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Ode to conservatism at CPAC, Romney-style

For Mitt Romney, the Conservative Political Action Conference was a bit of a lion's den. Romney is seen as the moderate in the presidential race, which is why he stressed his conservative credentials.

Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney pauses while addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington, Friday, Feb. 10, 2012.

Evan Vucci/AP

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Mitt Romney entered the conservative lion’s den and lived to tell about it.

In fact, in the teetering GOP frontrunner’s address to a ballroom full of conservative activists Friday, he wielded the word “conservative” (or a variation) as if it were his shield – 29 times in a 26-minute speech.

“I know conservatism because I have lived conservatism,” Mr. Romney told the crowd at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

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He told us about being raised in a home that was “shaped and rooted in conservative values.” He talked, as always, about his 42-year marriage to Ann, their five sons, and their faith: “These conservative constants have shaped my life.”  In business, he said, “if you're not fiscally conservative, you're bankrupt.”

But it was Romney’s time as governor of liberal Massachusetts – the trickiest part of his resume for a Republican presidential candidate – that merited an upgrade: “I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” he said, asserting that he “fought against long odds in a deep blue state.”

“Somebody please buy him a thesaurus,” long-shot candidate Buddy Roemer suggested via Twitter, over the phrase “severely conservative.”


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