Mitt Romney made a big hit with a crowded CPAC main hall this morning, delivering a passionate attack on the Obama administration and its performance on the economy.  Romney peppered the speech with a number of zingers that will be certain to be repeated later, such as:

What we were hearing was not just a new and improved Barack Obama; it was an entirely different Barack Obama. Saul Alinsky was out; Jeffrey Immelt was in. …

Make no mistake: What we are watching is not Brave New World; what we’re watching is Groundhog Day! …

He guaranteed that unemployment wouldn’t go beyond 8%. As he watched millions and millions of Americans lose their jobs, lose their homes and lose their hope, his response was this: It could be worse.

It could be worse? This is the leader of the Free World’s answer to the greatest job loss since the Great Depression? What’s next? Let them eat cake?

Oh, excuse me. Organic cake.

The biggest attack point, however, was probably this: “But how difficult is it to take office in the middle of a raging economic crisis and understand that the economy should be your number one priority?”  It got a huge applause line, and it characterized the entirety of his speech.  Instead of focusing on the economy, Romney argued that Obama directed his attention to health care, increasing regulation, and practically everywhere except boosting the economy.  To the extent that Obama did focus on economic policy, Romney charged that Obama focused on Euro-style market management:

Under the pressure of a crisis, people turn to what they really believe. With our economy in crisis, the President and his fellow liberals turned to Europe for their answers. Like the Europeans, they grew the government, they racked up bigger deficits, they took over healthcare, they pushed cap and trade, they stalled production of our oil and gas and coal, they fought to impose unions on America’s workers, and they created over a hundred new agencies and commissions and hundreds of thousands of pages of new regulations. Theirs is a European-style solution to an American problem. It does not work there and it will never work here!

The right answer is not to believe in European solutions. The right answer is to believe in America-to believe in free enterprise, capitalism, limited government, federalism-and to believe in the constitution, as it was written and intended by the founders.

It was a focused, tight speech that never strayed from its central point of rank incompetence on economic policy.  And it was very well received; even though early speeches sometimes get overlooked at CPAC, the room was full and the attendees enthusiastic.  In fact, there was a long line of people that couldn’t make it into the auditorium.

Romney did himself no harm at all here at CPAC and may have done a tremendous amount of good with this speech.