Live blog of CPAC: Day 3
February 11th, 2012
09:16 AM ET
2 years ago

Live blog of CPAC: Day 3

Washington (CNN) – Conservatives gathered Saturday for the third day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that promised speeches from and discussions with leading Republican lawmakers, analysts and pundits. The three day meeting in Washington culminated with a much-watched straw poll Saturday. Check back here for updates from our reports and producers throughout the day. Watch the remarks live here. Read the live blog of CPAC: Day 1. Read the live blog of CPAC: Day 2.

5:21 p.m. ET - Palin exits to Shania Twain's 2002 hit "She's Not Just a Pretty Face."

Lyrics include:

"She hosts a T.V. show, she rides the rodeo."

"She's on the council–she's on the board."

"She's a politician–she praises the Lord."

5:19 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Palin dig at Romney: "we need someone who can instinctively turn right..it's too late to teach that or spin...it must be there"

5:15 p.m. ET - Palin said the GOP "must stand united" behind the presidential nominee and "work together to get him over the finish line."

5:14 p.m. ET
- @DanaBashCNN: Palin: competition brings out the best in our nominees. Arguing long fight not bad

5:11 p.m. ET - In his reelection effort, Obama will try to "reinvent himself," like "carhartts and steel toed boots are us."

5:07 p.m. ET - Palin said after serving time in Washington, elected officials decide the nation's capital is not a "cesspool," but rather say it is "like a hot tub and they're hoping in and join the jacuzzi."

"It's time to drain the jacuzzi ... throw the bums out with the bath water," she said.

5:03 p.m. ET - @HowardKurtz: Palin says Obama's Washington is home to permanent political class. That wasn't true under Bush?

5:02 p.m. ET
- Attempting to paint Washington as "out of touch," Palin said "heck they even have a Lamborghini dealership." Although she said "there's nothing wrong with hot wheels," DC and its surrounding areas are the playgrounds for the "government rich."

4:59 p.m. ET – "This isn't some international community organizing or some social welfare network that's going on," Palin said. "We'll never apologize for America's strength or America's greatness."

4:56 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Palin litany of plays on obamaisms. God and guns, yes we can, hope and change. Red meat central

4:54 p.m. ET
– Palin, describing the president's economic proposals said: "He says that he has a jobs plan to win the future. WTF, I know. And I'm the idiot. His WTF plan."

4:50 p.m. ET - @MMStewartCNN reports: Protesters started chanting "mic check, mic check." The crowd responded by changing "USA USA". A man in the audience jumped out of his seat and headed in their direction yelling "Get the hell out of here you a–holes.". Disruption was quickly calmed down and Palin told the crowd "Now see, you've just won."

4:46 p.m. ET - Sarah Palin said members of the tea party rose up over the last three years because "Americans woke up." Looking straight at the camera the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said "our movement is one country united under God ... and President Obama, we are threw with you."

"Hope and change? Ya, you gotta hope things change," she said to chants of "U.S.A., U.S.A." ... Followed by "Sarah" chants.

4:41 p.m. ET
@DanaBashCNN: Ron Paul won cpac last 2yrs This year: 4th. But he didnt really compete. His campaign manager told me hes working for real votes (in Maine)

4:39 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Cpac Crowd now chanting Sarah!

4:36 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: Who does cpac want for vp? Marco Rubio tops the list 34 percent. Chris Christie next with 9 percent. Tied with bob mcdonnell at 9 percent

4:27 p.m. ET CPAC Presidential Straw Poll Results:

Mitt Romney: 38%
Rick Santorum: 31%
Newt Gingrich: 15%
Ron Paul: 12%

Total participants: 3,408

Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

4:21 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: the mere mention of Sarah Palin's name just elicited a louder roar from the #CPAC crowd than any of the Republican candidates did

4:16 p.m. ET - Norquist said the 2012 Republican presidential race is "confusing" but that the ups and downs are a sign the GOP is "winning." Republicans, he said, need someone to sign the proposals, like Rep. Paul Ryan's budget proposal, not "someone to think it up."

4:11 p.m. ET - "The only person in the country who smokes cigarettes and makes more than $250,000 per year is named Barack Obama," Norquist said while criticizing tax increases backed by the president.

4:08 p.m. ET - The anti-tax crusader Norquist said proponents of tax increases are as "monomaniacal as a teenage boy on a prom date."

4:02 p.m. ET - Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said the tea party movement and the Ron Paul movement came into the Republican party and made it "bigger, stronger and more conservative."

