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

Mom gives her $25,000 windfall to Marysville high schools

Among the beneficiaries is the drama club, which gets much-needed audio equipment.

Why Republican legislators voted against a property tax cut

You’ll no doubt be hearing about it in campaign ads next fall.

Edmonds man gets prison for Navy cadet program embezzlement

Michael Leighton, 49, also must pay over $75,000 in restitution.

Body of missing Marysville man found in Oregon river

A medical examiner identified Gary Schultz by fingerprints.

Suspect says he figured out how to hack retail gift cards

He stole at least $249,000 from Target alone, say police, who think he’s part of a fraud ring.

Woman injured in crash with DOT vehicle near Maltby

Westbound traffic on Highway 522 was shut down for hours Thursday morning.

State Patrol seeks witnesses to I-5 shooting near Lynnwood

Three bullet holes were found in one vehicle, but no one was hurt.

Property owners excluded from tax starting next year

They didn’t get to vote on the Sound Transit plan but have been required to pay the tax.

This tale goes full circle

Courthouse courier’s stolen bicycle is recovered with the help of a marshal.

Most Read