Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference
February 11th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference

Washington (CNN) - Conservative activists have descended upon D.C. for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference. CNN takes a look at who the key speakers are.

10:30 a.m. ET: Mitt Romney

–Former governor of Massachusetts
–Ran for president in 2008
–Widely considered a GOP frontrunner and one of the most prepared to launch a 2012 campaign
–Came out on top in the 2011 New Hampshire straw poll.

–Romney has maintained a high profile in some key early voting states
–Insists he isn't running for president yet, but is already touting his credentials for the top job
–Former CEO of Bain Capital, a private equity investment firm
–Ran in 1994 against the late Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy and lost
–President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, in which he organized the 2002 Winter Olympics
–Married with five boys

1:30 p.m. ET: Sen. John Thune

–Senator from South Dakota
–A relative newcomer who is already a member of the GOP leadership
–Serves on the following committees: Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Budget; Commerce, Science and Transportation; Finance
–Defeated Democratic leader Tom Daschle in a brutal 2004 campaign
–Former congressman
–Considered as a potential 2012 GOP contender
–Appears that Thune is coming close to making an announcement
–Career past includes: an aide to former Sen. Jim Abdnor; appointed by Reagan to the Small Business Administration; executive director of the South Dakota Republican Party's state railroad director; executive director of the South Dakota Municipal League
–Married with two daughters

2 p.m. ET: Sen. Mike Lee

–Senator from Utah, elected in 2010
–Serves on the following committees: Energy and Natural Resources; Foreign Relations; Joint Economic; Judiciary
–Clerked for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and later became an attorney in Washington
–Former Utah Gov. John Huntsman's General Counsel from January 2005 until June 2006
–Served as a law clerk in state courts
–Married with three children

3 p.m. ET: Tim Pawlenty

–Former governor of Minnesota
–Was considered to be John McCain's vice presidential pick in the 2008 election
–Considered to be a tea party favorite and 2012 GOP presidential contender
–Pawlenty's book tour has taken him through some early voting states. Still, he's been coy about his presidential aspirations, saying more than once "I'll run for president or open a margarita bar."
–His early political career includes serving on a city council in 1989 and in the state House
–Married with two daughters

3:30 p.m. ET: Rep. Ron Paul

–Congressman from Texas and a physician
–Serves on the Financial Services and Foreign Affairs committees
–Surprise winner of the straw poll at last year's CPAC convention
–A strict constitutionalist and vocal advocate for smaller government
–Introduced legislation to eliminate the income tax and abolish the Federal Reserve
–Has been coy when asked about his plans for 2012. But he has a group of fervent libertarian supporters who'd love to see him throw his hat into the ring.
–Should he announce his candidacy it would be his third White House run - he ran in 1988 as a libertarian and in 2008 as a Republican
–Was a flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force
–Married with five children, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky

4 p.m. ET: Gov. Rick Perry

–Current governor of Texas and tea party supporter
–Began his career in 1985 as a state house representative
–In 1990, he served as the Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
–Served in the U.S. Air Force
–Married with two children
–Considered a potential GOP presidential contender

4:30 p.m. ET: Herman Cain

–Conservative African-American Republican
–A radio talk show host based in Atlanta
–Fond of getting laughs by calling himself the "dark horse" in the presidential guessing game
–Announced in January that he's forming a presidential exploratory committee.
–He's the CEO and president of Godfather's Pizza for 10 years, former chairman of the board of the National Restaurant Association,
–Currently sits on the boards of directors of A-list companies like Hallmark Cards, Whirlpool and AGCO, one of the largest manufacturers of agricultural equipment.

7:30 p.m. ET: Dinner featuring Gov. Mitch Daniels

–Current governor of Indiana
–Headed up the Office of Management and Budget under the Bush administration
–Has worked in both the private and public sectors
–Served as chief of staff to Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana
–Senior adviser to former President Ronald Reagan
–A moderate Republican who has faced some criticism from conservatives
–Said he will not make a decision about running for president until after the Indiana legislative session ends in April
–Married with four daughters


Filed under: CPAC 2011
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