Mitt Romney will speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference this March, his first public speech since he conceded the 2012 presidential election last November.
"This is an opportunity for him to express his appreciation to supporters and friends," a senior Romney aide said.
“The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections,” said American Conservative Union Chairman Al Cardenas in a statement. “We look forward to hearing Governor Romney’s comments on the current state of affairs in America and the world, and his perspective on the future of the conservative movement.”
Since the election, Romney has largely disappeared from the political scene, retreating to his home in La Jolla, Calif. But he returned to Washington for a lunch with former supporters in January, where he promised that he would become a part of the national conversation once again.
Romney has spoken at CPAC many times before; he won the conference's presidential straw poll four times in the past seven years, including last year. In his 2012 speech, the then-candidate was working to convince the Republican base that he was one of them; he used the words "conservative" or "conservatism" two dozen times. His remarks were best remembered for his description of himself as a "a severely conservative governor of Massachusetts.”
The conference is being held this year at the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor from March 14-16. The news of Romney's involvement was first reported by the National Review. Other speakers include former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).