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)

    Romin Noodle failed last year and will fail again in the future because he is a morman.

    February 27, 2009 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  2. thomas

    "detailing his opposition to liberal judges, jihadists and higher taxes."
    – If we take a second to analyze Romney's priorities, we can conclude that Romney is opposed to liberal judges, but not liberal decisions made by any other judge. He is opposed to violent muslims but not violence in general. He opposes higher taxes but is not in favor of lower taxes. What a strange agenda.

    February 27, 2009 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  3. Marty, FL

    If Romney wants to disprove Holder's point, then by all means let him give an honest, forthright speech on race such as President Obama courageously did. Otherwise, it comes across as just more empty political gimmicks for CPAC and further proves the AG's point. Romney could address the LDS evolving positions on the subject and the unfortunate rise of hate groups due to some of the misguided immigration rhetoric that he's even used for political gain.

    In addition, Romney unfortunately chose more division instead of reaching across the aisle, another "me too" position with regards to Palin, and continued fear-mongering against Europeans. Nonsense.

    Mitt Romney has a long way to go before I ever take him serious as a political "leader" again. In my honest opinion, he was much better as a more moderate governor of MA.

    February 27, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  4. Jadie

    What a mess the Republican party has become.

    February 27, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  5. Obama 2.0

    Romney sold his employees, just like in the good ol days. yea thats what we need to go backwards, NOT>

    February 27, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  6. Polo

    The Republicans are looking more and more foolish.

    February 27, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  7. Stephanie


    February 27, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  8. Eileen

    This wishy washy person couldn't buy the presidency last time around, and I doubt he'll fare much better if he chooses to run again.

    February 27, 2009 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  9. Polly

    McCain's the only one I will listen to.

    February 27, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  10. Chris in Va.

    @ DavidinCa and Mike in SoCal (coincidence)? ....It seems that what we have here......is a failure to communicate.....so let me see if I can explain it to you as clearly as possible. After what your Republicans have done to this country, and don't hand me the "It's Congress' fault" BS, the American people will, and listen closely now, NEVER put another Republican scum in the White House again! So you can whine and snivel and spread your garbage all you want, but it will never change that fact.

    P.S. You really need to wrap youselves in the flag, stand QUIETLY in the corner and pout, we loyal Americans have a lot of work to do to clean up your mess.

    February 27, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  11. Libs are Goofy....

    @ Delisa Kyerefo

    Are you related to Al Sharpton or rev Wright?

    Please let us know how you deciphered the racial "undertones" you describe from the artilcle above? Or are you physic and able to read minds?

    February 27, 2009 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Mitt Romney has an eye for detail and not surprised he just doesn't see it in the budget. McCain should run again.

    February 27, 2009 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Mr. Romney

    Why don't you contact President Obama and give him a hand with our economy, using your expertise in the field?????

    When your life is over, you can say that you helped the American people at a time when we needed your help the most.

    And you did it without being president.

    February 27, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  14. Last shall be first

    I imagine the GOP has not had a good night's rest since Nov. 4th. It has to be pretty tough waking up each morning only to find out that the nightmare you had the night before wasn't a nighmare after all . . . .IT IS REALITY. Barack Obama really holds the most POWERFUL position in the USA. OMG . . . . what are we to do? Who can we choose to go up against this man.

    Let me give you a clue . . .. NOBODY. My suggestion is that the GOP adopt the oldest clique' – "If you can't beat him . . . join him".

    February 27, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  15. No Incumbents 2010

    @lovable liberal- What will he be for in 2012? Whatever he thinks is popular enough to gain power.

    How can you even keep a straight face when you type. Have you heard of Clinton or Obama?

    February 27, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  16. greg


    February 27, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  17. Lina E jamison

    What better happen pretty soon is America better forget the Politics and start to realize that we need "all hands on deck" not blaming but finding solutions to the problems that are facing us.......Who cares about the next election now?????? Let's come together and get this fixed or their won't be anyone who cares. Instead of finding fault lets just hear solutions. Where were all of you over the last 8 years when this was beginning? Where were the voices then? Let's care about the state of the union NOW not in 2012

    February 27, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  18. chuck

    Could you imagine the Republicans are pushing Joe the Plumber to be their leader? What a pitty!!!!!!!!!!! Now it will be " JOE THE BLIND LEADER" OR "JOE THE DUMB LEADER" GO FIGURE!!!!1

    February 27, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  19. ED FL

    I understand that one prominet guest at this GOP meeting was JOE the PLUMBER, Ironic where would you most find a plumber , whenyou are surronded by CRAP

    February 27, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  20. Alfred

    Romney/DeMint 2012!

    February 27, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  21. Sarah Yes----

    Mitt, No.

    February 27, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    This is the only job that I know of that grown men would cry if they dont get it, the Office of the President of the United States.

    February 27, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. Chris

    If it's not Ron Paul, don't even bother GOP. We won't support any other candidate.

    February 27, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  24. Little too late????

    Romney – Palin '12.

    February 27, 2009 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  25. Steve

    Well, if he's winning over CPAC, then he has the Barking Mad contingent of the GOP in his pocket.

    February 27, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
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