WASHINGTON (CNN) – Mitt Romney may not officially be running for any office right now, but the former Massachusetts governor returned to the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday and sounded an awful lot like the presidential candidate who ended his campaign here last February.
Romney delivered a speech that resembled, in both style and substance, his campaign stump speech of 2007 and early 2008, detailing his opposition to liberal judges, jihadists and higher taxes.
And in criticizing President Obama and House Democrats on a number of issues, Romney - often interrupted by standing ovations - made clear that he intends to remain a player in Republican politics as he eyes a potential presidential bid in 2012.
He opened his speech with a cheeky nod to one potential rival who didn't make the trip to the annual gathering of conservative activists - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
"There's a rumor that she has been offered an 11 million dollar book contract," Romney said. "My publisher has been talking to me about an 11 millon dollar deal as well. I'm just not sure I can come up with that kind of money."
Though Romney said he would support President Obama when the two men agreed on an issue, he disparaged as "awfully vague" some of the plans the president outlined in his address to the nation this week and in his new budget, and said that proposals for universal healthcare and universal pre-school would lead to "universal government."
"I'm afraid I know where the liberal Democrats want to take us," Romney said. "And as they try to pull us in the direction of government-dominated Europe, we're going to have to fight as never before to make sure that America stays America."
Romney also targeted Attorney General Eric Holder for his recent remarks that America is "a nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race.
"To those who question the character of our country, including the new attorney general, let us remind them that America has never been, is not now, and will never be a nation of cowards," he said, prompting a roar from the crowd and chants of "USA!"
He broke with other Republicans at the conference, including Mike Huckabee, who blasted the federal bailout of the financial industry as something akin to socialism. Romney argued that the legislation was necessary to infuse the market with currency in order to "prevent a cascade of bank collapses." But the Detroit native admonished the Bush administration for using federal funds to bail out domestic automakers.
Romney won back-to-back victories in the CPAC Straw Poll in 2007 and 2008, wins that helped him shore up support among the party's base as he campaigned for president. He is on the ballot once again this year, with the results due Saturday afternoon.
Another racist republican who will LOSE AGAIN in 2012. On with the news.
More fear-mongering from the right. I'm praying the Obama's plan creates jobs and restores America to the Clinton era greatness, or these nutcases will start an armed revolt. Where were they when their precious GWB was spying on us and taking away our rights while spending down the treasury? This is all based on fear tactics...
Let's see...shall we pick Twiddle Dee or Twiddle Dum?
IF ROMNEY COULD NOT TAKE CARE OF SECURITY ON HIS HOMES,HOW ON EARTH CAN HE TAKE CARE OF THE UNITED STATES?????????? MITT YOU ARE A BORN LOOSER LIKE SARAH ,BOBBY AND RUSH. WHAT DOES THESE GUYS ALL HAVE IN COMMON? THEY ALL FAILED TO IMPRESS.
So what!!!! You had your chance!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'd like to see a Mitt Romney -Colin Powell ticket 2012.
STOP! Enough with who could win!
Thats why he's really selling 2 of his 5 mansions! He's getting ready to give it another shot at the White House! What a predictable "stuffed suit " this guy is! Prototypical Republican!!!!!
Wow these people don't get it. So much for them getting back to conservative principles. Ron Paul is the only hope for the GOP.
What – now even the repubs are dissing on Gov. Palin. Everyone seems to forget or doesn't comprehend that she lost. Even bo doesn't know he won – he's still campaigning – same old tired speeches over and over and over and all of them full of lies!
Good luck there girlyman.
Of course republicans are against universal pre-school... anyone with an education or any intelligence of any kind won't vote for them!
Mitt Romney is a member of a cult and a rich elitist, what does he know about Americans?
Wheres Barney,"Huckleberry"Fife?Im sure aunt bea and Opie would vote for him.
8 years they all sat in there seats and got Fat and Rich off the back of the people in the USA!!! Now they don't think that your groverment should help you at all! Ask Rommney how is his 401K doing.
Out of touch and disingenuous. Same ol mittens. Loves the idea of saving rich bankers but hates the idea of helping regular working men and women. How does this attitude translate into VOTES? I mean other than votes from rich bankers.
The repubs can nominate as many they want, they all doomed in the next election.
chuck–you forgot Huckabee and Joe the Plumber. They belong on that list of born losers too. Also, we have Bush and Cheney who, while out of politics now, still are born losers.
Unless the GOP stops coming across as the party of exclusionists they will not have a chance in the future. This past election showed angry crowds that were intolerant of others. Now that the rest of the country has seen what happens when they are apathetic and don't vote the GOP will need more than its base to win anything.
So he gave essentially the same speech this year?
Way to stay in touch and keep up with the times, Romney!
How many other canned speeches were given today?
HERMAN MONSTER, YOU ARE NOTHING BUT AN IDIOT. YOU ARE A HATER AND ALL YOU SPEW FROM YOUR MOUTH IS VENOM. THE SAYING GOES " FROM THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKEST. " YOU WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, EVER!
Thank God! Please run again, Mitt. We just put our children and grandchildren into bankruptcy with Obama's spendulus bill. We need a financial expert to pull America out of this tailspin, not someone coming out of the corrupt Chicago political machine. And, "chuck", you are the "loser", not "looser". Looks like you had a great public education.
He would be much better than the idiot we got!!
Is it just me.. or when you look at 98% of the republicans you see your grandfather.. while you still might love them, outdated still stuck in the past talking about the way things used to be. Penny saved, walked to school.
While they used God for fear and a crutch in the meantime many has found God and found God to be loving, not fear, we found that God gave us the ability to think, to open our heart and our minds. We found out that we could love God and not be like you and not believe as you do.
And that is simply what the Good ole boys club can't do.
Find ONE republican that doesn't spew hate, anger and fear and judgments... and that one person might be the only hope you have
America spoke.. we want the change.. we welcome the change.. we need the change..
Stop spouting off with nothing but negative ideals and NO it won't work and hate.
BTW.. we are all still waiting to see the republican plan
As a teacher, I have no respect for anyone that does not recognize the benefit of or support universal pre-k.