MANCHESTER, N.H., April 25 (UPI) —
Mitt Romney borrowed a Bill Clinton campaign slogan, saying after sweeping five Northeast U.S. primaries it was still about the economy, “and we’re not stupid.”
The presumptive Republican presidential nominee swept primaries in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Delaware Tuesday, topping 820 delegates as he moved closer to 1,144 needed to formally secure the nomination.
He argued that President Barack Obama failed in office.
Then, in a twist on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign message against incumbent Republican George H.W. Bush, he added, “It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid.”
Clinton’s phrase “It’s the economy, stupid” referred to the notion that he was a better choice than Bush because Bush had not adequately addressed the economy, which had recently undergone a recession.
Romney described Obama as a president who arrived in office to great fanfare, only to fall short.
Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who left the race two weeks ago, told CNN Tuesday night he would support Romney as the nominee, claiming that despite their differences during the nomination battle, the former governor was far superior to Obama.
Santorum planned to meet with the former Massachusetts governor May 4, chief Santorum strategist John Brabender told The Wall Street Journal.
Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia didn’t quit the race after losing in Delaware, a primary he considered crucial, but he told supporters, “Over the next few days, we’re going to look realistically at where we’re at.”
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said he would continue campaigning, even though he is at the back of the GOP pack.