Mitt Romney will make his first major public speech next month since his loss to President Barack Obama, in a return to the political spotlight.
Romney will be a featured speaker at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Maryland. He joins a roster of Republicans including Marco Rubio, Sarah Palin, and Rand Paul.
The National Review first reported the story, which was confirmed by an American Conservative Union executive.
“The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the election,” says Al Cardenas, the ACU’s chairman. “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.”
What Romney’s intentions are were unclear as of Wednesday. One source told The Washington Post that the former candidate wanted to thank “supporters and friends.”
The event is at the Marriott Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland, from March 14 to March 16. Romney rejoined Marriott’s board after the November 2012 presidential election.
Politico reported in January that Romney told a private audience he had no intentions of fading away from the political scene.
Its sources said Romney told supporters he would campaign for Republicans in this year’s gubernatorial elections, as well as the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential election. Romney also reportedly said he wanted to take part in a public dialogue about the economy and international issues.
The former candidate’s wife, Ann Romney, has said that her husband isn’t interested in another presidential run. Politico also said that Romney told the audience at the January event that he didn’t intend to run for president again.
But Romney hasn’t ruled out some kind of public role as a speaker supporting GOP causes.
Romney, 65, is seven months younger than Hillary Clinton.
But even if Romney had a change of heart and ran for president in 2016, the historical record of losing candidates winning the next political election is poor.
Romney lost a bitter race with President Obama in November, with Obama getting 332 electoral votes to Romney’s 206.
Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, and Grover Cleveland did come back from a presidential campaign loss to win four years later. Cleveland’s win was in 1892; he was the last president to accomplish that feat in four years.
Richard Nixon also won the 1968 presidential race, after losing eight years earlier to John F. Kennedy. In fact, Nixon was the last defeated presidential candidate to make another major effort to win a presidential race.
Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Al Gore, and John McCain didn’t attempt to run for president again after their losing campaigns.
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