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Romney To Return To Political Scene For CPAC Speech

Mitt Romney will make his return to the political world at next month's Conservative Political Action Conference, the host American Conservative Union announced Wednesday.

"The thousands gathered at CPAC this year are eager to hear from the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate at his first public appearance since the elections," ACU Chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement. "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 conference, being held March 14-16 outside the nation's capital, will also feature a string of high-profile potential 2016 presidential contenders, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

Romney dropped out of the 2008 presidential race at that year's CPAC conference.

He attended last year's event at a time when he was slogging through a series of Republican primaries. In his speech, Romney called himself "a severely conservative Republican governor" — a phrase that won immediate derision from both his primary rivals and the likes of Rush Limbaugh.

S.V. Dáte is the congressional editor on NPR's Washington Desk.

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Shirish Dáte is an editor on NPR's Washington Desk and the author of Jeb: America's Next Bush, based on his coverage of the Florida governor as Tallahassee bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post.