BOSTON, Mass. -

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney conceded the presidential election to President Barack Obama just before midnight.

Romney said he called President Obama to congratulate him shortly before his speech to supporters.

“This is a time of great challenges for America and I pray that the President will be successful in guiding our nation,” Romney said.

“I want to thank Paul Ryan for all that he has done for our campaign and for our country,” Romney continued. “Besides my wife Ann, Paul Ryan is the best choice I have ever made.”

Romney thanked all of his supporters, telling them they inspired him.

Moving forward, Romney said, “We look for the government at all level to put people before politics.”