VERNON HILLS, Ill. - Mitt Romney revelled in his win in the Puerto Rican primary this evening before a town hall in suburban Chicago, boasting of the 20 delegates he will add to his lead as his wife Ann used the victory as a call to "coalesce" behind her husband's campaign.
"Today the voters in Puerto Rico, by the way, just looked at the different candidates on our side of the aisle to decide which would perhaps most represent their feelings about the leadership for our party and the leadership for our nation and only 20 percent of the vote's in, and yet CNN has called it for me," said Romney, who campaigned in and around San Juan earlier this week. "And the reason they were - apparently the reason they were able to make the call with only 20 percent in, 83 percent of the people of Puerto Rico, of those who voted, have gone for me, so that's a pretty good start.
"Thank you to the people of Puerto Rico thank you to Gov. Fortuno and Luce his wife, thank you to Zori and all the other people in Puerto Rico who helped us have this extraordinary victory, and by the way, 20 delegates, all the delegates that were in that contest are ours," Romney said. "That's good news. Thank you. Very exciting."
With today's added delegates, Romney's estimated total comes to 521, while Rick Santorum comes in second at 253 and Newt Gingrich third with 136. Ron Paul has an estimated 50 delegates.
Introducing her husband at Sullivan Community Center Gymnasium, Ann Romney savored the win, sounding as optimistic as ever about her husband's chances at the nomination.
"At the end of the day, we Republicans are all going to get together and we're going to all unite because we have a community organizer who's going to unite us and his name is Barack Obama," she said.
"So we have some work to do - we have to have you all get out and vote but we need to send a message that it's time to coalesce, it's time to come together, it's time for us to get behind one candidate and get the job done so that we can move on to the next job, which is bringing us one step closer to defeating Barack Obama," Ann Romney said.
Romney seemingly first learned of his win on the island backstage before the town hall, his aide Garrett Jackson filming and tweeting out a YouTube video that shows Mitt and Ann Romney reading the news on The Drudge Report website on his iPad.
"Just looked up on Drudge here there's an indication that that's the case," Romney said in the video, titled, "Gov Getting News He Won Puerto Rico."
Romney, who has another packed day campaigning across Illinois, quipped at one point during the town hall that Obama's former chief of staff and current mayor of Chicago must be excited to see him.
"I look forward to being in Chicago, and you know I'm sure Rahm Emmanuel will be in there helping me all the way," Romney joked.