February 20th, 2013
02:16 PM ET
10 years ago

Romney to make appearance at crucial conservative conference

Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney is returning to the political spotlight.

Two Republican sources confirm to CNN that the 2012 GOP presidential nominee will speak next month at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The event, known as CPAC, is one of the oldest and largest annual gatherings of conservative leaders and activists from across the country.

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"This is an opportunity for him to express his appreciation to supporters and friends," said a senior Romney aide.

"The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections," said Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that puts on CPAC. "We look forward to hearing Governor Romney's comments on the current state of affairs in America and the world, and his perspective on the future of the conservative movement."

After losing last November's presidential election, the former Massachusetts governor and two-time White House candidate has remained mostly out of the range of cameras and reporters.

CPAC is considered a popular cattle call for Republicans considering bids for the White House. At last year's conference, held during the GOP primaries as Romney was battling for the nomination, he called himself a "severely conservative Republican," a comment that drew much attention, and criticism.

At least six Republicans who may be contemplating runs for the White House in 2016 will be speaking at CPAC: Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who was last year's GOP vice presidential nominee, Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who as a 2012 Republican presidential candidate battled Romney deep into the primary calendar, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

CPAC, which turns 40 this year, will be held for the first time at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just outside Washington, in Prince George's County, Maryland. For years the conference was held at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel in the nation's capital. CPAC will be held March 14-16.

National Review was first to report word of Romney's speaking role at CPAC.

Filed under: CPAC • Mitt Romney
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    nothing new here wrote:

    "CPAC DOES realize doesn't it that Romney is the reason the Republicans lost the Presidential election in November 2012? Conservatives must realize this fact too. Romney isn't in any way going to garner favor for any candidate now or in 2016."

    It's called scraping the bottom of the barrel.
    It is embarassing to watch, isn't it?
    No, it's called putting your best foot forward, which in this case ain't saying much.

    Have you noticed that ever since Sarah Palin broke onto the national scene that being a stupid conservative suddenly became a good thing?

    February 20, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  2. Pander Bear

    When I read this, why is the song "Send in the Clowns" coming to mind?

    February 20, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  3. jack johnson

    Right at home with Palin (just a bunch of has beens). When will they annonce that Trump will speak for them?

    February 20, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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