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Mitt Romney has been taking his time getting back into the public eye, making a big step today by addressing conservatives at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, Friday. Romney addressed the CPAC crowd, thanking his supporters, and spoke on losing out for president.

“You’ve touched my heart again, what a sight you are,” the 66-year-old told his supporters. “Thank you for your support, from the very beginning.”

Unlike the sentiment of Republicans who believe that the party’s reputation could use a little help, Romney believes that there’s still hope, an issue which he addressed during the speech.  “I utterly reject pessimism. We may not have carried on Nov. 7, but we haven’t lost the country we love and we haven’t lost our way,” he said. “My optimism about America wasn’t diminished by my campaign, in fact it grew.”

Even with his optimism, there will be no return to the political sector for the former governor, who resumed his position with Marriott International recently.

Romney’s CPAC appearance comes just after his first television interview since losing the election, in which he appeared on Fox News.

Photo:  Manual Balce Ceneta