Conservativeshave spent a lot of time talking about a comeback at CPAC, but they've , Mitt Romney. When he took the stage here for his first major speech since November to "Born Free," the same Kid Rock anthem that preceded so many campaign stump speeches he got huge cheers. "Mitt! Mitt!" "We love you!" "He cheated, he didn't win!" When it was Romney's turn to talk about a comeback, he avoided talking about why he lost the last election. Romney said:
As someone who just lost the last election, I'm probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election. That said, I do have advice. Perhaps because I am a former governor, I would urge you to learn the lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories: the 30 Republican governors.
Those governors have been able to do great conservative things, like charter schools in Georgia and right-to-work in Michigan, Romney said. But a casual look at what those governors are doing complicates that cheery picture. Many of those Republican governors run small red states that Romney won easily. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley introduced Romney by announcing she would never agree to Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, but eight other Republican governors have . The Republican governors who run bigger, bluer states like Michigan's Rick Snyder and Ohio's John Kasich won in 2010, a wave election for Republicans in a terrible economy. Two governors whose election in 2009 foreshadowed that wave Virginia's Bob McDonnell and New Jersey's Chris Christie were not invited to CPAClike raising taxes and hugging President Obama.
"In the end, we will win just as we have won before, and for the same reason: because our cause is right and just," Romney said. Several Republican governors might agree, but they've tweaked their causes.