversy generated by Donald Trump, and a social media app that suggested Romney may be running for president of a different country altogether.
Romney won 69 percent of the vote in the Texas primary, winning at least 105 delegates, enough to put him over the top. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, was second with 12 percent, and former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., received 8 percent. No other candidate on the ballot received more than 5 percent, and all candidates on the Republican side save Romney have suspended their campaigns.
Romney issued a statement in which he said he was “honored” by the support, and that the Republican party had “come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us.”
Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus congratulated Romney on the win, saying in a statement that “Gov. Romney will offer America the new direction we so desperately need. We cannot afford four more years of President Obama’s big government agenda, deficit spending, and attacks on American free enterprise.”
The Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., also issued a statement, though it was somewhat less complementary.
Tonight, after six years of trying and millions of dollars spent, and after a year of tepid support against one of the weakest fields in history, Mitt Romney has finally secured enough delegates to become the Republican Party’s presidential nominee,” Wasserman said. “Romney may have finally gained enough delegates to become the nominee, but what’s been truly remarkable about his path to the nomination is how much damage he’s left in his wake as he enters the general election.
With the win, Romney becomes the first Mormon to earn a major party’s nomination for president.
Trump Casts Long Shadow, Romney Releases Birth Certificate
Romney’s victory was overshadowed by controversy surrounding a fundraiser for Romney held by media maven Donald Trump, who spent much of Tuesday pushing conspiracy theories surrounding President Obama’s place of birth. As if to give tacit support to Trump’s birtherism, Romney released a copy of his own Certificate of Live Birth, which showed he was born in Michigan in 1947. Unsurprisingly, nobody stepped forward to demand Romney release a “long form” birth certificate; Obama was attacked for years by birther conspiracists for only releasing a Certificate of Live Birth, before releasing a full birth certificate in 2011.
The Trump fundraiser drew brickbats from Wasserman Schultz, who noted it in her statement.
On what should be a good news day for Romney, he once again reminds us of his commitment to ‘Romney Economics’ and the far-right wing of his party with his pandering to Donald Trump. Mitt Romney’s lack of moral leadership is striking: he values the support of folks like Trump—no matter how extreme their views.
“Amercia” Gaffe Goes Viral
Romney also was embarrassed by an iPhone app that his campaign released Tuesday night. The app allows users to snap photos of themselves, and then overlay designs that include the phrase “I’m With Mitt.” Unfortunately, one of the designs, which was supposed to hail “A Better America,” was misspelled to instead proclaim “A Better Amercia.”
The error left Romney’s digital director, Zack Moffatt, apologetic. In an interview with Mashable, he said, “We thought this would be a fun, easy way to showcase support.” Instead, it turned into another distraction for Romney.
Image Credit: Gage Skidmore