By Justin Sink
Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) next month in Washington, D.C., in the former Massachusetts governor's first political event since his loss last November.
“I look forward to saying thank you to the many friends and supporters who were instrumental in helping my campaign,” Romney said in a statement.
Romney has shied from the spotlight since his election loss in November, although he has been spotted around Southern California in the months since his concession speech in Boston. The Romney family was photographed during a trip to Disneyland, and he was spotted attending the last "Twilight" movie, gassing up his car, ordering pizza, and shopping at Costco.
“The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the 2012 GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections,” said Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the organizers of the event. “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.”
The appearance was first reported by National Review. Romney has been a frequent attendee at CPAC conferences, including a surprise appearance at the CPAC Colorado gathering the day after his first presidential debate.
At that appearance, Romney warned the election would be a "close-fought battle" but said he was encouraged by his debate performance.
"I thought it was a great opportunity for the American people to see two very different visions for the country," Romney said at the time. "I think it was helpful to get to describe those visions. I saw the president's vision as trickle-down government, and I don't think that's what America believes in."
According to National Review, Romney's speech will focus on economic issues and be optimistic in tone.
“This is really an opportunity for Governor Romney to thank all his supporters and friends,” a senior Romney aide told the magazine.
This post was updated at 3:12 p.m.