Mitt Romney is putting a stop to his presidential campaign -- saying he's doing so for the sake of his party and his country.
And that means that John McCain has effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination, even as the Democrats continue a hard-fought battle between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama that could last until the party's convention this summer.
Romney told conservatives gathered in Washington that if he were to continue his campaign, it would delay the launch of a national campaign against the Democrats. And he said he can't let himself be part of what he calls "aiding a surrender to terror."
McCain is now the top man standing in the GOP race, with Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul far behind in the delegate count. Just seven months ago, McCain was out of cash and losing staff.
As for Romney, the former Massachusetts governor launched his campaign almost a year ago in his native Michigan. He invested more than $40 million of his own money in the race, and counted on early wins in Iowa and New Hampshire that never materialized. On Super Tuesday, he won just seven states, mostly small caucus states.