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

Inslee’s budget solves school funding with help from carbon

His budget would use reserves to boost education, then replenish them with a carbon tax or fee.

Man, 29, injured by shots fired at Everett thrift store

The gunfire followed an argument in the parking lot of Value Village on Evergreen Way.

Police: He made an appointment, then tried to rob the bank

A lawyer is accused of donning a fake beard and telling a teller that a gunman was outside.

Lynnwood robbery leads to lockdown at Edmonds schools

Edmonds police said it was just a precaution as they search around Edmonds-Woodway High School.

Marysville 7-Eleven hit by armed robbers

Officers set up a perimeter and brought in a police dog, but the man couldn’t be found.

In adult court, four teens plead not guilty to murder

Prosecutors allege they worked together to plan and execute a drug robbery in Everett.

2 women struck, injured while crossing busy roads

The first happened Wednesday night in Everett. The second was Thursday morning in Edmonds.

Drive-by shooting reported in Marysville neighborhood

Police said there was no evidence to indicate it was targeted at a specific person or property.

Trooper’s car struck when he was arresting man for DUI

She drove away but was arrested for investigation of driving while the influence and hit-and-run.

Most Read