Live blog of CPAC: Day 3
February 11th, 2012
09:16 AM ET
6 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's too late to teach that or 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.

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

Carlson: Sand
Begala: Lies

Carlson: Authoritarianism
Begala: Necessary

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

Carlson: Threat
Begala: Rival

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. CBR

    Saw Ann Coulter speaking to CPAC. If there is one woman in America that you do not need on your side it is Ann. She is rude and crude, thinking she has to speak this way to grab your attention.

    I believe there should be a litmus test for all Conservatives, men and women, that includes the use of Condoms and Viagra and contraceptives. Next, make sure that the person is not in the forefront because people think the person is handsome or beautiful or a bombshell. Last, be sure that he person is committed to the conservative ideals, which by the way, do not necessarily include the ideals of conservative religions. A true conservative does not need to tout religion because the true conservative follows the Constitution and sepaates Church and State.

    When such a person runs for office I will be able to support that candidate. Right now all of the speakers and candidates are trying to be more conservative than the others. Instead of talking about ideas and plans that will move the country forward we hear about religion, contraceptives (which may or may not be used by conservatives, the bad things that liberals do, President Obama, members of Congress who are not Republicans, and about each candidates. Not one really speaks about the true conservative agenda. But then, he or she would not get the rousing applause.

    February 11, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  2. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Bobby had some pretty crazy ideas about the oil spill that were proven unworkable. It was a good thing the president listened to environmental advisors and not Bobby.

    February 11, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  3. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Most governors like Bobby, are in over their head. I am looking forward to Walker from Wisconsin tell how he balanced his budget with money from the banking settlement, instead of putting it toward people who are in need of help on their mortgages.

    February 11, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    All the hate filled, toxic, divisive rhetoric, all in one place. Oh goody. Do these people even give a darn about American, and specifically the Americans that live here? Or is it just about winning control at all costs, even if those costs include tearing us apart. Good grief, enough already. Why this hate fest is covered so extensively each year is beyond my wildest imagination.

    February 11, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  5. GI Joe.

    Just what we need - a wetlands destroying governor coming in from another country telling us how to deal with hurricanes. How is that "reef" working out? (NOT)

    February 11, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  6. Orwell proven

    Fascism struggles on.

    February 11, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    When do the real conservatives get to talk about being anti multicultural and anti women?

    February 11, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. Abdul

    I can't believe these people are delivering these speeches in 21st century. I feel like being in medieval era again. Bunch of rich powerful people with no connection with the poor and hungry, promoting religion and pollution and their own personal interests. When you see a wheel moving backwards you know the journey is backwards.

    February 11, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  9. Larry in Houston

    @ CBR – You forgot One other word besides rude & crude – It's "Lewd" – in addition to the fact that she could not get a Job anywhere else but – the "other" news chamnnel. ( It's where all the hate and toxic Venom is allowed to be "spewed")

    February 11, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  10. Larry in Houston

    @ CBR – You forgot One other word besides rude & crude – It's "Lewd" – in addition to the fact that she could not get a Job anywhere else but – the "other" news channel. ( It's where all the hate and toxic Venom is allowed to be "spewed")
    @ Annie, Atlanta – You're absolutely Spot On ! Those words in your first sentence Also !

    February 11, 2012 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  11. pmk1953

    Crazy politician against the citzens. Otherwise known as CPAC.

    February 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. john

    these people are unpatriotic and tearing our country apart....when is everyone going to see that??? calling yourself "Christian" and living it are two very different things, the majority of these GOPer's are judging and mean spirited.....

    February 11, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  13. Annie, Atlanta

    Two white supremacists, Peter Brimelow and Robert “Bob” Vandervoort, were on the stage at CPAC with the Republican presidential candidates, and the media doesn't cover it. Worse yet, is it was allowed? Is this what the Republican Party now stands for, known leaders of hate groups? They were there for a discussion on multiculturalism and how seeking diversity is ruining America. And the GOP presidential contenders were rubbing elbows with these guys? And the media just conveniently left that one out? Good God almighty, what are "we the people" allowing to happen to us?

