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Associated Press – February 7, 2008
WASHINGTON – Republican Mitt Romney, in a speech Thursday ending his presidential candidacy, said Europe faces “demographic disaster” because of moral and religious failings, and warned that United States should not become “the France of the 21st century.”
Romney also placed Russian President Vladimir Putin, alongside the United States’ greatest adversaries, as a threat to America.
His comments came in a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in which he announced he was suspending his campaign, effectively sealing the Republican presidential nomination for John McCain.
Romney, a Mormon and former Massachusetts governor, addressed what he saw as Europe’s problems as he called on the United States to approve a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriages.
“Europe is facing a demographic disaster,” he said. “That’s the inevitable product of weakened faith in the Creator, failed families, disrespect for the sanctity of human life, and eroded morality.”
He called for the United States to become energy secure, because “America must never be held hostage by the likes of Putin, (Venezuelan President Hugo) Chavez and (Iranian President Mahmoud) Ahmadinejad,”
Romney said if the United States did not change course “we could become the France of the 21st century.”
“Still a great nation, but not the leader of the world, not the superpower,” he said. “And to me that’s unthinkable.”
He lauded the people of “China and Asia” as “plentiful, innovative and ambitious.”
“If we don’t change course, Asia or China will pass us by as the economic superpower, just as we passed England and France during the last century.”
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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