Mitt Romney wins big in Florida

Updated

Mitt Romney rebounded with a major victory in Florida’s Republican primary. The winner-take-all event was worth 50 Republican National Convention delegates, bringing the former Massachusetts governor the closest GOP candidate to securing the nomination for president.

In a victory speech, Romney declared his readiness “to lead this party and our nation.” He acknowledged the current intensity of the GOP race, saying it “does not divide us, it prepares us” for the fall against President Obama.

It’s a solid win over Republican rival Newt Gingrich, who came in a disappointing second place. The former speaker of the House most recently won the South Carolina GOP primary. Though, Gingrich renewed his vow to stay in the ring.

Rick Santorum finished third and Ron Paul came in fourth, according to NBC News projections.

South Carolina, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Florida

Mitt Romney wins big in Florida

Updated