"More people are a good idea in a party an in a movement," Norquist said.

3:33 p.m. ET - Ryan Hecker, founder of Contract from America, described what he sees is the biggest difference between the tea party movement and Occupy Wall Street: "We care about this country and they care about themselves."

3:30 p.m ET - Dana Loesch, Editor-in-Chief of Big Journalism and CNN contributor, appearing on the same panel, said the president has already "been beaten," but the "media is keeping him on a lifeline right now."

3:20 p.m. ET - Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said the tea party movement is not dead. She said the grassroots movement should not be judged by the number of signs or people at their rallies, but rather by votes on Election Day, when Occupy Wall Street protesters are "still out at their rallies or their protests." Kremer appeared as part of a panel discussion, "Taking Back Wall Street: The Tea Party vs. Occupy Wall Street."

3:08 p.m. ET
- Palin calls on Romney to work harder for the conservative vote

3:00 p.m. ET - Cornyn, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spent much of his speech criticizing Attorney General Eric Holder, including his positions over the closing of Guantanamo Bay, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and CIA interrogators. The senator said Holder is more concerned with "satisfying Obama's left wing base" than "doing his job."

He charged the audience with electing a new Republican president and GOP Senate majority to ensure Holder is replaced.

2:57 p.m. ET
- Sen. John Cornyn of Texas at the beginning of his remarks: "I'll be brief because I know I'm one of the last speakers between you and Sarah Palin." The former Alaska governor is scheduled to speak at 4:30 p.m. ET.

1:53 p.m. ET - @PeterHambyCNN: Palin tells @jeffzeleny & me that Romney "really needs to start connecting more with conservatives." If he's nominee, she warns turnout could suffer

12:57 p.m. ET - @PrestonCNN: An image from #cpac that best describes the current state of the GOP race for president. lockerz.com/s/182797931

12:50 p.m. ET - In a round of word association (a sampling):

"Iraq"
Carlson: Sand
Begala: Lies

"IRS"
Carlson: Authoritarianism
Begala: Necessary

"Flat tax"
Carlson: Much needed
Begala: Flat earth

"China"
Carlson: Threat
Begala: Rival

"Unions"
Carlson: Appalling, unnecessary
Begala: All-American, essential

"Poor people"
Carlson: Something I'd rather not be
Begala: Beloved by God

"Kim Kardashian"
Carlson: Wouldn't know her if she got in the shower with me
Begala: Republican

12:38 p.m. ET - When asked if the tea party movement or Rev. Al Sharpton were "more racist," Carlson said neither the tea party nor Sharpton are racist, adding Sharpton "only hates patronizing liberal white people."

12:37 p.m. ET – Begala was greeted with boos when he asked the audience why conservatives "hate the constitution so much." He equated calls for constitutional amendments to a new husband who tells his wife he loves her as she is and then on their honeymoon asks her to get plastic surgery.

"Love it and leave it alone, it's our constitution," Begala said.

12:32 p.m. ET – Before their debate, Democrat Paul Begala, a CNN contributor, and Tucker Carlson, Fox News contributor, were introduced as Paul "Big Government" Begala and Tucker "Cut It All" Carlson.

12:16 p.m. ET - @PaulBegala: About to debate @TuckerCarlson at #CPAC. 1,100 screaming wingers vs me. I like my odds.

11:29 a.m. ET - Scott said he ran for governor in 2010 on his "7-7-7" plan to cut the Sunshine State's deficit while promoting private sector job growth. He said he was flattered when former presidential candidate Herman Cain soared to the top of the GOP field on his "9-9-9 plan."

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," Scott said, before adding: "I was first."

11:27 a.m. ET - Florida Gov. Rick Scott said it is not government's role to pick the "winners and losers" in society.

"Freedom to succeed also means freedom to fail," Scott said.

10:52 a.m. ET - Bolton said the death of Osama bin laden was "ten years in the making" and "what Obama did was get out of the way."

"That does not equal a foreign policy," Bolton added.

10:44 a.m. ET - To achieve a "Reaganite foreign policy," Bolton said the next president has an "enormous task ahead" to strengthen American defense so no country entertains the idea of threatening the U.S.

Bolton, who considered running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, said Obama has significantly cut defense spending to the determent of the country.

"American weakness is provocative to our adversaries and we have a president who specializes in it," Bolton said.

10:39 a.m. ET - John Bloton, former U.S. representative to the United Nations, contrasted the late President Ronald Reagan with Obama, saying while Reagan was "proud to be American," Obama believes in American exceptionalism "about as much as he believes in freedom of religion."

