Most people are realizing that it’s cool to be selecting the most conservative in the race, but there’s an additional caveat that needs to be added, and that’s who can win in the general election. — Al Cardenas, American Conservative Union Chairman
Those addressing CPAC this year include
- Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
- Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
- Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
- Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 GOP vice presidential nominee.
- Governor Rick Perry of Texas.
- Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.
- Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.
- Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
- Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
- Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.
- Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump.
All are presumably presidential wannabee’s.
No shows include:
- Jeb Bush
- Scott Walker
Both cited schedule conflicts.
According to reports, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin downplayed divisions within the party as “creative tension” and urged conservative activists to “give each other the benefit of the doubt” in the debate over the party’s future. It seems that not all Republicans got that message:
- Rep. Steve King, an Iowa conservative, said that he won’t attend CPAC. Instead, King will join other conservatives in addressing a National Security Action Summit being held just a few blocks away.
- “You win elections by standing for principle and inspiring people that there is a better tomorrow,” said Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz listed a series of ideas Republicans should get behind We need to abolish the IRS, we need to adopt a simple flat tax, where every American can fill out his taxes on a postcard,” he said. He also called for the repeal of the Dodd-Frank Act, a balanced budget amendment, and a law to audit the Federal Reserve.
- Senator Marco Rubio reportedly said: “There is only one nation on Earth capable of rallying and bringing together the free people on this planet to stand up to the spread of totalitarians. The United Nation cannot do this — in fact, they cannot do anything.” Perhaps Rubio misses the cold war. Republicans have never liked the UN or Eleanor Roosevelt much either.
- Reportedly, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, arrived on stage holding a rifle aloft, which he presented to retiring Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, a favorite of conservatives. McConnell said Obama had treated the U.S. Constitution “worse than a place mat at Denny’s.” Denny’s can’t be too happy with that.
Governor Chris Christie, too liberal to be invited to the previous CPAC, has redeemed himself, not by changing his views, but by being attacked in the “lamestream media” for wrongdoing. Few voters are likely to agree that being accused of vindictive dirty tricks would be seen as a recommendation for high office
Straw Poll–It will be interesting to see if CPAC favors an unelectable conservative zealot or a potentially electable moderate. One likely serious candidate, Jeb. Bush, who won’t be there, perhaps sees association with CPAC as hurtful.
© William Hungerford – March 2014