September 18th, 2009
06:30 AM ET
5 years ago

2012 on the ballot at conservative conference

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will speak at the conference on Friday evening.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will speak at the conference on Friday evening.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Conservatives will descend upon the nation's capital Friday for the 2009 "Values Voter Summit," the fourth annual gathering of like-minded political activists who will plot 2010 strategy and hear several potential presidential prospects discuss the GOP's future.

In-between speeches, attendees will also participate in forums with titles ranging from “Thugocracy: Fighting The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” to “Global Warming Hysteria.”

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the weekend will be "2012 Presidential Straw Poll," the results of which are scheduled to be announced Saturday.

The potential Republican candidates on the ballot are: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Romney won a similar straw poll in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which was held at the same hotel and featured many of the same speakers. Romney also won the last Values Voter straw poll - in October 2007 - when he narrowly defeated Huckabee in a vote that was open to both attendees and people who signed up to vote on the internet. This year’s survey will only be open to conference-goers.

Just four of the Republicans on the ballot will actually attend the event. Pence, Huckabee and Pawlenty will address the conference on Friday morning, while Romney will deliver remarks on Saturday.

Palin was invited to the event, but according to organizers, the former GOP vice presidential nominee never confirmed she would attend.

Among the other conservative luminaries slated to speak: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Miss California Carrie Prejean.


Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul • Sarah Palin • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Scott, Tucson

    I'm going to love 2010, the democrats are going down thanks in huge part to their own leaders like Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Frank, Dodd and Rangel.

    September 18, 2009 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  2. Terry from West Texas

    "Global Warming Hysteria"
    Here is perhaps the most outrageous of Conservative lies. Every reputable climate scientist accepts global warming as a given. Like evolution, the fact that the earth is round, or the fact that men once visited the moon, only lunatics deny it.

    Our Conservative leadership, however, is convincing millions of voters that it is nonsense. By keeping the debate going, by keeping the nation from trying to come to grips with the problem, they are condemning future generations to unhappy lives. Why are they doing it? Because oil companies will make more money if nothing is done to deal with this problem.

    Remember the Iraqi Minister of Information; the guy who walked around Baghdad saying that there was no American invasion? His excuse is that he was not too bright. Conservative leaders know what they are doing. They are leading us off the cliff but they just can't resist the money.

    September 18, 2009 08:32 am at 8:32 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    The title "Values Voter Summit" is misleading because only ideological conservative purists are welcomed. The lack of diversity (minorities, moderates, gays, poor) will be evident, an obvious weakness. The GOP white southern strategy will backfire in 2012.

    September 18, 2009 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  4. Lissa in Houston

    "THUGOCRACY". Perfect!

    I find the best way to read anything about conservatives is to treat it all as projection.

    Take anything they say and turn it back onto them:

    – hysteria over not understanding global warming? Yep, thats them.

    – total thugs? Yep, thats them.

    – worried about family values because they have none? Yep, thats them.

    - radical? Yep, thats them.

    – waste jillions of dollars and not take care of people? Yep, thats them.

    PICK ANYTHING THE REPUBLICANS ARE WHINING ABOUT, USE THEIR ANSWER OR SLOGAN AND TURN IT BACK ONTO THEM.

    ITS TOTALLY ACCURATE. AND THEY CAN'T EVEN HEAR THEMSELVES DOING IT.

    September 18, 2009 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  5. Jessie

    A posse of losers with no new ideas. Their base in shrinking, and their silence on the bigotry and hatred of their constituency not only equals consent, but it turns off the many of us independents who might have voted for them.

    September 18, 2009 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  6. rr

    If Rick Santorum can't win in Pennsylvania, how's he going to win nationwide?

    Gingrich can't win nationwide, and Palin is punchline.

    Huckabee's over in Israel sucking up to far right Israelis and hacking off arabs.

    As a louisiana resident, I can tell you Jindal is too smug and stubborn to be president.

    Time for the GOP to look to Pawlenty or Crist.

    September 18, 2009 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  7. Mike

    Any one of these Republicans would make a fantastic replacement for the current occupant of the White House in 2012. Right now, we need to concentrate on 2010 and do some replacing of the tax and spend crowd(democrats).

    September 18, 2009 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, North Carolina

    "Values Voters" seem to be people who think themselves so morally above reproach that to them is entrusted the privilege of dictating to others the courses of their lives.

