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Romney plans a return to the limelight

Feb 26th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News

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FORMER United States presidential candidate Mitt Romney will hold his first post-election interview on Fox News Sunday this week, host Chris Wallace has announced.

This follows last week’s announcement that Mr Romney would make his first public appearance at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference next month.

Mr Romney will be joined at the 40th annual conference by fellow conservative Republicans Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Newt Gingrich, former running mate Paul Ryan and National Rifle Association spokesman Wayne LaPierre.

“The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former 2012 presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections,” said Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union.

“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.”

Mr Romney has been out of the media spotlight in the four months since the election.

He has stayed away from television and party gatherings, and posted only family updates to Facebook.

Republican rhetoric since the election has been filled with references to Mr Romney’s campaign, aimed mainly at distancing the party from its former figurehead.

Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal told members of the Republican National Committee on 24 January to focus on uniting groups excluded by the Romney campaign.

“We’ve got to compete for every single vote – 47 percent and the 53 percent,” Mr Jindal said, referring to Mr Romney’s leaked speech from last September that tarnished his run.

“It’s no secret we had a number of Republicans who damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments – I’m here to say we’ve had enough of that.”

The party has been giving screen time to young, non-white candidates with working-class backgrounds.

Senator Marco Rubio emphasised such an upbringing in the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address last week.

“My parents … made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid,” Mr Rubio said.

“I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.”

In appearing on Fox News, Mr Romney may be laying the foundations for a commentator role in conservative media, like his rival in the 2008 primaries, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

Former presidential challengers John Kerry and John McCain quickly took up high-profile roles after their losses, adopting causes within their respective parties.

Mr Romney has no such niche to fill, and made intra-party enemies in a tight primary race.

His upcoming appearances may reveal whether he intends to participate in the next phase of Republican politics from the inside or the outside.

Image: Mitt Romney waves after conceding the 2012 US presidential election (New York Daily News)

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