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. The Real Tom Paine


    February 20, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. rs

    Well, the gang is certainly "all there" so to speak. It will be curious for all the "new GOP" talk if in fact we'll see anything different from the anti-everything party. I am betting not. Their world is a pretty closed one, all the "old GOP" is there, and they like their hate and fear and love of the rich too much to take on a new aura.
    We'll see.

    February 20, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  3. Bill

    Mitt who?

    February 20, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Rudy NYC

    I can understand the invite to Mitt Romney. He was their nominee, at least a provisional if not official head of the Republican Party. But what is up with their inviting Sarah Palin? She's washed up, the stereotypical icon of everything that's currently wrong with the right wing. My guess is that she could use the speaking engagement money.

    Are they going to allow Bobby "Stupid Party" Jindal to speak? He has a better shot at winning the general election in 2016 than Paul, Rubio, or Christie.

    February 20, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Linda

    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.

    February 20, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Al-NY,NY

    why don't they just call it the Losers PAC? Sarah Palin? Rick Santorum? Allen West? Flip Flopney? Paul Ryan? And just to be sure it remains the "losers conference"...Rand Paul's POTUS aspirations. Jethro Bush, Anchor Baby Rubio, and recall survivor Walker to boot. NONE of these clowns would ever ever win the White House and the sheep that will cheer them on like good little drones refuse to admit it

    February 20, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. RomneyWho

    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. These clowns, Fat head Rubio off to a running start as he wheels the powers of none, trying to get a jump out in front of the rest by visiting Israel. His coming of age journey, as it were. The republican leadership right of passage is what they call it. The quest for the Holy Grail of leadership. It is written, whoever shell find the drinking cup of Jesus, will best the standing democratic presidential nominee to become the next president of these United States of America. Republicans before him have tried, from Palin to Romney, only to name a few. And now we have Rubio the Water Bender playing catchup . . . 🙁

    February 20, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Kweso

    "I, Mittens, stand here today, and swear before God and man that I lost the election fairly and squarely. Thank yall" End of speech.

    February 20, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    The only one that deserves to address a group of any size is Jeb Bush, and that is largely by default. Romney, Palin, Santorum, Rubio, Rand Paul, Alan West, Scott Walker: this is what they offer the world after the American public rejected them? This is what they have on the docket after swearing they would stop the nonsense and start reaching out? This is a sick joke. Maybe I should be asking why Jeb Bush would even want to be seen with these losers: I wouldn't invite any of them to a neighborhood block party. Throw in Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann, and the Circle of Delusional Stupidity would be complete.

    February 20, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  10. Wake up People!

    Looks like this thing is turning into a good old fashioned Obama bashfest/hoedown. Sarah and Willard, really?? The two biggest losers??

    The GOP gets funnier and funnier by the day. If only President Obama had a chance at another term and won, there would probably be mass suicides up the Ying yang. McCain, Graham, Boehner, McConnell(especially after Ashley Judd puts the smackdown on him.)

    What an amusing sideshow.....

    February 20, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. nothing new here

    I am not impressed. As it is, this conference is hosting a lot of establishment Republicans. I doubt the extreme right-wingers are going to embrace these people, but at least Karl Rove will have plenty of people to spend money on.

    February 20, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  12. nothing new here


    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?

    February 20, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. Mark in Seattle

    Don't mind a bit being on the opposite coast, far far away from that gathering. Watch for the collective IQ of Prince George County MD to drop those 3 days.

    February 20, 2013 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  14. MrBeenThere

    Hey Mitt throw your hat in for the 2016 Run............... the country needs another good laugh...........

    February 20, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  15. Larry L

    They will plan their marketing strategy – designed to create the illusion the Republicans have somehow changed. It's not about actual change... just the illusion.

    February 20, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Tony

    History will not be kind to Romney and Republicans because while they demand spending cuts, they propose tax cuts that make the debt worse. To see how insane this is, just imagine this. Suppose that your expenses are higher than your income right now. Republicans want you to take a pay cut, then when you credit card bills pile up, Republicans point to your credit card bills and want you to cut your "runaway" expenses. Like food and medicine.

    February 20, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. yanni

    Republican knows how to recycle change will be a difficult thing to do

    February 20, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  18. scarf

    No need to worry. What happens at CPAC stays at CPAC.

    February 20, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    It will be interesting to see what Karl Rove (or was it Grover Norquist? evil looks alike to me) says about Mittens this year; last year, he told CPAC attendees to hold their noses and vote for Mittens. Because, after all, the House was going to rubber-stamp all of Rove's legislation and all that was required of the President was "10 working digits" to sign off on everything.

    February 20, 2013 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    "It is embarassing to watch, isn't it?"

    Actually, it's kinda fun, in a sick and twisted way. 🙂

    February 20, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. otlset

    Uh-oh, Mitt's gonna be overshadowed, once again, by Sarah Palin. In fact I bet Palin attracts the lion's share of attention and overshadows *all* the others there over the course of the conference, once again.

    February 20, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    At some point, even the most right-wing, teavangelical, Obama-hater is going to realize that the GOP has nothing to offer them except hate-filled rhetoric and policies that are PROVEN FAILURES.

    February 20, 2013 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. JK-MN

    Looks to me like CPAC is trying to put on a different shade of lipstick..........Nothing will change underneath.

    February 20, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. Mark from IN

    I wonder how many of them repugs will have their guns with them? Seems like a good place to have one with a thirty clip magazine and silencer.

    February 20, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  25. John the Historian

    I am so glad the god of Joseph Smith was defeated. Was has Willard not gone to Nauvoo, Illinois to await his polygamist Jesus Christ or can't he find a spaceship for his planet of kolob. Why doesn't he search for the 200 pound gold tablets that contained that fictional account of Jesus Christ preaching to the American-Indians. Since he is a bishop why doesn't he tell the mormon cult to get rid of the freemasonry ritual his cult ripped off. Never understood why the mormon cult temples don't disband and join the Methodist church since both rapist Joseph Smith and Brigham Young were once Methodists. How many husbands will Anne Romney now get on kolob either the 70 number like Brigham or the 87 like Joseph Smith. Never understood the difference between chapels and temples anyhow. Since mormons are not Christians since they don't recognize the bible and don't have interfaith services when will the mormons start hunting down FLDS members. So glad Warren Jeffs will not get his pardon. Has archaeology found those square boats for the lost tribe of Israel ??? I guess busy digging up bones from the Brigham massacres in Utah.

    February 20, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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