10:22 p.m. ET
- @sinderbrandcnn reports: Suit-wearing protesters unfurled a sign while the criminal justice panel was underway ... but in a different room. The sign: "Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State. I'm not a racist, I just work for them." They made it all the way to the lectern table before security arrived.

10:12 p.m. ET - Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Romney supporter who helped craft the controversial immigration laws in Arizona and Alabama, said the U.S. is on the verge of making national immigration policy that includes self deportation with the election of a Republican president. Want to create a job for an American tomorrow? "Deport an illegal alien today," Kobach said.

9:43 a.m. ET
- Conservative author Dinesh D'Souza opened remarks with: "Welcome to Indian-American morning at CPAC" ... followed by laughs.

9:35 a.m. ET - Jindal said his personal experience with Obama administration after the gulf oil spill is the reason the 2012 election is so important.

He said he interacted with people who were "very book smart but never run anything in the private sector."

"They refused to listen to the people that knew better than all the experts," Jindal said.

9:30 a.m. ET - Jindal said teacher quality is the most important aspect of education, more than class size or facilities. He said he's supporting teacher compensation and tenure reform because while 99% of teachers receive a satisfactory grade under the current system, 45% of schools received a "D" or "F" under the letter grade scale he instituted in the state. He also stressed the importance of parental involvement.

"We live in a country where every child should be free to pursue the American dream," Jindal said. "The government doesn't owe you equal results but it does owe you equal opportunity."

"Our children only grow up once," he added.

9:21 a.m. ET - After touting his record of cutting taxes and spending in his state, Jindal said he will tackle reforming pension programs for public employees and education during the upcoming legislative session.

9:10 a.m. ET
- Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal criticized the Obama administration's recent steps regarding contraception, saying the action "let the American people see what's behind that curtain." The last time the president gave Americans a glimpse of his true feelings was when he said small town Americans "cling to guns or religion," the former representative said.

"We love us some guns and religion and we make no apologies for it," Jindal told the crowd.


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2012 • Republicans
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. gg

    now i know why reagan unfunded mental health in america–it would have destroyed the republican party

    February 11, 2012 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  2. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why does Pyush Jindal refuse to produce his long form birth certificate for review? Why does he thumb his nose at the Constitution?Why does he continue to force Hindu law on the people of Louisiana?

    February 11, 2012 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  3. optimistica

    Sarah Palin is the epitome of the very worst of America – mean-spirited, shrill, annoying, and dumb de dumb dumb!!!

    February 11, 2012 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  4. Angy

    is this loser still talking. cpac= RACIST gathering. what a bunch of LOSERS! they can't seem to talk about what they intend to do for this country. they can only talk about PRESIDENT OBAMA and what he HAS DONE FOR AMERICA ( of course twist is around and tell lie, after lie.) typical rethuglican/tea baggers.

    February 11, 2012 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  5. julien vergara

    How come they used the word raises again. Democrats says mitt romney is a problem. Our problem in our country is so big that electing obama is crazy

    February 11, 2012 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  6. Marry

    @ REG in AZ you said it so well and pointed very well and correctly to the underlying agenda. Each of these “candidates” is a poster child of the situation (1% against 99%)you described.

    But still, Santorum, Romney, Gingrich and also Paul – they all, in their own way, make the skin crawl and the stomach turn! We had the questionable pleasure to watch them and the GOP/TP now for YEARS and the only question that remains is: How can anyone with the least bit of character, love of country, sense of ethics and justice, and wanting for the country to succeed VOTE for this disgusting bunch? This is not even anymore a question of “policies” as a matter of disagreement; it is a question if you agree with this kind of disregard, contempt, misrepresentation and slander as the means of moving against opponents. Any vote for THEM reflects YOUR state of mind and what that would show is not pretty! I can only ask, would you be proud if your children would behave as disgusting as all the “speakers” in this event? How do you think they will treat “YOU” if they ever get back any power?? Badly, very badly! You can bet on that!!!

    February 12, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  7. majicmahon

    For someone who didn't finish her Goventorial term and expects to be referred to as Governor, she shows her hillbilly disposition by referring to the sitting leader of her country by last name only. Really, is this type of hatred not seen in Eqypt, Syria or Lybia? Are we sure we're talking about the USA here? Palin brings this country to it's 1776 knees.

    February 12, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  8. majicmahon

    Trouble with Palin is, she hasn't determined yet if she wants to be in politics or in the entertainment business yet.

