Romney ‘almost’ the winner

Romney ‘almost’ the winner

Romney ‘almost’ the winner

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is likely to challenge US President in the November presidential elections after his chief rival Rick Santorum dropped his White House bid on April 10. AP Photo

Mitt Romney effectively won the Republican Party crown to challenge President Barack Obama in the November elections when chief rival Rick Santorum dropped his long-shot White House bid April 10.

“This presidential race is over for me,” Santorum told reporters in Gettysburg, in his home state of Pennsylvania. Despite an upset victory in the first Republican nominating contest in Iowa in January that led to a surprising showing with victories in 10 more states, Santorum failed to build sufficient momentum to derail frontrunner Romney. “While this presidential race is over for me and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Agence France-Presse quoted him as saying as he pledged to do what he can to help defeat the Democratic incumbent in November.

“We’re going to continue to fight for the Americans who stood up and gave us that air under our wings that allowed us to accomplish things that no political expert would have ever expected.” In his speech, Santorum did not mention Romney, who will clearly need Santorum’s backing if he is to corral the support of evangelical Christians and core conservative voters.

But Santorum spokeswoman Alice Stewart told CNN the pair had a “nice conversation” earlier April 10, and would have “another conversation in the next few days and weeks.” During an appearance in Delaware later in the day, Romney said, “We exchanged our thoughts about going forward, and we both have a great deal of interest in seeing the country taken on a very different path.” He had earlier congratulated Santorum for being “an able and worthy competitor.”

Swiss account slammed

Pressure will now build on former House speaker Newt Gingrich to drop out and let the party coalesce around Romney. But Gingrich insisted he will take his campaign to August’s Republican national convention despite little to no chance of winning enough delegates. Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin has slammed Romney for his use of Swiss bank accounts. “When is the last time a presidential candidate for the United States had a Swiss bank account? I think the answer is never,” Durbin said during a conference call organized by the Obama campaign, Huffington Post reported. Romney currently holds accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

Senator Durbin had two explanations for why Romney would have such accounts. “One, you believe the Swiss franc is a stronger currency than the United States dollar. And that is apparently the decision the Romney family made during the Bush presidency,” he began. “And secondly, you want to conceal something. You want to hide something. Why would you have a Swiss bank account instead of one in the United States?”