November 5th, 2008
02:44 PM ET
6 years ago

McCain not included on CPAC invite

McCain spoke at last year’s CPAC.
McCain spoke at last year’s CPAC.

(CNN) - Votes are still being counted in some states, but conservatives stinging from last night’s losses are planning to get together to plan the movement’s future — and so far, it doesn’t look like that vision includes John McCain.

McCain, who made a poorly-received appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year, was not included on a list of major movement figures invited to next year’s gathering e-mailed to supporters Wednesday morning. More than a dozen conservative leaders made the cut — including McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have also been invited to address CPAC in February, along with McCain’s former primary season rivals Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

“At CPAC 1975, one speech initiated the conservative comeback,” American Conservative Union president David Keene wrote on the invitation to the group’s annual meeting, citing Ronald Reagan’s encouraging words to activists after the “disastrous” post-Watergate election losses of 1974. “CPAC friends, it's imperative that we continue to fight for conservative principles despite recent losses. We face new challenges, but our principles are timeless.”

Last year, McCain faced a thorny reception during a rare appearance at the gathering, as his visit – and even the mention of his name – drew boos from many in attendance.

Romney narrowly beat the Arizona senator, 35 to 34 percent, in the conference’s presidential straw poll of conservative political activists. The result came even though it was clear that McCain, who had addressed the group that week, would be the Republican Party’s nominee — and even though Romney had ended his presidential run there earlier in the conference. The announcement of Romney’s win was greeted by cheers from the crowd, angry over McCain’s past positions on immigration policy.

UPDATE: CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale said in an e-mail that the list included in the message sent to past CPAC attendees this morning was not complete.

"With the exception of Gov. Palin, who confirmed in early April after having to drop out of CPAC 2008 at the last minute, very few invitations (Jindal and Pence) were sent to elected officials because of the volatility of the November elections," she wrote. "Now that the election has passed, we will begin inviting other elected officials."


Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Joe from NC

    I find it extremely interesting that all of the people on this page that are criticizing the great Senator McCain seem to have forgotten that he is still a United States Senator, and probably will be for quite a while.

    If you people want Republicans like myself to stand up in support of our new President, then you need to offer the same respect to our party and the man that still has great influence on this country.

    He lost an election. It happens. You move on and deal with it. I'm sure he's not losing any sleep about not being invited to this conference. He is going to go back to Washington and work on how to keep the Democratically controlled White House and Congress from ruining this great nation that he has served for so long.

    God bless John McCain, and God Bless the United States of America.

    November 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. KLEE

    McCain is a good man – he just got mixed up with the wrong crowd!

    November 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. FreenLovit

    mcCain doesnt NEED to be there. He was NEVER one of them. He was a maverick, who HAD to stoop to their failed policies to be on the ticket.

    November 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Ralph

    The real joke will be in the white house...

    November 5, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. greta

    Rachael,

    You are criticizing Palin for a few hundred $K for a wardrobe, when the Obama's have been spending $500M!? What did Michelle order for room service at the Dem Convention? Lobster, Champagne...

    You think Obama is "one of us". He isn't. He failed at community organizing, he failed at being a senator (voting present) and after only 2 years announced he is running for president. Then now that he is elected on a platform for change, his entire cabinet and proposed team is old-guard Democrats (no change there) and he will fail as a president.

    November 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  6. Emotions

    Ophrah, Powell, JJ all choking up , getting emotional.

    What does that mean ?

    November 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  7. Rent

    Hey everyone! Barack won....of course you know that. Let's get some things accomplished now. Stop complaining and let's work together. If you upset people drag the country down by kicking and screaming because your candidate didn't win, we won't get ANYTHING done. But then again, the rest of us are the majority as you now well know. At any rate, just let's all just get along and continue to make history. Many people are truly feeling happiness and hope for the first time in their lives. Could it be jealousy? Selfishness? Just think about it.....

    November 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  8. KJ

    Ouch. The Republicans are just ruthless, even to their own.

    November 5, 2008 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  9. dick bohanon

    still trying to figure why cnn wont post my comments
    what exactly do you not care for?
    i guess you dont care for strong opinions

    November 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  10. Palin Supporter

    You all are way to hard on Sarah Palin. She had an 80% approval rating in her own state. She mananged to run against a Rep. Gov – as a republican (unheard of) and win. She did tackle members and corruption in her own party and succeeded. And yes, she had very little International experience - guess what – so did Clinton. Is she new to the media blizzard (obviously). And because of that, she screwed up a couple of questions (and I do mean "a couple" that were played again and again and again.) Let's pretend for one moment that media coverage was fair and they played Biden's gaffs just as much.... Also, keep this in mind – she was more investigated, reported on, and probbed than any politican since WATERGATE! And somehow managed to stay pretty clean and strong in the face of it. She's an impressive woman, and impressive politican – though still somewhat green. I'm curious – had Obama been investigated even half as much or hard as Palin was – do you really think he would have come out as clean? You people that sit home, blogging your hateful words, so convinced of your own righteousness – imagine – how would you have handled that kind of scrutiny?

