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.
Oh great, let's return to the Reagan era of socialism among the wealthy, redistributing all of the wealth of the nation to the top 5% of people and big corporations once again. You think they'll share next time? I doubt it.
Mitt really meant to say, so American can stay 'White'. I'm so tired of the racial undertones of this country. Get over it...President Obama won the election, not because of the color of his skin, but the content of his character. Come on Mitt we welcome the challenge, but you better bring something new to the table because the old washed up GOP base ran out their traditional tricks this election.
I know how Romney can get this country out of debt. Like he did it in his house, hire a bunch of illegals, pay them 25 cents/hour. The country would save so much.
And what is Romney running for? Bozo of the year... right after Bush/Cheney.... Don't make me laugh... same ole same ole Republican rhetoric that means absolutely NOTHING! Unless you are stupid, of course! Seriously....
Clueless in America.When your broke or have no healthcare and the goverment offers it to you for a cost you can afford,you can call it socialism,communism but not having affordable healthcare and the basics,we dont care about labels.How dare the party that caused this, is now preaching listening to the other party now can be dangerous.Its to late republicans the US is bankrupt,borrowing to help people not starve and paying for it by taxing the rich sounds great.
Mitt really meant to say, so America can stay 'White'. I'm so tired of the racial undertones of this country. Get over it…President Obama won the election, not because of the color of his skin, but the content of his character. Come on Mitt we welcome the challenge, but you better bring something new to the table because the old washed up GOP base ran out their traditional tricks this election.
This guy is ready to campagin all the way threw 2012,i don't know what a looser got for this country
If Mitt actually (heaven forbid) wins, do you think he will close us down and sell the pieces to the nice folks overseas who helped clean up all those nasty, dirty manufacturing jobs to make his millions? Well, the millions he didn't inheirit.
You mean, he sounds like a phony once again? YAWN
Agnes, Or should we pick twiddle-dumber.
REAL economic recovery – Romney 2012 !
I know you democrats hate successful people but Romney is the guy who we need in the White House right now.......not the amateur community organizer who has never accomplished a thing in the real world.
Give it up Mitt. We are tired of the same ole same old.
Mike in SoCal,
You need to get an education. FPGB took you, your children, and grandchildren into bankruptcy. Denying the truth doesn't make it any less true. Don't blame President Obama for the sins of the past.
Fact is, your party is out on the ocean in a canoe. They have no concrete plans, no new ideas, no solutions – only criticism.
President Obama has concrete plans, new ideas, and solutions. He offers hope not despair; praise, not criticism. Limbaugh, Romney, and the rest of your party's fatales are wannabees on the road to nowhere.
Chuck. . if "Romney is a Born Loser" I'd like to know what your definition of a successful life is.
This guy has a great family, marriage, tons of money. He has been painted as a flip flopper by the left. But that just is a lame, tired accusation.
Explain how he is a loser.
Poster boy for the down and out Republicans.
Hey lovable liberal. . . Nice try. the old. " Mitt is a flip flopper" garbage is tired and proof to me that liberals are scared of Mitt. No matter how lovable they are.
SORRY ROMNEY, NOBODY'S LOOKING!
Smooth talker, seems nice...I just wish one GOP would step a little closer to center. I voted for Obama, but would vote either way if the GOP would just stop letting extremists, big biz and religion run their party. They have to realize by now that the shift to the far, far right ruined their party. Why not try and shift back? They are acting like the auto industry...refuse to admitt what is wrong and just keep trucking down the same road.
Ever notice how almost every Republican has dipped his hair in dye and has the slightest touch of grey in the sideburns? Trying to be young and hip but alittle distinguished at the same time. Pretending, once again, to be something they're not.....stupid morons.
Where does the Republican Party find idiots to chant "USA" for every loser Republican speech?.........The Price Is Right?
The Democratic party has nothing to fear.........
I want Romney/Palin or Palin/Romney 2012.
Same old, same old, the best friends of the Democrats.