The Washington Post

Mitt Romney’s CPAC speech isn’t conservative in its use of the word ’conservative’

Mitt Romney at CPAC: proud to be a conservative American. (Jeffrey MacMillan)

Romney, who’s struggled to convince the GOP base of his bona fides, uttered the word “conservative” or some variation thereof no fewer than 29 times.

A few highlights: “Now ... is a time to reaffirm what it means to be conservative and why this must be our greatest hour as conservatives.” (Hey, that was a two-fer.)

“We conservatives aren't just proud to cling to our guns and to our religion.”

I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism.” (Ding-ding!)

And, as a bonus, he said “America,” or a variation, 27 times. “Principles” came up six times.

Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum was no slouch in the shoutout-to-the-right department, either, though he didn’t match Romney’s numbers. In a speech earlier in the day, he mentioned a variant of the word “conservative” 14 times. “America” got a full 17 mentions, and “principles” came up six times.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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