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Romney Offers Comprehensive Critique of Obama Administration, Avoids Healthcare

In a much-anticipated address to a packed CPAC ballroom this morning, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney mounted an aggressive critique of President Obama and his policies.  Romney primarily focused on unemployment and the economy, blasting the president for not doing the same.  He called the so-called 2009 stimulus bill a "failed experiment," and warned voters not to be fooled by the president's new pro-business tone.  "It's going to take a lot more than new rhetoric to put Americans back to work.  It's going to take a new president," Romney said, to loud applause.

Romney made very little mention of the president's unpopular healthcare program during his remarks, perhaps because he's still working through his own messaging on the issue.  As Governor, Romney signed into a law a state healthcare system that relies on an individual mandate critics say is indistinguishable from the central pillar of the new federal scheme. 

Ann Romney introduced her husband, editorializing that she "would like to see" him make a second run at the Oval Office.  Although his comments emphasized economic issues, Romney also reserved some barbs for the administration's foreign policy, which he suggested was almost non-existent.  He argued the world is suffering from "a lack of clear direction from a weak president.  The cause of liberty cannot endure much more of [Obama's] 'we give-they get' diplomacy," he said.

Romney also steered clear of most social issues, although he did criticize liberal social policies' failure "to protect the unborn."  He concluded his remarks with an appeal to American exceptionalism, citing his own father's life journey as a meaningful example of what is possible in America.  "We are an exceptional land," Romney said, "I will not, and I will never apologize for America."

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