Romney Breaks Nomination Threshold in Texas
Mitt Romney claimed 105 of 152 delegates in the Texas primary Tuesday to clinch the Republican nomination for president.
Texas awards delegates in proportion to the statewide vote, with .4 percent being the threshold to win a single delegate.
Romney now has 1,191 delegates. 1,144 delegates are required to secure the nomination at the party’s national convention, which will be held in August.
"We did it!" Romney proclaimed in a message to supporters after the votes were tallied. "It's only the beginning."
"I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee," he added.
"Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last three and a half years behind us," Romney went on. "I have no illusions about the difficulties of the task before us. But whatever challenges lie ahead, we will settle for nothing less than getting America back on the path to full employment and prosperity."
The former Massachusetts governor broke the nomination threshold with a campaign organization that dwarfed those of his GOP rivals, and a fundraising machine trailing only to that President Barack Obama.
Romney would be the first Mormon nominated by a major party. His religion has been less of an issue than it was during his failed bid four years ago.
Romney – whose campaign has consistently focused on America's struggling economy – has yet to win over many conservative ideologues who preferred his sundry rivals as they surged ahead of him for short periods during the primaries to no avail.
He must now convince conservatives he can represent them while persuading independent voters he can do a better job creating jobs and strengthening the economy than Obama can.
Romney is still considered the underdog in the general election. In Obama, he faces a well-funded candidate with a proven campaign team in an election that will be heavily influenced by the economy.
However, the poor state of the economy itself has narrowed Obama's lead in the polls and given Romney a fighting chance.
GOP insiders say Romney's goal in the coming weeks is to bolster his case that Obama has been ineffective in handling the sluggish US economy and hostile to job creators.
This tack will include energy policy issues, with Romney asserting Obama has hurt America’s economy and strategic position by not bolstering domestic production of oil and natural gas.
Romney is also expected to take aim at Obama’s 2010 healthcare overhaul, which he has vowed to repeal if elected. He has frequently trotted the issue out as an example of what he says is "too much government" from Obama.
The US Supreme Court is to decide in late June on the constitutionality of the law’s requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance.