As you know, Gov. Romney spoke at the National Review Institute’s Summit in Washington, DC this weekend. David and I couldn’t attend to hear him speak in person (Army drill weekend), but here’s a run-down of people’s impressions of the speech. Hotline had this to say:
EX-MA Gov. Mitt Romney delivered a wide-ranging speech to the National Review Summit Saturday evening in which he introduced himself to dining conservatives. He used the speech to explain changed some of his positions on social issues while in office.
“And I’ve changed my view on that, as some of you probably know,” Romney said to a hushed crowd. He went on to describe his now well-publicized conversion moment: when a Harvard professor visited his office to tell him and his chief of staff about the process of harvesting stem cells for research.
He also made sure the crowd knew of his opposition to gay marriage and civil unions, and called himself a Ronald Reagan conservative on abortion who, like the former President, he said “learned with experience.”
The New York TImes reads, “Romney Appeals to Core Audience” and tells that one listener was more impressed with his speech than she had been by one he’d heard earlier:
Heather Smith, a conservative living in Washington, D.C., said that the first time she heard Mr. Romney speak a few months ago, she was “very unimpressed.” This time, on the other hand, “he actually hit every conservative talking point that would make me want to vote for him,” she said.
But, K-Lo reports that the speech ran a tad too long:
He said a lot of great things, but in a long and at times wonky speech — albeit honest and conservative (not conservative on words though…). As I tend to, I liked a lot of what he said — he’s a Mr. Fix it (business, Olympics, Massachusetts budget…) who came to a full appreciation for the dangers to human life and marriage afoot only as governor. But in an dinner speech that mentioned bond caps, he didn’t make the case for Romney 2008 in a rallying way. It was off the cuff — which gave it some authenticity, but no structure. If you asked audience members what he said — “A whole lot.”
However, Kathryn also reported that his speech went over well with the audience, judging from their reaction:
Governor Romney’s case for himself as a conservative leader may be going over well — covering philosphy of government, government efficiency, corruption, spending, education, health care, the war. He explained his abortion position in detail, laying out how and why “I’ve changed my view on that.” He warned about the threat we face from Iran — saying that we should pursue and “indictment of Ahmadinijad for incitement of genocide.”
If you guys would like to see it for yourself, you can watch his speech here.
UPDATE: I’m obviously biased, but I’m watching the speech now, and I like it so far–especially his “wallowing in the data” theme. Also, I enjoyed hearing his story about how he came to his pro-life beliefs.
UPDATE AGAIN: I finished watching the speech, and I have to admit that I loved it. I think it struck the exactly right chord. He demonstrated his conservative cred and showed that he had really good ideas about how to move forward. Way to go, Guv!