    February 11, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. T'sah From Virginia


    C- Corrupt
    P- Politicians
    A – Attacking
    C- Citizens – Because they feel it is their way or the highway and they are truly the "MINORITY!"

    Obama 2012!!

    February 11, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  15. diridi

    The only solution is get all these idiotic Republicans out in next election. just vote Democratic ticket directly.

    February 11, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  16. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    CPAC = Conservatives Push Anti-Obama Crap

    February 11, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. SEAL Team Alpha and Omega

    CPAC = Conservatives Push Anti-Obama Crap,

    Never in history have so many white racist, middle-class hating, Wall Street felons gatherd to plan the death of a sitting American President.

    February 11, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    CPAC = white supremacists. It is good that republicans no longer have to wear those white sheets. They are hot and make you sweat.

    February 11, 2012 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  19. REG in AZ

    They are vocal ... without conscience, without real merit, without true sincerity, only with ambition, desire and aggressive determination to dominate, regardless of any real value to the people. Should they ever stick to the real issues, to the real concerns of the people (jobs, the economy, a “level playing field”, solving problems), instead of their trumped up efforts to excite and distract people, then it would be totally obvious from their history and actions that they fail to responsibly represent the majority (99%) and instead just cater to "the few" (1%), who strongly support them and dictate to them., They literally want to return to "more of the same", Bush-Cheney style, that cost all but "the few" so greatly. If the voters fail to see their self-serving deception, don’t refuse to be conned and to reject their "puppet" candidates, then we are very apt to be returned to "more of the same" that continually pushes this country to be a two-class society with "the few" competing in having it all while the majority struggles to survive – don't believe that, just check your current status against what it was thirteen years ago, ... and realize that those spending the humungous sums of money aren’t doing it because they like the candidates, they really fully intend to control things to be in their favor, regardless of what it costs the majority.

    February 11, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Hair bear

    Romney needs to stop focusing on Obama! Santorum has positioned hisself to steal this nomination!

    February 11, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    The GOP can't really be racists, after all didn't Ann Coulter once say that "their Blacks are BETTER than out Blacks"?

    February 11, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  22. Mr. Moderate

    The death of bin Laden ten years in the making???? Mr Bolton's boss said on numerous occasions that bin Laden was no longer a priority. They back burnered him not only for political reasons (he was worth more to them alive than dead) but because they were focused on Iraq.

    Finally, enough with the "bitter, gun and religion" stuff. Obama was talking about how people feel abandoned by Washington are bitter and cling to guns and religion. He concluded his comments by saying "and I RESPECT those frustrations". You would think the "Obama loving" media would mention that.

    February 11, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. donna


    Ann Coulter CPAC 2011: "Romney will be the nominee and we'll lose." (YT)
    Ann Coulter CPAC 2012: Let's nominate Romney!

    February 11, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  24. CoJo

    are the republicans at the point of calling Obama anti-Christian? And some (a fair amount?) of the conservative are actually labeling him as "the anti-christ"? WOW, how low can a group of people go? Do the republicans REALLY believe that? I have yet to hear one of the candidates actually say it, but they seem to have come to the wall with it. All have talked about all of Obama's anti-Catholic actions/law/issues. I'm only aware of one (the contraception issue)... What are the others? After hearing Santorum, Gingrich, Romney call Obama anti-Catholic, she has point blank now said she would NOT vote republican (and she WAS thinking of Ronmey). But the narrowmindness of the republican's have convinced her Obama is the lesser of the evils. Even I (democrat) was entertaining Romney. No longer.
    By the way, the Catholic church and the republicans are only looking at one side the coin. They purposely ignore the fact the contraception issue is a pro-womens and pro-health care issue. But No, they kick/screem like a bunch of little kids when they see some they don't like. Intead of acting like adults and discussing it with the WH to get things change. And they wonder why everyone kicks and screams back at them? Maybe Obama handled it wrong (maybe), but the republicans (ALL OF THEM) should have discussed the issue with the WH as adults intest of starting a riot

    February 11, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    This edition of the conference is best described as a poltiical revival meeting.

    February 11, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
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