Texas had the honor Tuesday of pushing Romney past the required 1,144 delegates needed to win The Republican Party nomination for president.
Romney won 71 percent of the statewide vote in early returns, according to the Texas secretary of state's office. The former Massachusetts governor drew slightly less in Tarrant County, with 70 percent.
Texas had 152 delegates at stake Tuesday night, and Romney won his proportional share of them to formally clinch the race. He surpassed the 1,144 delegates needed to claim the nomination at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., in August.
In a statement regarding his win Romney said, "I am honored that Americans across the country have given their support to my candidacy and I am humbled to have won enough delegates to become the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nominee," Romney said in a statement. "Our party has come together with the goal of putting the failures of the last 3 1/2 years behind us."
Without much fanfare in Texas, Romney, instead, was in Las Vegas withcampaigning and raising money. Yesterday’s victory for Romney signals a week push to fill the Republican coffers with millions of dollars, which will include a West Coast visit by Romney.
Romney avoided “birther” discussions for which Donald Trump has become famous. Tuesday evenings event with Trump and Romney comes amidst continued criticism from Republicans and Democrats over Trump’s questioning of Obama's citizenship. Romney has not spoken against Trump's false claims, instead offering a fresh example of the presidential contender's reluctance to confront his party's more extreme elements. There have been other examples in recent weeks that underscore Romney's strategy to win over skeptical conservatives while appealing to moderates and independents who generally deliver general election victories.
"Mr. Trump, thank you for letting us come to this beautiful hotel and being with so many friends. Thank you for twisting the arms that it takes to bring a fundraiser together," Romney told the approximately 200 people who paid thousands to attend the event at the Trump International Hotel. "I appreciate your help," according to the Associated Press.
Even without the nod from Romney on Trump’s out spoken “birther” views, Trump is popular among the conservative base and wealthy donors. He has recorded automated phone calls on behalf of Romney and hosted fundraisers with Ann Romney.
The former Massachusetts governor reached the nomination milestone with a message of concern about the U.S. economy, a campaign organization and Super PAC money that dwarfed those of his GOP opponents and was second only to that of Obama, his Democratic general election opponent. He outlasted and out spent half-dozen Republican opponents to clinch the nomination later in the calendar than any recent GOP nominee.
In response the Obama campaign released a video Tuesday criticizing Romney for not standing up to Trump and the extreme factions of the Republican Party.