Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference next month, according to two sources familiar with the event’s itinerary. Romney’s speech, which will be delivered at the Gaylord National hotel in Prince George’s County, Md., marks the former Massachusetts governor’s return to the political scene.
After he lost the presidential election, Romney decamped to his beachfront home in La Jolla, Calif. But friends say he has become somewhat restless, and he’s eager to contribute to the national debate. Sources say he’ll likely focus on economic and fiscal issues, and that his message will be optimistic.
“This is really an opportunity for Governor Romney to thank all his supporters and friends,” says a senior Romney aide.
Romney last spoke to a CPAC audience in October, when he made a surprise visit to CPAC Colorado, one of the American Conservative Union’s regional conferences. He has also been a headlining speaker at previous national CPAC gatherings, and he has won the event’s presidential straw poll on four occasions.
“The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the election,” says Al Cardenas, the ACU’s chairman. “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.”
During his February 2012 CPAC speech, at the height of the Republican primaries, Romney famously told activists that he was a “severely conservative” governor, a remark that drew scorn from his critics for its clunkiness.