Romney apologizes for losing election

OXON HILL, Md. — 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.”

More in Local News

A wobbly calf grows into a 1,800-pound Lake Stevens behemoth

A shaggy and sometimes cranky bison is the last of his herd. He lives amid encroaching suburbia.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Officials ID man shot and killed in apparent Everett robbery

Police believe the victim may have known the shooter, who drove away before the officers arrived.

Man, 60, in critical condition after Bothell crash

Police believe the driver may have been speeding when he hit a rock wall.

Missing Marysville woman found safe out of state

A Marysville senior who was reported missing in March has… Continue reading

FBI operation arrests 3 linked to exploitation of 32 women

The sting focused on Everett and other cities in Snohomish, King, Pierce, Skagit and Spokane counties.

Front Porch

EVENTS Seahawks event postponed A Toys for Tots Blue Friday fundraiser that… Continue reading

Man arrested in Monroe Walmart robbery; second suspect flees

The pair fled in a stolen Mitsubishi Lancer with a distinctive green spray paint job.

Dead boy’s ‘gentle giant’ uncle helped search, then confessed

Andrew Henckel, 19, of Texas, said he planned the drowning of Dayvid Pakko, 6. His bail is $1 million.

Most Read