In what will probably be recorded as one of his best speeches, Mitt Romney addressed a standing room only crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and laid out a clear, specific, conservative plan. Romney started by giving credit to Obama for his community organization skills stating "Obama is the conservative movement's top recruiter." He also stated that "Barrack Obama is the poster child for the arrogance of government." But he quickly moved away from Obama to what he will do as president.
In an effort to tie himself with conservatives and reduce some of the skepticism of his conservatism, Romney used the phrase "we conservatives" throughout the entirety of his speech. "We conservatives believe in freedom." As a nation, Romney said, we need a president who will lead with "conviction and integrity." We must "reaffirm what it means to be conservative." He will have "bold and sweeping reforms" and "change the very relationship between government and its citizens."
Romney then laid out his credentials to lead this conservative party. He stated his "path to conservatism came from my family, my faith, and my life's work....I know conservatism because I have lived conservativism." "On my watch, I fought for marriage and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage....I fought for abstinence education....I was a severely conservative republican governor." He also noted lessons learned in the private sector, including "if you're not fiscally conservative, you're bankrupt!"
Romney went on to differentiate himself from his opponents by stating "I served in government but I didn't inhale." He noted that he was the "only candidate in this race, Republican or Democrat, that hasn't worked a day in Washington." He humorously noted that his opponents talk about how much they hated Washington so they just can't stand to leave. "I don't have old scores to settle," taking a vague swipe at Gingrich, and Romney promised to go to Washington, make changes, and then leave. "What distinguishes us [the presidential candidates] from one another is not our opposition to Obama..but our perspective, our judgement."
Promises Romney made to the enthusiastic crowd:
- "America remains the greatest military power on the earth. I will not be cutting our military budget. If you don't want America to be the strongest country on earth, I am not your president. We have that president today."
- "It's wreckless, it's immoral" borrowing 40 cents on the dollar. "And it will end in my presidency."
- "I won't just slow the growth rate of govt" but promises to make cuts.
- "I will finally balance the budget."
- "I will eliminate Obamacare!" Romney said to thunderous applause with a standing ovation.
- "We can, we must, and I will" speak straight to the citizens of this country.
Other great quotes from Romney's speech:
"As conservatives we're united by a set of core convictions."
"The election will ultimately come down to two different visions for America"
"When you hear an excuse that doesn't make sense, it's because it doesn't make sense"
Mitt Romney gave a strong, passionate, and informed speech that was clearly aimed at this conservative crowd. He swayed many with his heart, something not displayed as often as many would like, and made a great case for why he should be the Republican nominee.
As an aside, the Occupy Wall Street folks decided to saunter down and protest during Mitt's speech. If we think that OWS is being puppetted by the professional left, as Andrew Breitbart said yesterday, isn't it interesting that they came only during Romney's speech. They didn't show up for Santorum, but for Romney. And they showed up for the speech Romney was making to help conservatives understand his conservative view points. From where I sit, the professional left are afraid of Romney gaining the conservative base, which would allow him to make a clear sweep of Obama.