by EMILY FODOR Editor-in-Chief
Mitt Romney, former moderate Massachusetts governor, is now the presumptive Republican candidate to face Barack Obama in the 2012 Presidential election, following Rick Santorum’s exiting of the race on April 12, 2012. Sophomore Sharon Chang says, “It’s a good thing Santorum dropped out because his statements were absurd.” The politician, who formerly faced Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the GOP race, attended a private fundraiser in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania before giving a keynote speech for about 20 minutes to almost 1,200 people at the annual Lancaster Republican dinner. Throughout the speech, Romney directed most of his words at differentiating himself and current Democratic President Obama in an effort to win over more votes. His appearance at the Lancaster County Convention Center is a step toward winning Pennsylvania in November. Pennsylvania has 20 electoral college votes, making it one of the crucial states to win on the way to the Oval Office, as Romney acknowledges. “If we carry Pennsylvania, it is impossible for Barack Obama to win the presidency,” he said to loud applause at Lancaster. In Romney’s favor, Santorum, Pennsylvania’s former US Senator, unexpectedly withdrew from the race and did not appear at Lancaster, despite having committed to speak. In addition, the week following Santorum’s departure, Romney received the belated endorsement of Governor Tom Corbett. Junior Fletcher Markulin says, “It’s like a monopoly. Romney is the only business left in the Republican market.” One problem Romney’s campaign faces is not appealing to conservative voters. This is contrary to Gingrich, who was very conservative regarding gun rights and religion at the Lancaster dinner. Romney bases his campaign on attacking Obama and his policies in leading the United States. Along with loud cheers, Romney preached to the GOP dinner. “Look, this man is out of ideas, he’s out of excuses and in 2012 we’re going to make sure he’s out of office,” Romney said.