Romney's CPAC Speech: What To Expect
Four years ago at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced his decision to drop out of the race. The former governor of Massachusetts made the decision to end his campaign because he did not want to further divide the Republican Party and forestall the launch of a GOP national campaign for the presidency.
Fast forward four years and Romney is scheduled to speak at CPAC again as a potential presidential nominee for president. And once again, he needs to deliver a speech which will unite the Republican base. However, this time, Romney needs to deliver a speech that will unite the splintered party around himself.
In order to get a better idea of what Romney will discuss Friday, here is a look at the key highlights of his past speeches at CPAC.
At the 2008 CPAC convention, Romney announced his decision to end his 2008 presidential campaign.
“I entered this race — I entered this race because I love America. And because I love America, in this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country.”
In his speech, he reiterated the platform of his candidacy: a stronger moral center in America, a stronger economy that can compete better with foreign nations, specifically China, energy security, by investing in nuclear power, clean coal, liquid coal, renewable resources, and energy efficiency, less government spending by looking at entitlements as well as “pork” spending and finally raise military spending to 4 percent of total GDP.
At the 2009 Convention, Romney reflected on flaws in the Republican Part after the loss of the 2008 presidential election.
“I’m not telling you something you don’t know when I say that our conservative movement took a real hit in the 2008 elections.” Romney said, citing the example of the famous Time Magazine cover that featured the Republican elephant with the title “Endangered Species.”
Romney called upon the Republican party to listen to the American people, reflect, and get its message out to the public. He praised the party for reaching out with rallies and through the tea party movement across the country.
He outlined his policy in economics, national defense, education and healthcare.
“We will strengthen the economy by simplifying and lowering taxes, by replacing outmoded regulation with modern, dynamic regulation, by opening markets to American goods, by strengthening our currency and our capital markets, and by investing in research and basic science. Instead of leading the world in how much we borrow, we will make sure that we lead the world in how much we build and create and invest.”
Romney proposed strengthening security by building more missile defense, putting more into military funding and standing by and strengthening intelligence officers.
Romney proposed strengthening the school systems by hiring teachers from the top third of college graduates, giving teachers better pay. “School accountability, school choice and cyber schools will be priorities. We will put parents and teachers back in charge of education, not the fat cat CEO’s of the teachers unions!”
On the issue of healthcare, Romney proposed creating a coverage plan that is consumer driven and based on individual state needs. “The answer for healthcare is market incentives not healthcare by a Godzilla-size government bureaucracy!”
Lastly in his speech, Romney attacked the president for overreaching. “His nearly trillion dollar stimulus created not one net new job in the private sector, but it saved and grew jobs in the government sector– the one place we should have shed jobs. And even today, because he has been unwilling or unable to define the road ahead, uncertainty and lack of predictability permeate the private economy, and prolongs its stall. America is not better off than it was 1.8 trillion dollars ago.”
At the 2010 CPAC convention, Romney, attacked President Obama’s economic policies, but also the president ability to understand America.
Romney called the president reckless. “President Obama instituted the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we’ve seen in our lifetimes.”
He also said that Obama’s administration went back on its word. “When he barred CSPAN from covering the healthcare deliberations, they saw President Obama break his promise of transparency. When the Democrat leadership was empowered to bribe Nebraska’s Senator Nelson, they saw President Obama break his promise of a new kind of politics in Washington. And when he cut a special and certainly unconstitutional healthcare deal with the unions, they saw him not just break his promise, they saw the most blatant and reprehensible manifestation of political payoff in modern memory. No, Mr. President, the American people didn’t hear and see too little, they saw too much!”
Finally, at the 2011 CPAC convention, Romney’s speech took on a strong conservative rhetoric. “We’ve lost a couple of years, we have not lost our way,” he said at the conference.
In attack mode, he berated liberal policies of the current Obama administration. “Liberal welfare policies condemned generations to dependency and poverty. Liberal education policies fail our children today, because they put pensions and privilege for union bosses above the reading scores of our kids. Liberal social policies have failed to protect the unborn. And now, the hollow promises of liberal economic policies have failed to provide millions of Americans with the dignity of work.”
Friday, at the 2012 Romney needs to invigorate his base. While the most recent Gallup Pole puts Romney as the leading Republican nominee, with 35% of Republican supporting him nationally, Romney, who lost the Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri primaries on Tuesday to Rick Santorum, needs a speech to reinvigorate his campaign and prove his electability.
"I'm seeing Santorum and Newt stickers everywhere, but I haven't seen any Romney people." Ashley Killough, a CNN political reporter, tweeted during the first of the three day convention Thursday.
The Washington Post released an article titled, “Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign stuck in lukewarm.” On Friday, Romney needs to repackage himself, in a way that can inspire his base and solidify his status at the front-runner for the GOP.
Reach Reporter Jackie Mansky here
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