Mitt Romney (R) on Friday stopped just shy of declaring his candidacy for president in 2012, telling a crowd of conservative activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference that “It is going to take a lot more than just new rhetoric to put America back to work. It’s going to take a new president.”
The former Massachusetts governor’s speech drew a loud but scattered response from the conservative crowd.
CPAC has become somewhat of a rite of passage for presidential hopefuls, and Romney has made several appearances at the influential gathering. Romney failed to capture his party’s nomination for president in 2008 and is a considered a top contender for the nomination in 2012.
Romney’s address included some jabs at President Barack Obama.
On Obama and foreign policy, Romney said, “The cause of liberty cannot endure much more of his they-get-we-give policy.”
Romney was equally critical of Obama’s handling of the nation’s economy. He quipped that “his response was this: ‘It could be worse.’ It could be worse? ... What’s next, ‘Let them eat cake?’ Excuse me, ‘Let them eat organic cake.’”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.