Mitt Romney conceded the presidential race tonight in the ballroom of the Boston Convention Center with a speech citing familiar themes of family, religion, job creators and reaching across the aisle. He said he was praying that the "president would be successful in guiding our nation."
"I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes," he said, "but the nation chose another leader."
"This election is over, but our principles endure," he told the somber crowd of staff, family members, campaign workers and supporters.
It was short and to the point. Learn what former presidential candidates have had to say at the end of their campaigns.
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I have just called President Obama to congratulate him on his victory. His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations.
His supporters and his campaign also deserve congratulations. I wish all of them well, but particularly the president, the first lady and their daughters.
This is a time of great challenges for America, and I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.
I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign.
And for our country. Besides my wife, Ann, Paul is the best choice I've ever made.
And I trust that his intellect and his hard work and his commitment to principle will continue to contribute to the good of our nation.
I also want to thank Ann, the love of my life.
She would have been a wonderful first lady. She's -- she has been that and more to me and to our family and to the many people that she has touched with her compassion and her care.
I thank my sons for their tireless work on behalf of the campaign, and thank their wives and children for taking up the slack as their husbands and dads have spent so many weeks away from home.
I want to thank Matt Rhoades and the dedicated campaign team he led.
They have made an extraordinary effort not just for me, but also for the country that we love.
And to you here tonight, and to the team across the country -- the volunteers, the fundraisers, the donors, the surrogates -- I don't believe that there's ever been an effort in our party that can compare with what you have done over these past years. Thank you so very much.
Thanks for all the hours of work, for the calls, for the speeches and appearances, for the resources and for the prayers. You gave deeply from yourselves and performed magnificently. And you inspired us and you humbled us. You've been the very best we could have imagined.
The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people's work.
And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. We look to our teachers and professors, we count on you not just to teach, but to inspire our children with a passion for learning and discovery.
We look to our pastors and priests and rabbis and counselors of all kinds to testify of the enduring principles upon which our society is built: honesty, charity, integrity and family.
We look to our parents, for in the final analysis everything depends on the success of our homes.
ROMNEY: We look to job creators of all kinds. We're counting on you to invest, to hire, to step forward.
And we look to Democrats and Republicans in government at all levels to put the people before the politics.
I believe in America. I believe in the people of America.
And I ran for office because I'm concerned about America. This election is over, but our principles endure. I believe that the principles upon which this nation was founded are the only sure guide to a resurgent economy and to renewed greatness.
Like so many of you, Paul and I have left everything on the field. We have given our all to this campaign.
I so wish -- I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction, but the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.
Thank you, and God bless America. You guys are the best. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thanks, guys.
"It hurts too much to laugh, but I'm too old to cry," he said. "I urge you all to give General Eisenhower the support he will need to carry out the great tasks that lie before him. I pledge him mine. We vote as many, but we pray as one."
"As I leave you, I want you to know, just think how much you're going to be missing. You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference."
"Every bone-crushing moment was worth the sacrifice."
"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
"I remain absolutely convinced that we are a rising nation. We have been in an extraordinarily difficult period, but do not be deterred, kept away from public service by the smoke and fire of a campaign year or the ugliness of politics. As for me, I plan to get -- I'm going to serve and try to find ways to help people."
"We presented our hope and vision for a better America," he said. "It's been an honor and a gift to get to know so many of you. I wish that I could just wrap you in my arms and embrace each and every one of you individually all across this nation. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
"This is an historic election, and I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight," he said. "Let there be no reason now for any American to fail to cherish their citizenship in this, the greatest nation on Earth."
"Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it," she said. "And the light is shining through like never before, filling us all with the hope and the sure knowledge that the path will be a little easier next time."