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. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    The man can't even take care of his own home.

    February 27, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. BillM

    Romney/Cantor 2012!!!

    February 27, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |

    Heard Joe the Plumber attended this affair, at his book signing it was a success, sold 5 count them five copies, yeah him. Hey Joe baby, now that there is another person named Jindal in the mix with your gal Sara, perhaps they will let you be secretary of State or Speaker of the house, yeah that's a good one for you "Plumber" Speaker of the House then you can clear the plumbing in the White house and other Federal Buildings, oh forgot your not really a Plumber. Caution don't go by the IRS either while in Washington because you don't pay taxes either.

    February 27, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. Carmine Abbattiello

    Romney's the only GOP candidate with sufficient intellect to run the country, but trails the ignorant Palin and the scary Huckabee. Jindal by my reckoning needs about 20 years of seasoning before he'll be credible. Its going to be a long 20 years!

    February 27, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. Los

    Romney's the only viable candidate the GOP has. The rest are a joke.

    February 27, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  6. Bridget

    I will never forget Mitt Romney saying he would have his lawyers interpret the Constitution for him if he were ever President. Gah! Hilarious.

    February 27, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Yah, Mitt, keep on spouting the same tired old GOP talking points.

    See how far that gets you these days.

    February 27, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  8. abdul S

    ROMNEY is rich and out of touch with the main street. If the GOP wants to succeed, they better have a message that appeals to the rest of America. Policy of trickle down is out dated and unpopular .This Romney has spent $ 45 million dollars last primary 2008, but did not get a good return. The GOP were all cheerleaders for G. BUSH for spending and plunging the country to the ground. American lives are changed forever and it takes many years to come out of this, because of these idiots. Now, they are criticizing President Obama for fixing and cleaning their mess. None of them have said anything when Mr Bush spending $ 10 billion dollars in Iraq and Mr Obama can not spend billions to rebuild U.S. What a hypocrites.

    February 27, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  9. Darth Vadik, CA

    Get it thru your heads some of you "Romney (AKA Flipper Flipper)" conservatives:


    plus he sounds too nasally all the time, what the heck has he been sniffing (ask Ted Haggard).

    February 27, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  10. Beverly, NYC

    I guess it's okay to make fun of Sarah Palin because he's a Republican. CPAC same old rhetoric, same old speeches, with USA USA chants for good measure. And they wonder why they're irrelevant.

    February 27, 2009 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  11. virginia for obama

    If he's such an financial expert! Why didn't he help Bush?

    February 27, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  12. Sue

    Looks like all the Republicans are already throwing their hats in the ring!

    So much for an attempt at bipartisanship...

    c'mon Green party... you can take over the Republicans.

    February 27, 2009 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  13. lovable liberal

    Oh, yeah, he's running. His main problem: Even Republicans can tell that he only takes stands to benefit himself. What will he be for in 2012? Whatever he thinks is popular enough to gain power.

    February 27, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  14. Be

    Do the Republicans know that the Church Age is over ?

    February 27, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. MARK

    Romney is just another "Pretty Boy" Republican. No substance.

    February 27, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Sara

    Who needs terrorists when we have the GOP?

    February 27, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. Zaley

    Mitt is icky.

    February 27, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. mark

    Romney and the rest of the conservatives make a lot of sense compared to the mindless spending our President is doing right now. We are digging a hole we will never be able to dig out of. Oh yeah, we will just take it from the "rich" and give it to everyone who doesn't feel like working and would rather not make an effort to better themselves.

    February 27, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. DavidinCA

    If we are fortunate, Mitt Romney will still be interested in the job after 4 years of what we see so far. Mitt is not just an excellent communicator and leader but he has a gift for understanding how things work and how to get there when things are challenging.

    February 27, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  20. Bethie

    Mitt sounds just like Jindal and Palin....over-rehearsed and over -coached.

    February 27, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. ib

    TwiddleDee or Twiddle Dum we already have them in the White House why would we choose them again? If you thought energy prices we out of sight under Bush just wait until Obama's new energy plan kicks in but the far left liberals will never realize it when it happens it will still be Bush's fault won't it?

    February 27, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  22. Kyle

    Romney would crap on his own mother is he thought it would get him ahead.

    February 27, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Darth Vadik, CA

    Mike in SoCal,

    We Kemosabee?

    No no no no no no no, it was the conservatives and their "free market" crap which included de-regulation that put us where we are, not to mention a 2 trillion dollar unnecessary war.

    Mitt? The guy who bought companies, dissolved them and sold them as scrap for profit (ALA Richard Gere in Pretty Woman)? This guy will save the country? The guy who put thousands of workers out of work so he can make his stock go up 1/4 of a point?

    You're kidding, right?

    Or you're from Orange County, the only County in the US to go bankrupt, which is weird because it's made up of rich white boys who pay their fair share of tax... Oooops. Sorry I gave away your ecret.

    We need FDR today, not the guy who will sell his mother for a buck (Reagan Bush Romney or pretty much any other Republican and a 1/3 of Blue Dog Democrats).

    February 27, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  24. Independent_me

    Don't hold your breath waiting for Romney and the Repugs to agree with President Obama "what there is an issue that they can agree on". It will never happen.

    The Godless Out-of-ideas Party will march lockstep against everything that Obama tries to do for this country. But since Obama is for the average American, and the Repugs are for the rich – God will bless Obama... and therefore He will bless America.

    Just wait and see

    February 27, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  25. kevin

    Right....he has NO SUBSTANCE...or brains either.

    February 27, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
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