Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, goffered an emotional thank you today as he struck a positive tone for his party in his first public speech since losing the election to President Barack Obama.
As he recalled some of the people he met on the campaign trail, Romney told those gathered at the Conservative Political Action Conference near Washington that they shouldn’t be pessimistic amid talk of the party’s demographic challenges.
“We’ve lost races before, in the past, but those setbacks prepared us for larger victories,” he said. “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.”
Romney’s speech was warmly received by those at CPAC, a conference sponsored by the Washington-based American Conservative Union, which advocates for less government spending. He received several standing ovations.
“We have not lost our way,” Romney said. “Our nation is full of aspirations and hungry for new solutions.”
Romney, a onetime Massachusetts governor, pointed to Republican governors, including some who weren’t invited to the event such as New Jersey’s Chris Christie, as being models for the party as it moves forward.
“I would urge us all to learn lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories, and that’s 30 Republican governors across the country,” Romney said. “These governors have shown that they’re able to reach across the aisle, offer innovative solutions and that they are willing to take the heat.”
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