Romney at CPAC: “I am sorry that I will not be your president”

posted at 3:21 pm on March 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Let’s be honest. The only way he could have made this speech truly interesting and newsworthy was by flagellating himself over what went wrong last year. True to form, he passed on that option for something safe, well-meaning, but ultimately pointless instead. BuzzFeed had a post this morning headlined “Mitt Romney wants to apologize to conservatives,” which suggested some eyebrow-raising introspection to come, but Byron York quickly shot that down and in the end nothing particularly penetrating materialized. Here’s the closest he got:

Of course, I left the race disappointed that we didn’t win. But I also left honored and humbled to have represented values we believe in and to speak for so many good and decent people. We’ve lost races before, and in the past, those setbacks prepared us for larger victories. It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon…

If I were to offer advice to any president of the United States, it would be this: do whatever you can do to keep America the most prosperous and free and powerful nation on earth…

Each of us in our own way will have to step up and meet our responsibility. I am sorry that I will not be your president – but I will be your co-worker and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you. In the end, we will win just as we have won before, and for the same reason: because our cause is right…and just.

Full transcript here. He did praise the GOP’s governors as thought leaders and pointedly included Chris Christie in his list of blue-state GOPers worth listening to, a gracious note coming from a guy who, more than anyone else, might have reason to endorse CPAC’s decision to exclude Obama’s new best buddy this year. But if the goal was to return to political relevance — which it seems to be, as he’s “eager to contribute to the national debate” — then the quickest path back would have been to use this speech to lay out his self-perceived mistakes in detail as a warning to the next generation of Republican candidates. A missed opportunity, but oh well. At least the crowd received him warmly.

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