Former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney spoke at CPAC on Friday and told conservatives to look to America's 30 successful Republican governors for planning the future of the party after President Barack Obama defeated Romney last November.
"As someone who just lost the last election, I'm probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election," Romney said. "Perhaps because I am a former governor, I would urge you to learn the lessons that come from some of our greatest success stories: the 30 Republican governors."
Romney said Republican governors are winning elections and solving problems. He cited governors like Michigan's Rick Snyder, who signed historic Right to Work legislation in Michigan and appointed an emergency manager to run Detroit, the largest municipality in the history of the United States to be taken over by its state.
Romney said he remained optimistic about America and touted the country's exceptionalism.
"It’s fashionable in some circles to be pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the Republican Party," Romney said, before noting that he rejected that attitude. "We may not have carried the day last November 6th, but we haven’t lost the country we love, and we haven't lost our way."
He said his optimism about the country grew as he met Americans on the campaign trail who displayed perseverance, faith, and an ability to take risks.
"What other nation would have enjoyed hegemonic military power for a quarter of a century, and never have used it to seek revenge against its former foes or to seize precious natural resources from the weak?" Romney asked. "In all of human history, there has never been a great power that has so often used its power to liberate others from subjugation, to set the captives free. "