Mitt Romney sought on take on head first the lingering skepticism and unease that conservative activists have raised about his presidential candidacy, pledging in a speech Friday before the Conservative Political Action Conference that he would not betray their trust or abandon their principles if he challenged President Obama as the Republican nominee.

Bottom line: Romney,a wounded front-runner in the nomination race after losses this week to Rick Santorum in Missouri, Michigan and Colorado tells conservatives he’s one of them
Romney mentioned some version of the word “conservative” two dozen times, and at one point rather awkwardly called himself a “severely conservative” governor of Massachusetts.