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Friday, October 21, 2016

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney returned to the political spotlight Friday, earning a standing ovation for his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). During his speech, the first he’s given since the November election, Romney urged his party to learn from his mistakes, and to follow new leaders such as Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan and New Jersey governor Chris Christie.

The address was largely a throwback to the 2012 presidential campaign. After being introduced by South Carolina governor Nikki Haley — who, in a move reminiscent of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, mostly focused on her own accomplishments instead of Romney’s — the former governor of Massachusetts entered to his old campaign theme song, Kid Rock’s “Born Free.” Romney then went on to deliver a modified version of his stump speech, brimming with American exceptionalism and full of stories about inspirational Americans Romney met on the trail (including, notably, his billoinaire bundler, Harold Hamm.)

Romney did take some time to look toward the party’s future, however.

“Of course, I left the race disappointed that we didn’t win,” Romney told the crowd of conservative activists. “We’ve lost races before, and in the past, those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon.”

Romney then urged his party to follow the lead of America’s 30 Republican governors, noting “We particularly need to hear from the governors of the blue and purple states, like Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, John Kasich, Susanna Martinez, Chris Christie, and Brian Sandoval, because their states are among those we must win to take the Senate and the White House.” That advice may not have sat well with the organizers of the conference, who did not invite Christie or McDonnell due to their perceived betrayals of conservative principles.

Romney also gave a shoutout to his former running mate, saying “I may be a little biased, but I applaud the clear and convincing voice of my friend, Paul Ryan.” For his part, Ryan declined to mention Romney’s name during his speech to the conference earlier in the day.

One specific omission differentiated Romney’s address from his stump speech, and most of the other speeches at CPAC: On Friday, Romney did not utter the word “Obamacare” a single time.

Romney’s speech marked the most high-profile and warmly received event in a rocky post-election period. After being blown out in the electoral college, Romney reprised his infamous “47 percent” remarks by claiming that President Obama only secured re-election by lavishing “gifts” on minority voters; his comments were so toxic that disowning them became something of a litmus test for prospective 2016 presidential candidates.

Although Romney received extended applause from the activists in the crowd, some of his fellow CPAC speakers have not been as kind to the failed presidential candidate. Texas governor Rick Perry, for example, took a clear jab at Romney on Thursday, when he countered the theory that the last two presidential elections reflect a leftward shift in the country by musing, “That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012.”

Although CPAC may seem like an odd venue for Romney, who once famously declared that his “views are progressive,” some of his signature moments have come at the conservative gathering. Romney finished either first or second in every CPAC straw poll from 2007 through 2012, cementing his status as a top-tier presidential candidate. Additionally, Romney chose CPAC as the venue to end his 2008 presidential campaign — delivering a speech that was well-received by Republicans, and helped set the table for his 2012 run — and at last year’s CPAC, Romney famously tried to Etch-a-Sketch away his past positions by claiming that he was a “severely conservative” governor of Massachusetts.

Other CPAC speakers on Friday include House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal; you can watch live streaming coverage of their speeches, and the rest of the conference, below:

Video streaming by Ustream

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

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  • Dummies guide to Romney-speak – “Be a better LIAR than I was”

    • We Can Thank A True American Hero Named Scott Prouty For Showing The American People What This No Good American Liar Really Feel About The American People Thank You Scott Prouty!!! <3

      • pbrower2a

        Thanks to Scott Prouty we got to know the Real Mitt Romney, and it was ugly. I doubt that I could have heard what Romney said without vomiting. I’m glad that I didn’t spend $50K on that dinner.

        • plc97477

          I am not sure I would spend 50 cents to hear romoney.

      • lana ward

        Our country would be recovering right now if Obama hadn’t stolen the election!! Instead things are getting worse, just the way he planned. We have an American hating communist in the WH!!!!!

