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Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to supporters before conceding the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston (Elise Amendola/The Associated Press)

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney waves to supporters before conceding the race during his election night rally, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, in Boston

(Elise Amendola/The Associated Press)

Did Mitt Romney wait too long to concede? Add to ...

Did Mitt Romney wait too long to concede? Depends who you ask.

The defeated presidential candidate was justified in taking some time to “catch his breath” before delivering a late-night concession speech, Liberal Leader Bob Rae says.

Mr. Romney faced some criticism for waiting more than an hour after CNN called the election in Barack Obama’s favour to address his supporters.

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“I thought the expectation in the media that Governor Romney would look at CNN’s announcement and say, ’Ok, that’s it,’ was a little unrealistic,” Mr. Rae said Wednesday. “The results in several states were really, really close ... I think it wasn’t unrealistic for him to say, ’Well, let’s take some time, let’s see what happens.’”

Mr. Rae, who watched the early results come in with friends Tuesday night, said he can relate to the sinking feeling of having to deliver bad news on election night.

“Of the two speeches to give, his was much the tougher speech, because you’re not only dealing with your own disappointment but obviously the disappointment of everybody around you,” he said.

Mr. Rae said he gave his toughest speech in 2006, after he lost his bid for the Liberal leadership.

“That’s when I felt we had a chance, and I had to tell my supporters that, you know, we’d reached the end of the road on the third ballot.”

The Liberal leader added that he’s a fan of Mr. Obama’s and was rooting for him “in the privacy of my apartment.”

“I think the results were quite remarkable for the President, given the challenge that he faced in taking on an economy that was declining dramatically as he took office,” Mr. Rae said. “His ability to maintain the motivation of his base was really quite remarkable.”

Paul Dewar, the NDP’s foreign affairs critic, said he thought Mr. Romney waited too long to concede defeat but added, “at the end of the day it will be forgotten.”

“I think he gave a good speech,” he said. “And I think it was probably very hard for him, and for good reason, it was close.”

Mr. Dewar said he was pleased to see that a Michigan proposition seeking to block the construction of a second bridge between Windsor and Detroit was defeated.

“Of course, the Detroit bridge is a concrete, key issue for us,” he said.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver said Wednesday that he believes the conclusion of the election could simplify U.S. consideration of Canada’s bid to build the Keystone XL pipeline.

“Now it will be looked at purely on its merits,” he said, adding, “I don’t see major obstacles at this point.”

Follow on Twitter: @kimmackrael

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