Romney apologizes for loss in return


| Zoom

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) - Republican Mitt Romney apologized for losing the presidential election as he returned to the national stage on Friday, promising to work in a diminished role alongside conservative activists to help strengthen the GOP.

"Each of us in our own way will have to step up and meet our responsibility," Romney told a crowded ballroom at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a three-day summit for activists in suburban Washington.

"I am sorry that I will not be your president," Romney said, taking the stage for the first time since last fall's election loss. "But I will be your co-worker, and I will work shoulder-to-shoulder alongside you."

Romney's conservative credentials were sometimes questioned during his presidential campaign, but he was greeted with a roaring ovation and interrupted by applause several times during his brief remarks. Advisers said his appearance was designed to thank conservatives for backing his candidacy.

Romney won the conference's straw poll one year ago, when he described himself as "severely conservative."

He did not repeat that phrase on Friday, but he did borrow heavily from his campaign trail speech. Romney referred to the same furniture upholsterer and truck driver he cited almost daily as he crisscrossed the country last year.

Romney is not expected to play a leading role in the future of the Republican Party, but he said, "It's up to us to make sure that we learn from our mistakes, and my mistakes."

He encouraged conservatives to study the successes of the nation's 30 Republican governors and praised the "clear and convincing voice" of his former running mate, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, who spoke in the same ballroom earlier in the day.

"Of course, I left the race disappointed that I didn't win," Romney said. "But I also left honored and humbled to have represented the values we believe in and to speak for so many good and decent people."

He also struck the same optimistic tone of his campaign's final weeks.

"I utterly reject pessimism," Romney said. "We may not have carried on Nov. 7, but we have not lost the country we love, and we have not lost our way."


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • Closer to Harvest
    Seattle marijuana farmers are getting closer to harvesting their first crop for retail sales

  • End Isn't Near
    Officials have another trick up their sleeves to help save King County's bus service

  • Go Sherm!
    Richard Sherman recognized along with Beyonce, Jeff Bezos and the Pope
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.