Romney in Michigan: "We won by enough"

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, speaks to supporters at his election watch party after winning the Michigan primary in Novi, Mich., Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

Following a narrow victory in Michigan's Tuesday night primary contest, Mitt Romney celebrated what he conceded was a slim victory in the state, declaring to a room of supporters: "We didn't win by a lot, but we won by enough - and that's all that counts."

With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting out of Michigan Tuesday night, Romney led Santorum by just three points in his home state.

Romney thanked his supporters in both Michigan and Arizona, where CBS News projected him to win by a wide margin. Fellow Republican rival Newt Gingrich effectively sat out both contests on Tuesday, while Paul only competed seriously in Michigan.

"A week ago, it was just a week ago, the pundits and the pollsters, they were ready to count us out," Romney said in his Tuesday night remarks.

Full Michigan results
Michigan exit poll
Arizona exit poll

The candidate, a native Michigander whose father served as the state's governor, faced stiff competition from Santorum in the state in the weeks leading up to Tuesday's nominating contest; a loss there could have had a devastating impact on Romney's campaign.

"Tonight is particularly special for me because this is the place where I was born," he said. "This is the place where I was raised. My mom and dad lived many years here and loved this great state - and I know that the Michiganders in this room, we consider you all family. Thanks for your help."

As he has done with other victories, the candidate pivoted to the general election in his victory speech, concentrating his remarks on President Obama and declining to mention any of his Republican rivals.

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"Four years ago we warned that the presidency was no place for on-the-job training," Romney told an enthusiastic crowd in Novi, Michigan. "Well today we have the economy to prove it."

"In a second term, he would be unrestrained by the demands of re-election. If there's one thing we can't afford, it's four years of Barack Obama with nothing to answer to," he continued.

Romney lambasted the president for his economic policies, arguing that instead of fixing the nation's economic woes, "he put us on a path toward debt and deficits and decline."

Full Arizona results
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Nationwide primary results so far

"These days, when he's not -- when he's not spending our money or infringing on our rights, he's -- he's busy running for re-election," Romney continued. "Did you hear this? He believes that he ranks among the top four presidents in American history. Could you believe that?"

"You've heard that old saying about I need a vacation from my vacation? Well, we need to have a recovery from this so-called recovery," he quipped.

Romney also used the remarks to make an appeal for donations - a first for the candidate in a post-primary speech - as a means with which to help him "join the fight for our freedom."

"If you believe that the disappointments of the last few years are a detour and not the destiny for America, then I need your support. I'm asking for you to get out and vote, and I'm asking for you, by the way, to go on and pledge your support in every way possible," he said. "I'm asking you to join the fight for our freedom, to ensure that tomorrow will be better than today."