Mitt Romney, his wife Ann Romney, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and his wife Janna wave to supporters on stage during Romney's election night rally on Wednesday in Boston.(Photo: David Goldman, AP)
BOSTON -- A bag of blue and white lanyards stamped with the
Romney-Ryan logo sat atop a cardboard box in the lobby of the Romney
campaign's headquarters midday Wednesday - the only evidence of the
frenzy of the Republican presidential campaign that ended the night
Around 12:30 p.m., Mitt Romney's presidential campaign
staff began arriving at the nondescript building in the North End,
exchanging hugs with each other before walking into the building.
we give it a little more time? It's still pretty raw," said Romney
political director Rich Beeson, when asked what happened to the campaign
that was expressing such confidence just 24 hours before.
end of what will likely be former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's
last presidential bid stunned those around him. Not only had he lost, he
lost every swing state except North Carolina and Florida, which
remained too close to call Wednesday.
Romney spent Wednesday
morning with his family. Around 4 p.m., he arrived - still with a Secret
Service escort - at the headquarters where the campaign staff had
gathered for a final meeting. Shortly after he entered the building, his
theme song, Born Free, could be heard from the sidewalk.
hours later, he and his wife, Ann, left without saying a word to
reporters who asked him what was next. They got into a silver Saab with a
Romney bumper sticker, and were driven away by son Tagg.
The former governor was expected to spend the night at his home in Belmont.
Paul Ryan on Wednesday returned with his family to Janesville, Wis.,
where he had been re-elected to serve his eighth term in Congress on
"I am immensely proud of the campaign we ran, and I
remain grateful to Gov. Romney for the honor of being his running
mate," Ryan said in a statement. "I look forward to spending some time
with my family in the coming days and then continuing my
responsibilities as chairman of the House Budget Committee and
representative of Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District."
the spotlight on Ryan is likely to grow brighter in the coming years,
Romney's place in the Republican Party remains uncertain.
Romney's loss and those that the Republican Party as a whole endured Tuesday have caused some soul-searching.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich told CNN on Wednesday that he "was wrong" when he said Romney would be the next president.
think the country was looking at a different set of things than we were
looking at," he said. "Republicans are going to have to take a very
serious look at what happened and why it did happen and why we were not
more competitive at the presidential level."
Virginia Gov. Bob
McDonnell, one of Romney's top Republican surrogates, said on CBS the
Obama campaign simply beat Republicans on the ground and that the GOP
needed to do a better job reaching out to women and minorities.
obviously didn't do it that well in the battleground states this time,"
McDonnell said. "And we're going to find a way to do that much better
because I think - we believe in - we believe in our cause. And we think
it's right for America. We just didn't do a very good job."