        • Waaaa Waaaaa Don’t You Ever Get Tried Of Lying And Whining!!!LOL Stuck On Stupid BITCH!!! LOL

    • His biggest mistake is being himself. Unless he donates all his fortune to the poor he will always be the poster child of an arrogant, uncaring, multi-millionaire who enjoyed fiing people so much he closed several plants to profit from it, moved others to China, hid his fortune in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland to avoid paying taxes, invested in tax shelters in places like Italy, and showed his contempt towards 47% of Americans when he thought nobody was listening.

      • lana ward

        Why do you dems hate everything that is good and decent and loves America??? Things would be improving if Romney was in the WH. You hate America!!

      • plc97477

        I am so glad someone was watching.

  • Larry

    How did Fox feed through a PBS news feed?

  • Siegfried Heydrich

    There’s nothing more pitiful than an old whore still walking the streets . . .

  • idamag

    I guess Romney did not know Paul Ryan was part of the problem. Even though I disagree with Chris Christy’s philosophy, I admire him for being one of the few honest Republicans. Jon Huntsman is the other one.

  • roguerunners

    Yes, please follow Ryan down the road to nowhere, never to return.

  • AdamMos

    Amazing to think that Romney/ Ryan got millions of votes. Really scary to consider how close these monsters got to the Whitehouse.

    • Siegfried Heydrich

      Close? Not even; you give the American people little credit for seeing a phony when they see one. Remember what Lincoln almost said – “You can fool some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, and you can just jerk the rest off, most of the time”. The people can see phonies for what they are – Mitt was crammed down the throats of the GOP by the plutocrats who wanted one of their own in the White House, but even the bagroes choked on that . . .

      • AdamMos

        To close for me. A few votes in some of the swing states like Florida and Ohio and we would have these domestic terroritsts in power. Do not minmize or forget what happened in 2010 and remember Ryan did win his House Seat again. We are not even close to being out of the woods, yet. If the progressives sit on their hands again in 2014 we are fucked.

        • Siegfried Heydrich

          Then volunteer your services. Get out there, and pitch in. I did, and Obama won. Either sit on your hunkers whining or get the bloody hell out there and make your voice heard.

          • AdamMos

            I already do my friend. I spent every Saturday last year organizing phone banks and calling for national and local candidates.My 8 year old daughter even made calls.I had to take a little break but I will be back at it very soon. It is so important. Thank you for volunteering as well. We must take the House back and send those horrible Republican governors back to where they came from. God Bless America!

          • Siegfried Heydrich

            The light is ever there, we simply have to walk towards it.

          • plc97477

            I too spent time calling voters and was happy that I was able to talk some into changing their vote. It was very powering to do that.

    • It truely is sad that there are close to 50 million Americans in this country that could be hoodwinked by two obvious snakeoil salesman pitching one lie after another. Almost 50 million who do not care enough about their futures to really pay enough attention so they could see through the smokescreen that Romulus and Remus were spewing at every opportunity. These almost 50 million don’t realize how close they came to turning America into the first Corporate run country on the planet with Romney ending up as nothing more than a figurehead for them to try and push through as much corporate-friendly legislation as he could. As you say Adam, it really is scary that in America we could have almost 50 million totally clueless voters.

      • plc97477

        our job is to make sure these clueless voters get a clue.

    • lana ward

      Our country would be recovering if they were in the WH!! You America hater!!

      • AdamMos

        Our country is recovering you dingbat!

        • lana ward

          America is not recovering. You need to quit listening to your communist MSM

          • Waaaaaa Waaaaa Waaaa GO HOME And Eat More Cat Shit!!! Waaaa Waaaaaa!!! LOL

          • roguerunners

            Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! Oh Fern, glad to see you are back! Lana needs a spanking and you are just the one to do it!

  • But his mistake was being a liar! The repugs don’t know any other way to go.

    • lana ward

      WTF do you call that thing in my WH!!! Everything word he says is a lie!!!

