Romney wins Wisconsin
The Associated Press with Jay Sorgi
Mitt Romney speaks at his post-election gathering at the Grain Exchange room in downtown Milwaukee. Romney won Wisconsin's primary.Photo: Video by tmj4.com
Click the main video link to see Mitt Romney's entire speech Tuesday night at the Grain Exchange.
MILWAUKEE- Mitt Romney has won the Wisconsin GOP primary, and his victory over rival Rick Santorum moves him closer to becoming the presumptive nominee to run against Obama in a general election contest that's all but begun.
As of 4:30 a.m., with 98 percent of precincts reporting, Romney earned 42.5 percent of the vote (305, 740), while Santorum had 37.6 percent (270,686).
They far outdistanced Ron Paul, who earned 11.7 percent (83.969), and Newt Gingrich, with 6.1 percent (43,893).
Romney went three for three Tuesday night over chief GOP rival Rick Santorum in Tuesday's contests, winning primaries in Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
The victories put the former Massachusetts governor closer to clinching the party's nomination. He's on pace to do that in June if not before.
Romney assailed President Barack Obama as an "out of touch" liberal Tuesday night as he looked past three primary victories and toward the fall's general election.
"Out of touch liberals like Barack Obama say they want a strong economy, but they really don't like businesses very much," the former Massachusetts governor told supporters gathered in the Grain Exchange in downtown Milwaukee as he celebrated wins in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
"Years of flying around on Air Force One, surrounded by an adoring staff of true believers telling you what a great job you are doing, well, that might be enough to make you a little out of touch," he said.
Romney cast the election as a "basic choice" between what he calls Obama's "government-centered society" and the "opportunity society" he says he would pursue as president.
He painted a dire portrait of the state of the country, saying that more Americans have lost their jobs under Obama than under any other president since the Depression. Romney blamed Obama for the economic recession that began under Republican President George W. Bush.
"These last few years have been difficult, made worse by mistakes and failures of leadership," Romney said.