So much for predictions that former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney would address CPAC and throw out a bunch of political red-meat or go on the attack. Or be met with indifference.
In fact, he gave a dignified and constructive speech: And he was embraced.
GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney appealed for the Republican Party to learn from the mistakes of his losing 2012 presidential campaign and, as conservatives chart their course forward, to look to GOP governors for a path to future electoral wins.
Romney received perhaps the most enthusiastic reception yet of any speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference, with a packed auditorium offering him an extended standing ovation before he began.
He told the CPAC crowd that while he “left the race disappointed that we didn’t win,” he remained optimistic for future success — if the party learns from his campaign.
“We’ve lost races before, in the past, but those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It’s up to us to make sure that we learn from our mistakes, and my mistakes, and that we take advantage of that learning to make sure that we take back the nation, take back the White House, get the Senate and put in place conservative principles,” he said.
The speech marked a reemergence of sorts for Romney, who has quietly returned to private life following his defeat.
And so (until the next battle in the party’s ongoing civil war) the Republican Party (for now) heals. And Romney gets at least some closure and is embraced by CPAC’s crowd for his political fight.