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US conservatives choose Rand Paul for president: poll

US conservative activists picked Tea Party favorite Senator Rand Paul on Saturday as their choice to become the 2016 Republican presidential nominee. Paul, popular among the younger conservatives who thronged to the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, narrowly beat Senator Marco Rubio -- also tipped to seek the White House -- 25 to 23 percent in the CPAC Straw Poll. The Kentucky lawmaker saw his profile raised after mounting a 13-hour, non-stop filibuster in the Senate earlier this month to block John Brennan's nomination to head the CIA.

Romney: I'm not pessimistic about America

In his first major speech since his US presidential defeat, Mitt Romney urged fellow Republicans Friday to buck up and set course for the White House, as he sought to uplift conservatives. Despite sharing a bill with a parade of charismatic potential 2016 Republican candidates, the man who lost last year's election to President Barack Obama proved to be the highlight of the middle day of the CPAC confab. He told a crowd of thousands that he remains optimistic about their movement and will help them return to power in Washington after the Obama era.

Romney: I'm not pessimistic about America

In his first major speech since his presidential defeat Mitt Romney told fellow conservatives Friday he remains optimistic about their movement and will help them take back the White House. "It's fashionable in some circles to be pessimistic about America, about conservative solutions, about the Republican Party," Romney told thousands gathered at the annual CPAC just outside Washington. "I utterly reject pessimism," he declared. "We may not have carried November 7th, but we haven't lost the country we love. And we have not lost our way."

AFP Americas News Agenda for March 15

Duty Editor: Jim Mannion Tel: + 1 202 414 0541 What's happening in the Americas on Friday: + Romney speaks to US conservatives + Chavez body moved to Venezuela museum WASHINGTON: Former US presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual three-day gathering attracting thousands of right-of-center activists. Picture (US-POLITICS-CONSERVATIVES)

Mitt Romney takes post-campaign role at son's investment firm

NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - Four months after losing the presidential election to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney is joining his son's investment firm, a Romney adviser said on Wednesday. Romney, last year's Republican presidential nominee, will serve as chairman of the executive committee at Solamere Capital, said the adviser, who asked not to be identified. A formal announcement is expected later this week. The move was first reported by NBC News.

UPDATE 1-McCarthy's Republican history should smooth path to EPA

* Obama picks former Romney official to lead EPA * Energy industry not expected to fight nomination * Climate change, power plant rules will be big fights By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - After a long career in public service including work for two Republican governors, Gina McCarthy is expected to win confirmation as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency, thanks to her reputation as a practical, fix-it regulator.

With Republican credentials, McCarthy expected to win EPA post

* Obama picks former Romney official to lead EPA * Energy industry not expected to fight nomination * Climate change, power plant rules will be big fights By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON, March 4 (Reuters) - After a long career in public service including work for two Republican governors, Gina McCarthy is expected to win confirmation as the next head of the Environmental Protection Agency, thanks to her reputation as a popular, fix-it regulator.

'It kills me' not to be president: Romney

Defeated Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said it "kills" him to be just another spectator rather than US president as political gridlock paralyzes Washington. "It kills me not to be there, not to be in the White House doing what needs to be done," Romney told Fox News in an interview broadcast on Sunday, his first since losing to President Barack Obama last November. The former Massachusetts governor blamed the Democratic president for the latest crisis to hit the US capital -- the so-called sequester spending cuts totaling $85 billion this year.

Romney says 2012 race was 'roller coaster'

In his first interview since losing his 2012 White House bid, Mitt Romney likened his experience as a presidential candidate to an unpredictable and bumpy roller coaster ride. "We were on a roller coaster, exciting and thrilling, ups and downs. But the ride ends," Romney said, according to advance excerpts of the interview set to air on "Fox News Sunday." "And then you get off. And it's not like, 'Oh, can't we be on a roller coaster the rest of our life?' It's like, no, the ride's over."

Romney slams Obama over huge budget cuts

Mitt Romney, the Republican who lost last year's White House race to President Barack Obama, has accused him of a failed strategy to avert the massive spending cuts set to hit on Friday. In his first post-election interview since his November defeat, Romney also said it was normal for Republicans to "fight back" against Obama's repeated blame of conservatives for refusing to accept his push for new tax revenue as part of any deal to avoid the cuts.
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