by Rachel Ogbu
Mitt Romney was very optimistic when he revealed yesterday night that he wrote a 1,118-word acceptance speech, but no alternative incase he didn’t win.
‘I feel like we put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end, and I think that’s why we’ll be successful,’ Romney told reporters aboard his plane as he flew from Pittsburgh to Boston, where preparations were underway for a major election night event.
the Romney campaign was prepared to celebrate in his hometown even as exit polls show he trails in key swing states and he didn’t plan to celebrate alone either. His wealthy friends caused a jam at Boston’s Logan International Airport which was with private Gulfstream jets.
When Romney landed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for one his last two campaign stops on Tuesday afternoon, his plane was greeted at the airport by a roaring crowd of supporters who waved to him and cheered from a nearby parking garage — the closest they could get to the heavily-guarded candidate.
‘This is when you know you’re going to win,’ the emotional candidate responded.
The GOP nominee had spent Election Day doing a last-minute round of campaigning in one state he’s showered with attention and another he’s largely ignored. After voting near his Boston-area home, Romney was betting that an eleventh-hour appeal to working-class voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania would help him defeat President Barack Obama.
‘This is a big day for big change,’ Romney told staffers and volunteers at a Cleveland-area campaign office.
On his campaign plane in between flights, he worked on his speech. He said he hasn’t written a concession speech, though he acknowledged the results might not come out in his favor. ‘Nothing is certain in politics,’ he said.
Still, his campaign headquarters in Boston is gearing up to.
Logan — one of the nation’s major airports — quickly filled the 60 parking spots it has reserved for long-range corporate jets and had to begin ‘shoehorning’ them into other parts of the airport, the Boston Globe reported.
When the number of private jets grows to 85, as it is expect to, airport officials said they will force any new arrivals to drop off their passengers and then fly to nearby Hanscom Field to land.
On his trip from his final campaign stop in Pittsburgh to his hometown in Boston, an upbeat Mitt Romney address the press corps on his plane. Here is a transcript of his interview:
Q: How did it feel to see your name on the ballot?
ROMNEY: That was quite a moment. We’ve been working for this a long, long time, and to be on the ballot for the president of the United States Is very humbling. It’s a great honor, and I hope that I have the chance to serve.
Q: Are you thinking of your father?
ROMNEY: You know, I think about my dad from time to time and my mom. I sure wish they were around to be a part of this. It’s one of the inevitable parts of life that we lose the people we care most about, and I hope they’re able to watch in their own way.
Q: Governor, what does it feel like getting off the plane in Pennsylvania and seeing that, for someone who has no idea what you’re going through, what does it feel like to be you today?
ROMNEY: You know intellectually I’ve felt we’re going to win this and have felt that for some time, but emotionally just getting off the plane and seeing those people standing there – we didn’t tell them we were coming, we didn’t notify them when we’d arrive – just seeing people there cheering as they were connected emotionally with me and I not only think we’re going to win intellectually, I feel it as well.
Q: What is your assessment of your campaign? Are you proud of every moment out there? Do you have any regrets? Is there an argument that you wish you could have made better?
ROMNEY: You know I’m very proud of the campaign that we’ve run, to tell you the truth. No campaign is perfect. I’m sure like any campaign, people can point to mistakes. But that’s the mark of anything that’s produced by human beings. Our team has been very solid. We have not had the kind of infighting that’s reported to have occurred in other campaigns. We’ve worked well together, our campaign team. And we’ve gotten our message across. I am very pleased. I feel we have put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room. We fought to the very end. And I think that’s why we will be successful.
Q: Do you have two speeches written for tonight?
ROMNEY: I just finished writing a victory speech. It’s about 1,118 words. And, uh, I’m sure it will change before I’m finished, because I haven’t passed it around to my family and friends and advisers to get their reaction, but I’ve only written one speech at this point.
Q: Looking back over the last two years, how has this experience changed you as a person?
ROMNEY: You come away with a much greater appreciation for the depth of character of the American people. Despite our great differences in location and background, we have some characteristics of greatness that inspire and give you confidence that the future can be brighter than the past.
Q: But what about you? How has it changed you personally? Did you surprise yourself in any way over the last two years?
ROMNEY: I expected to be more tired given the number of events and the hours. And I think I got energy from the people that I spent time with, whether at the rope line or the rallies. You know when you have 10,000 people cheering you, you get a real boost from it. And so I have not been tired by the process. And frankly have enjoyed it a good deal. It’s very exciting. I think the general election campaign is particularly invigorating as you see people come together and support the effort.
Q: What’s it been like to campaign with Ryan? What difference has he made?
ROMNEY: Oh, it’s fun to be with Paul. It’s too bad that we have to divide to be able to hit all of the places we want to go to. Likewise with Ann. She’s off on her own day after day. But being with Paul is a real plus. I think we both enjoyed that a great deal.”
Q: What are you most looking forward to doing as a non-candidate?
ROMNEY: You know, assuming I win, my mind will immediately focus on the transition, the work that has to be done, the gathering of the people to carry out the work that we have. And I can’t imagine that I’ll be able to unwind. I think instead it’s winding tighter. So I don’t look post-election to be a time of regrouping. Instead it’s a time of forward focus. And the prospect of losing, I don’t give that a lot of thought. I know it’s possible and, because there’s nothing certain in politics, but I have of course a family and a life that are important to me, win or lose.
Q: I heard you were thinking about getting a puppy?
ROMNEY: If, assuming I win, one of the benefits would be to get another Weimaraner.
Romney begins walking away.
ROMNEY: Thanks you, guys. … I thought you had bigger seats back here.
Q: Don’t you wish you had spent more time back here?
ROMNEY: I know what the result of that would have been. More things to regret. (Laughs)