    • David Waggoner

      a Mormon male admitting to a mistake….???? starnge day indeed

  • charleo1

    Romney says he’s sorry he’s not, “your President.” Presumably because if he had
    been elected for one term, when the time came for his second, they would have
    created a system so gerrymandered, and skewed in favor of the wealthy minority,
    it wouldn’t matter if Progressives got twice the number of votes.


  • Romney never is going to learn from his mistake, it is impossible for a Presidential candidate to hide he/her income tax and hide money over seas. Romney was not ready to lead this nation he lacks communication skills and he is a man surrounded by his own people he could not break his vicious circle and most American were listening to what he was saying and they understood he was lying.
    Romney never was a right winger he created the Romney Healh Care Plan and he denied it he was progresist but in order to be nominated he went to the far right and when he wanted go back to the center was too late the had the 47% tapes that could not let him to ge a good sleep. This famous tape is what the right wingers wanted to hear and Romney put his foot on his mouth.
    From now on he will be a right wing at heart he is wounded and he will stand by those that blame the poor people or less lucky and accuse them of be social parasites and he get to forget that there are thousands and thousands of Americans seated on wheel chairs because they went to fight a war that they did not have to go to fight!

    • plc97477

      And the parts that weren’t lies were pretty scary.

  • Kansan

    Watched part of Palin and Schlafly’s speeches. They each spent a lot of time criticizing the DC establishment, “consultants” and especially Karl Rove. The complained the reason they lost the last two elections could be laid at Rove’s feet for supposedly picking “moderates” in both.

    That doesn’t explain how Palin and Ryan got on the ticket of course, but these two don’t necessarily deal with reality. Schlafly said she grew up during the depression when people didn’t look to the government for handouts (like the WPA).
    Schlafly had been introduced by a comedian who made jokes about Biden’s age a minute earlier. Joe is 18 years younger than Schlafly.

    Lots of crazies on, of course.

    Almost everyone else also criticized Karl Rove. Brent Bozell claimed Turdblossom had torpedoed the candidacy of Christine “I am not a witch” O’Donnell, whom the 57-year-old “blond” boy would have the faithful believe, would have won otherwise.

    Carly Fiorina spent a great deal of time extolling “small business.” She should know a lot about such things. She set an all-time record by using $144 million of the go away money from her last “small business” job to run unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. That’s three and a half times as much as Romney spent on himself in 2008 in his unsuccessful run for the “R” nominaton.

    They had practically every prominent African American Republican on the stage, rivaling the 2004 NYC Republican nominating convention where some wag remarked there were more on that stage than there were in the audience.
    Mia Love set a standard by her hairdo, copied directly from a Greek statute of Medusa.
    Sarah Palin looked the best I’ve ever seen her, though, and I’ve known her family all too well for 25 years. Either she got herself a stairmaster or had liposuction on her butt.

    • Wait Till You See That Old Senile Fart Mitch McConnell Call Hillary A Golden Girl This Dried Up Fossil Got A Lot Of Nerves He Older Than Her!! He’s Older Than Salt!! ASSHOLE!! Run Ashley Run!!!

  • Loser Romney tells the CPAC to learn from his “mistakes.” They weren’t mistakes; they were things he absolutely believe such as the 47% are losers and moochers thing. Others were simply lies to win the Conservative and Independent votes. Then he tells them to follow “new” leaders such as Paul Ryan and Chris Christie. Is Mitt the Twitt kidding? Ryan is also nothing more than a loser who was on the presidential ticket with Romney. Has Romney already forgotten that? Ryan, just like Mitt, told so many lies during the campaign and many Americans saw right through his lies and deception. Ryan proposed the most radical right-wing agenda that would have totally decimated Social Security and Medicare. Even though voters overwhelming rejected Ryan’s message during the election, Ryan is still trying to resurrect his failed message and shoving it down Americans’ throats, whether they want it or not. Christie also still believes a lot of the extremist things the Republican platform advocates. Just because he worked with President Obama during the Sandy hurricane, that doesn’t make him a maverick in his own party even though other Republicans want to paint him as a RINO because he worked with, was seen with, and praised President Obama.