    November 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  11. SHARON WALKER

    Dear Friends:
    The Honorable and Distinguished SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN IS ONE OF THE BEST SENATORS THIS NATION HAS EVER HAD IN THE HISTORY OF THE USA. HE HAS MADE A PLACE IN HISTORY THAT WILL NEVER, NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. WE THE PEOPLE OF THE USA THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!

    WAVE THOSE FLAGS VETERANS AND AMERICANS FOR SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN.

    HE IS A HERO!

    THE TRUTH IS IN GOD'S HEART AND MIND FOREVER AND EVER THROUGH ETERNITY!

    I WILL NOT EVER EAT ANY WORDS. LET FREEDOM RING!
    I AM A PROUD AMERICAN AND PROUD OF SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN.

    SHARON WALKER

    November 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Omega

    This is n example of why the GOP lost an will continue to do so if they stay on this path.

    McCain, the real one not the candidate, is a moderate which is why the base has never cared for him.

    We have seen that the base is now a minority and if the GOP wants to return to power they will have to reinvent themselves completely.

    Extremism, in either party, is NOT A GOOD THING. The majority of us want to take the middle road, anyone who wants to be our tour guide will have to take that road.

    PS to the "grandparents rolling in their graves" my grandpa is rolling in his and that makes this result even more sweet!! many of our grandparents were small minded bigots who were wrong on almost every belief they held dear

    November 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  13. Bubba

    . . . but they invited Palin. LOL. What a bunch of lum nuts.

    November 5, 2008 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  14. Nicole, TX

    I echo what Ivy, Bixby, OK said: "I hope to see the far right and the far left come meet the 95% of us that are in the middle to effect a real change."

    Unfortunately, I do not think that the radical left is any more willing to accept the middle as the far right. Also, the radical left has the media and entertainment industry to support them.

    November 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  15. Pat Riot

    You people know nothing about conservatism. It's about individual liberty for everyone. It's about freedom from government. The idea that man best governs himself. That is what a free nation is founded on. Freedom is a new idea while tyranny is as old as civilization itself. McCain wasn't invited to CPAC because he votes for government control of financial institutions. Talk about tyranny...just wait to they confiscate your 401k in the charge of "the greater good".

    November 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. JAC

    I always said if McCain ran for president, I would vote for him. But McCain didn't run for president. He was not the same man.

    On a side note, the only people who should be against immigration are the Native Indians. Everyone else better thank their lucky stars that our founding fathers where not so selfish.

    November 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  17. tigerakabj

    The fact that they include Sarah Palin as part of their cut says it all. Apparently, this butt-whooping they just got hasn't changed anything for them. They still wanna talk about that "trickle-down" and "wild market" crap.

    If they plan to run the same way in 2010, they'll get a better beat-down than they did this year. So keep it up CPAC. Make Obama's day.

    November 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. Jerry

    If the "conservative principles" their talking about include the far right social nonsense of Sarah Palin, they're finished.

    November 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. Unbelievable!

    To Rave (3:02)

    I saw your comments on other blogs, I see you are putting that GED to good use!

    I have an advanced degree as well as a GREAT job.

    Go see if your welfare check is in the mail.

    Obama = "Spreading the wealth" aka "welfare..."

    November 5, 2008 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  20. SD

    CPAC is irrelevant today.

    Maybe they and the Republicans should spend some time to trying to reinvent themselves.

    Otherwise, YES PLEASE invite Sarah Palin.

    That'll guarantee a 2 term Obama administration.

    I'm just fine with that.

    November 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  21. TangoDancer

    Senator McCain -

    I voted against you yesterday, but I respect and admire you nonetheless. This CPAC group has no love for you, even though your candidacy would have been the vehicle to promote their agenda if you you had been elected. They're now more than happy to turn their backs on you. My advice is to be a maverick (which you are) and give this group the middle finger.

    November 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Steve

    Bravo Zulu, John McCain! –Steve, USNA '80

    November 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. Obama girl

    Well, I guess he should not have stolen "The Mac is back from Paul McCartney." Serves him right. Too bad he did not get an invite to play in the Republican sandbox.

    November 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  24. Kurt

    You folks claiming that McCain lost because he "moved too far to the right" are uneducated. McCain's biggest problem was that he wasn't sure where he stood on too many issues, and when he did make a decision, he usally went too far to the Dem side. Another thing. What exactly did Sarah Palin do that made the libs so mad? Her statements about Obama were probally the truest thing said by either side in this campaign. Where in her public career has she ever been a right wing lunitic? And you cant say "banning books" because that has already been proven to be an internet urban legend.

    November 5, 2008 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  25. Mike from California

    Wow! I don't believe I have ever inserted a comment in these types of posts, but I have to say that some of you are really hateful people.

    Obama is now my president, and I know he is there for a reason; however, even though some of you endorse Obama, I very much doubt that Obama would endorse you or your ideals. Also, Obama says he is a Christian, so I am not sure where that hate is coming from either. Obama's message seems to be the anithesis of hate and embraces caring and responsibility, some of you obviously don't really understand what you voted for.

    I doubt I am going to look at this post again, since I can only imagine the nasty grams I am going to get from this post.

    November 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
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