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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.

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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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