Romney cruises victory over Santorum in Illinois

Romney cruises victory over Santorum in Illinois

PanARMENIAN.Net - Republican Mitt Romney cruised to an easy victory over top rival Rick Santorum in Illinois on Tuesday, March 20, moving him one step closer to clinching the party's volatile battle for the presidential nomination, Reuters reported.

Romney's comfortable win gave him a fresh burst of momentum in the White House campaign and new ammunition for his argument that it is time for Republicans to rally around his campaign and end an increasingly bitter nominating battle.

"Elections are about choices, and today hundreds of thousands of people in Illinois have joined millions across the country to join our cause," Romney told cheering supporters in Schaumburg, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

"I'm offering a real choice and a new beginning," he said, touting his business experience and ignoring his rivals to focus his criticism on President Barack Obama. "I have the vision and the experience to get us out of this mess."

With 95 percent of the votes counted, Romney had 47 percent and Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, took 35 percent. Romney's remaining rivals, Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House of Representatives speaker, and libertarian congressman Ron Paul, lagged badly. Gingrich was in fourth place.

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