February 27th, 2009
06:31 PM ET
14 years ago

Romney sounds like a candidate again at CPAC

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/06/art.romney.gi.jpg caption="Romney ended his presidential bid at CPAC last year."]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.

Filed under: Mitt Romney
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. REPUB with Love For Obama

    Obama – NOPE February 27th, 2009 7:52 pm ET
    REAL economic recovery – Romney 2012
    Mitt Rommey Another knock out in the !st Round .....Money can't buy you Love

    February 27, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  2. Sore Looser!!

    Yeah, whatever!! Why can't they just accept that Barack Obama, a black man, is our President. Infact, I believe it's because he's a black man that's pissing them off. Enough with the racial jokes,and cartoons. Show our President some respect. I know for a fact, if Obama were anything but black, he would not receive the kind of treatment, from the rep, that he's receiving. There are some really evil people in this world. I will pray for our leaders, and for the hatred demonstrated because of a person's skin tone. God is real and so is His word.

    February 27, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    In 4 years people will be sick and tired of Obama's speeches, his camera neediness and his bluster. Romney will start looking pretty good by then.

    February 27, 2009 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  4. Mike in SoCal

    Hey, "Put an End to the Republican Dictatorship Over the US"...

    Thanks for proving my point: 'you're spelling is incorrect', right? Nice. Not only is the spelling knowledge not there but apparently the grammar is lacking also. "Looser".

    February 27, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  5. Carol

    Folks, please go back and read Joan from Ontario at 9:57 this evening. For starters, Joan, NO ONE read the spendulus pkg. It was available for less than 11 hrs and if you read at a college speed reading level with no potty breaks you could not have digested the 1100 pgs in the bill. The only way some of the pork was identified was by having a huge cadre of readers simultaneously reading and trying to pick out the ridiculous earmarks that pelosi and reid had been saving up to bloat the first bill to hit BHOs desk. And he was DEMANDING it be signed IMMEDIATELY because the country, in fact, the world would implode if it wasn't signed yesterday! By the way, it wasn't signed for four more days. Hmmmmm!!!!

    February 27, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Michigan!

    Greg – you can't even spell "magical" or "underwear." Who is the idiot? It's you (and the other people here who are religious bigots!). Not Mitt Romney.

    February 27, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Please don't say Romney is a member of a cult, he is a Mormon just like others are Catholics, Baptist, Methodist or whatever religious denomination one chooses. I am democrat and support Obama 100% but I don't support hate and name calling about others religious preferences. It's just plain wrong.

    February 27, 2009 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  8. mike

    The way Barry Hussein is lynching this country in the first few weeks of
    his time at the White House... come time to re elect, my republican bullterrier
    would be able to pull off a win based on "change!"

    February 27, 2009 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. sprkl12000

    Guess the robbery at his home wasn't that important...but if anyone in the GOP had a clue, they would work WITH the Obama Administration and be seen as trying to "help" instead of trying to appease their OLD, RICKETY base who probably won't be around to vote for them anyway...

    February 27, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  10. shoegazer

    As always,a country divided is a country doomed to fail.

    February 27, 2009 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  11. Lilly Rose

    I think that the Republican party needs some new people and some new ideas, I don't mean steal Democratic ideas like you tried to do in the last election. I mean get some of your own. Especially, get rid of Sarah Palin, Michael Steele and Bobby Jindal. They are not very good imitations of some pretty powerful Democrats. Also, Repub supporters need to dial down the anger a bit. We liberals are not afraid of you, we don't hate you. We do, however, resent what your dogma has done to America. And yes, we are real Americans. Get behind President Obama and cheer him on. Remember, if the liberals sink, the conservatives will go down with the same ship.

    Or . . . keep Sarah, Michael and Bobby and pretty much ensure that you will be out of power for decades.

    February 27, 2009 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
  12. Joe

    Hey Libs, why don't you grow up and get a job instead of having the government control our lives you crybabies. Get a job.

    February 27, 2009 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  13. girlyman

    I think hes a toe tapper.

    February 27, 2009 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  14. Mike-Sarasota, FL

    I like Mitt Romney. He's the most accomplished Presidential candidate in recent memory. Some people make it sound as if Romney was just some wealthy business investor who made it rich and he never had to work a day in his life. The fact is that Mitt graduated with an MBA and JD from Harvard. He's worked and later become the CEO of one of the most successful business consulting firms in the country–Bain & Co. He's spent his career working hard to fix broken companies. I would love to have this guy as the President...I for one think he would do an amazing job.

    February 27, 2009 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  15. Darren D.

    Mitt, There you go, Coach Steele, The Joker, AKP-Gunner, AND U "Diamand". President Obama is my Chief!

    February 28, 2009 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  16. 2010

    With all due respect, Romney's presidential candidacy would not seem "most accomplished." He spent tens of millions of his own money but still lost a primary campaign. Many people could see through Romney's political shifts of ever-changing positions, even from his own party (ex. Huckabee, Giuliani, McCain, etc.).

    In this article, Romney appears to be shifting again to ride Palin's coattails because she happens to be the latest wave amongst the CPAC base. Romney may have some business creds, but his politics sadly come across as somewhat disingenuous and lacking authenticity. Thanks but no thanks.

    February 28, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
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