Mitt Romney knew his audience today: his speech was crammed with references to conservatism and included notably more attention about social conservative matters than his speeches generally do.
“I fought against long odds in a deep blue state, but I was a severely conservative Republican governor,” Romney said at CPAC. The “severely” was not included in the prepared remarks his campaign sent out.
He briefly sketched his own journey to conservatism, noting his parents’ influence. “Not everyone has taken the same path to get here,” Romney said, according to his prepared remarks. “There are college students at this conference who are reading Burke and Hayek. When I was your age, you could have told me they were infielders for the Detroit Tigers.”
Romney, who is under fire from the White House, the DNC, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich for various decisions he made while in office that relate to contraception, talked about how he had promoted pro-family and pro-life views while in Massachusetts.
“I vetoed a bill that would have opened the door to cloning and embryo farming,” he said. “I vetoed a bill that would have allowed young girls to gain access to abortion-inducing drugs. I fought for abstinence education in our public schools. And I defended the Catholic Church’s right to serve their community in ways that were consistent with their conscience through adoption programs that placed children in a home with a mom and a dad.”
Discussing how he had worked to make sure out-of-state gay couples couldn’t get married in Massachusetts, Romney added, “On my watch, we fought hard and prevented Massachusetts from becoming the Las Vegas of gay marriage.”
“Mine will be a pro-life presidency,” Romney said toward the end of his speech. “On day one, I will reinstate the Mexico City policy. I will cut off funding for the United Nations Population Fund, which supports China’s barbaric One Child Policy. I will ensure that organizations like Planned Parenthood get no federal support. And I will reverse every single Obama regulation that attacks our religious liberty and threatens innocent life.”