    February 12, 2012 06:22 am at 6:22 am |
  9. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Sure. The GOBP picking their loser nominee in quiet back rooms at the convention is part of the "process" (eyes roll)

    February 12, 2012 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  10. diridi

    This is all about Rich v/s Middle Class American....Obama2012.
    Enough Trickle Down, Enough WARS...........god bless.

    February 12, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  11. The Greedy Old Pigs declared class war on US!

    For all you extreme rightwing hatemonkeys, riddle me this: Why is it you claim the so-called "liberal" media is pro-Dem when all the evidence clearly points in the opposite direction? Exhibit A would be this ridiculous CPAC coverage. Multiple national and international media outlets have devoted hours and pages of coverage to what is essentially a gathering of the GOBP deathcult's most unhinged, irrational and bigoted supporters. The conference represents only a thin sliver of a America (mostly the angry, old, white racists), has little support among average Americans, and offers rehashed extreme rightwing talking points manure disguised red meat rhetoric for low information voters.

    Now for the second puzzler for all you radical righties: Where is the equivalent example of the so-called "liberal" media going gaga over a gathering of liberals or progressives? Where are they getting coverage anywhere close to what these clowns are getting?

    February 12, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  12. Freelance

    Great conference.. Ann and Sarah were fun to watch?..

    February 12, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. brian in denver

    Looking forward to Sarah's reaction after Obama's victory in November. I'm afraid you've got it wrong, Sarah: we will finally be done w/ you & the likes of you, & w/ your shrill rhetoric & ugly message.

    February 12, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  14. Annie, Atlanta

    @Willie Floyd – I couldn't agree with you more about that racism thing. And no where can you see it more clearly than republicans on the campaign trail during this primary season, and CPAC. They don't even bother pretending anymore. I've lived in the South half my life now, and the ultra conservatives lost their ability to reason, and have frankly just plain old lost it, since the election of President Obama. It's gone way beyond ugly, at this point. Here in GA I expect Gingrich to win he primary, if he stays in that long. His appeal? Making poor black kids clean the toilets at their schools. Disgusting, the whole lot of them. This is some of the most hateful anti-American behavior I've seen in my lifetime.

    February 12, 2012 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  15. FIELD1stSGT

    Sick, sick, sick are all supporters of Obama. Go away. You're nothing but a drag on the economy and contribute nothing.

    February 12, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    FIELD1stSGT – the same could be said about your side, and it would stick better. The drag on the economy is two tax breaks for the extra special rich during 2 wars, for starters. The second would be the GOP in the house and senate, who under no circumstances, will agree to do anything to move this country out of its economic doldrums in the hopes of regaining control. Holding our country back in order to win. Who knows, it's worked before, it could work again with the amount of low information voters we have to endure.

    February 12, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. RILEY

    I loved in when Palin said. "Obama, we are through with you." No truer words were ever spoken.

    February 12, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  18. The Greedy Old PIgs declared class war on US!

    For all you extreme rightwing hatemonkeys, riddle me this: Why is it you claim the so-called "liberal" media is pro-Dem when all the evidence clearly points in the opposite direction? Exhibit A would be this ridiculous CPAC coverage. Multiple national and international media outlets have devoted hours and pages of coverage to what is essentially a gathering of the GOBP deathcult's most unhinged, irrational and bigoted supporters. The conference represents only a thin sliver of a America (mostly the angry, old, white racists), has little support among average Americans, and offers rehashed extreme rightwing talking points manure disguised red meat rhetoric for the low information voters.

    Now for the second puzzler for all you radical righties: Where is the equivalent example of the so-called "liberal" media going gaga over a gathering of liberals or progressives? Where are they getting coverage anywhere close to what these clowns are getting?

    February 12, 2012 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Larry L

    @RILEY

    I loved in when Palin said. "Obama, we are through with you." No truer words were ever spoken.
    ------------------------------------------
    Really? How did that work the last time she ran against him? I recall she predicted victory then...

    February 12, 2012 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  20. Live Chat Agents

    Ya, Its really a nice post and i like more...

    February 13, 2012 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  21. Anonymous

    LOL at all the rightwing radicals who scream about "drinking the Obama koolaid." If ya wanna see koolaid drinkers, look at how this sorry collection of neocons and bigots known as CPAC has convinced itself Flipper the Elitist Robot is a "conservative." This is probably the same group that considers The Apprentice to be the finest TV show in history. Talk about easily deceived sheeple. BAAAAAA!

    February 13, 2012 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
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