    Get lost, busybodies! It was you who drove me out of the Republican Party!

    September 18, 2009 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  9. Motive

    The conference should just be:

    Who's going to be Vice President to Sarah "Deather" Palin

    September 18, 2009 09:01 am at 9:01 am |
  10. Independent

    My goodness the list of Republican canidates, I guess, its the best???? I don't think so...far from it.....

    September 18, 2009 09:03 am at 9:03 am |
  11. Deb

    Is Thugocracy a word... Who is a Thug, Michael Steel. The republicans just don't get it.

    September 18, 2009 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  12. Charlie Rangel

    They should just say the following:

    You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

    September 18, 2009 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  13. tisgoogle

    This guy is just as brainless as PITT Bull Palin! All the gop's should go
    back to their mountains and pray to their god RUSH, BECK!

    September 18, 2009 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    This is the GOP potential leadership for 2012? What a hoot!

    Not one of these candidates is presidential material, each carrying enough individual baggage to guarantee President Obama a easy victory in 2012 no matter which one of these losers is eventually chosen as front runner..

    Values voter? Sounds utterly juvenile and appropriate considering this group of whining, cry baby wannabes who consider themselves worthy of my vote.

    September 18, 2009 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  15. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Oh goodie the GOP is going to meet and think of new ways to lie to the voters. Or maybe they will go back to the old lies of, we will cut spending and reduce the size of Government like Ron Reagan promised and then do the complete opposite.

    September 18, 2009 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Values? HAH! Like lying, cheating, being a hypocrit, being obstructionist, putting party before country, greed, sanctimonious, self-righteous, believing the end justifies the means, wanting our country to fail, being disrespectful, being a bully ...

    The list goes on and on and on. The GOP and their egocentric, hypocritical jerks are pathetic!

    September 18, 2009 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  17. BH

    If this had been a conference of Democrats, would the headline have been "2012 on the ballot at liberal conference"?

    Of course not. You're not even trying to cover it up anymore, CNN.

    September 18, 2009 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  18. Johnny Five

    The GOP are fools if they don't pick someone more libertarian this time around. The GOP isn't about church and money, it is (or was) about small government and individual freedom.

    There are many of us GOPs that won't vote for anyone other than Ron Paul or someone like minded.

    So unless the Republicans wake up, they'll keep losing as Ron Pauls supporters gain more and more.

    September 18, 2009 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  19. JB Sullivan

    Conservatives are scientifically defined by fear, a drive towards inequality, authoritarianism, and difficulty accepting change and managing ambiguity. Conservatives almost destroyed America economically. No rational pUS citizen would vote for a conservative to redestroy the country now that Obama has America on the right track. Conservatives gave us a 6000 DJI averaghe and Obama has given us a 9800 DJI average. That's capitalism!

    September 18, 2009 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  20. disgusted

    The vast left wing conspiracy? Seriously? Global warming hysteria?

    People we badly need a third party to step forward. The two that we have are absolutely worthless. No incumbents! We need some representatives with some sense of reality and the interests of all the people in mind.

    September 18, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  21. Chris from San Antonio

    Wow, with speech titles like that, it's no wonder the GOP is becoming irrelevant.
    No speeches regarding the move to the extreme right?
    No speeches about Health Care Reform?

    September 18, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Tiffany

    With topics ranging from “Thugocracy: Fighting The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” to “Global Warming Hysteria" is it no wonder that people think republicans are a bunch of bullies? Like them or not those in the "vast left wing" are high in number and have some serious concerns and those within the "global warming hysteria" are those that vote. Perhaps instead of consistently downgrading those concerns there could be some serious conversation about how to get something done, rather than continuing this campaign of why all those in the "vast left wing consipiracy" are wrong and "our" ideas- which few seem to be listening to-are right.

    September 18, 2009 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  23. JP

    I am a moderate republician. I hope that the social conservatives will learn from their mistakes and not insist on having extreme right wing social conservatives on the ticket. I was a strong backer of McCain but had to hold my nose on elect day seeing Palin's name on the ticket. I feel that the biggest reason McCain lost was because of the far rights influence in the party. You cannot win an election with out moderate voters.

    September 18, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  24. Seattle Sue

    I don't think these people mentioned have any Values.

    September 18, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  25. Donkey Party

    The GOP putting all it's eggs in one big loony bin.

    September 18, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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