NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., March 15, 2013 — 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed a large, enthusiastic crowd at CPAC 2013 this afternoon, thanking them all for their hard work and front line support during last year’s campaign. After a glowing introduction by rising Republican star, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, Romney strode purposefully onstage to a rousing cheer of “Mitt! Mitt! Mitt!”
The former Massachusetts governor reiterated how honored and humbled he had been as nominee of the Republican Party, and promised to continue to supporting Conservative values. He urged all in attendance, including himself, to learn from last year’s mistakes and vow to regain the Senate and White House and reestablish the primacy of Conservative principles.
Romney refused to accept a downbeat attitude toward the party or the country, declaring, “I utterly reject pessimism. We haven’t lost the country we love and we haven’t lost our way” citing several examples of American perseverence including the discovery of the Bakken Shale formation that is even now helping lead the United States to energy independence once again.
He also recounted how, over last year’s campaign, he met “religious heroes, military heroes and heroes in the homes of the nation,” like “single moms working two jobs to give their kids a better life” and “dads who don’t know what a weekend is, working hard so their families can keep their home.”
The audience cheered again as Romney declared, “the heart of America is good. We’re a land blessed by the hand of God, and may we always be graced by His protection.”
Again urging a positive attitude going forward, he urged attendees to “learn lessons from the party’s greatest success stories” such as the election of thirty governors across the country. He cited some of the more immediate results of Republican-led states, including Georgia’s constitutional amendment supporting charter schools, the unprecedented passage of a Right to Work law in union-dominated Michigan, the establishment of tort reform, the transformation of state budget deficits into budget surpluses.
He also uged participants in particular to listen to the Republican governors of “blue and purple states” to learn from their success and “make sure their message is heard across the country.” He also asked that attendees be sure to learn from those who offer real examples of political leadership in Washington, DC, like “the clear and convincing voice of my friend, Paul Ryan.”
“If I were to offer advice to our next candidate for President,” he said, “I’d asked that you do whatever you can to keep America strong, and free, and the most powerful nation on earth.”
“The last century was an American century,” he said, while warning that “the current current one isn’t written in the stars. Other leading contenders like China, Russia, and the jihadists — none of them respect freedom as we understand it.”
He urged all Americans to keep the country’s military deterrent strong and “so powerful no one will confront it,” adding that he’d like to see the same energy reflected in the economy. “And a people so inventive and hard-working,” he added, “that everyone respects them. That’s the America we grew up with and that’s the America we deserve.”
In closing, Romney declared that “history and duty call us again,” citing the country’s current seemingly intractible problems like “mounting debt, failing institutions, families economically stressed, and politicians intent on scoring political points” rather than working on solutions.
Asserting that “I will not be president but will be a co-worker alongside you,” he was accorded a standing ovation when he concluded by stating his firm belief that “in the end, we’ll win for the same reason we’ve won before. Our cause is right.”
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