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Leavitt: Romney loss a 'disappointment to the country'

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SALT LAKE CITY — There is a lot of hard work that goes into creating a transition. You could see Tuesday night's loss was emotionally crushing, even for an experience man of politics like Mitt Romney.

The crowd was cheering for Mitt Romney as he walked on stage last night.

They were cheers to say "goodbye" to a politician they believed in. And it was no more painful than for the head of the Romney transition team, Mike Leavitt.

"It's a disappointment for the country; it's a disappointment for all of us who know, know and love the Romney's," Leavitt said. "And it's a disappointment for everyone who's worked so hard."

Leavitt downplays the number of hours he personally devoted to building what he calls "a great ship that unfortunately is not going to sail."

If anything, Leavitt says friendships were created and strengthened, and a deeper purpose fulfilled.

"We were in service of our country, and that's why we did it," he said. "Service of country, care for a friend and it was an interesting thing to do, too, so I have no regrets."

We were in service of our country, and that's why we did it.

–Mike Leavitt

Mitt Romney campaigned on being "uniquely qualified" to deal with the nation's debt and to lead a transition.

Leavitt says the loss means "the nation chose something else." And, he notes, that half the popular vote did go to Romney.

"That's one thing I'm glad about: that he finished so strong," Leavitt said. "This negative narrative about him — we had a chance to peel that back, and for people to see him."

Leavitt is now among those who are not sure what's next, but he does say both he and Romney will likely do something to better the nation.

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Richard Piatt


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