Live blog of CPAC: Day 3
February 11th, 2012
09:16 AM ET
3 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. IntlPol101

    Really like Daniel Hannan, a sitting member of the European Parliament. He paints a harrowing picture of "Death By Big Government."

    February 11, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  2. Lynda, California

    CPAC is a sad commentary on the state of politics in this country. And the media can continue to allow the racist rhetoric to flow out of there without calling it what it is, but historians will note that the media stood by and complicit with the GOP ruthless, immoral behavior. And your one sided coverage of what Republicans think about Obama is outrageous. Why don't you ask some Democrats what they think out Ann Coulters Racist Rant, or the Arrogance of ALL the GOP Candidates? History will write, regardless of the outcome in '12, that it was a low point in journalism.

    February 11, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    Palin must be taking smart pills: she's absolutely right about low turnout if Romney's the nominee.

    February 11, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  4. Forsetti

    There's one principle on which Romney will never waiver: He wants to be President. Incidentally, if there were any more "true conservatives" trying to use Ronald Regan's sarcophagus as their platform, it would collapse under their weight.

    February 11, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. ptny

    He's trying to work harder but with all the government handouts he gets (18% less tax to pay) why does he have to work harder? Sarah?

    I hope that Romnibus drove his carcass thru the “Poor” neighborhoods on his way to each caucus today, all of which (poor neighborhoods)have doubled due to our lame congress.
    And I’ll bet 10,000 dollars he was “Clinging to his gun” for that trip.

    February 11, 2012 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. jilli

    Wow. If the republican party knew shame, they would be running from the cpac fiasco. What an embarrassing testament to the current state of the republican party. Absolutely pathetic. This convention will accomplish two things...improve Pres. Barack Obama's approvals and increase his chance of obtaining a second term.

    February 11, 2012 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  7. CoJo

    I believe what I just heard Amy Kremer state that she wants controls returned back to states, fine if that is her position, but that strongly implies what Massachusetts setup for themselves should be fine.. As it was setup by their own state. Santorum does not agree. Which SHOULD mean the tea party should not be for Santorum... Again, Tea party speaks out both sides of their mouths. well give Ron Paul and Romney, Santorum just acknowledged he screwed up while he was in congress. Santorum voted for increasing the debt ceiling multiple times and other big government spending. So where is the tea party now? They want a person (Santorum) that has publically acknowledged he screwed up and voted for big government spending? Tea party people are hypocrites if they continue to back a person that has a record to goes against what they want. Only now does he come clean (when someone points it out). Only now he is against it when he is no longer in congress...

    February 11, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. nathan

    I love how GOP Govs like Jindal and Cristie go to the President with their hand out when they have a problem, then trash him once its over.

    February 11, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  9. linda

    I wood not vote for romney if he was the only Gop out there.

    February 11, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  10. Cj n TX

    Palin was a 3 month wonder(/) and why the Republicans give her any credence is beyond me. No one below Alaska had ever heard of the doofus prior to 2008. What does permanent 'political class' mean anyway. Yeah it is the seat of our Political system and has been for 200 years. She and Joe the plumber – just who I want to listen to for my news.

    February 11, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  11. cali girl

    When Paul Begala had his spar with Tucker was the only part worth watching.
    Must be a slow political day when Palin is the top ticker story. Thanks CNN for the comic relief.

    February 11, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. Willie Floyd

    Does anyone, other than I, remember when former pres. Carter spoke about RACISM in our country and how prevalent it is?? If most of you have not seen it for what it is in CPAC, you're aren't watching closely. After living in the South for 66 yrs.-trust me- we know it when we see it!!
    BTW-I'm white-and it disgusts me!

    OBAMA/BIDEN 2012

    February 11, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  13. Willie Floyd

    oops-you-not you're. Been a long day.

    February 11, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  14. CoJo

    The bad part of Gringrich's speach wasn't his ideas (not that I agree with them all), it was his position on Obama being anti-christian that did it in for me. With an attitude like that, there is no way I would vote for him. If he left that attitude out, I still would have listen, now : "NEVERMORE"

    February 11, 2012 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  15. pat

    I watched CNN News in the mornings this week including their coverage of the CPAC meeting. How come they turned a blind eye to the divisive, hate-fill talk and acted like this was nothing?

    February 11, 2012 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Jay

    I thought we were through with Palin.

    February 11, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. stephanie

    i so hope they encourage paylin to run. come on all jump on the sp bandwagon. she can win she can win

    CPAC- Carnival Parade and Circus

    February 11, 2012 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  18. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Sarah, if you are through with President Obama, I am sure that Australia will be willing to accept your immigration application.

    February 11, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  19. Bill Fitzgerald

    Who's worried? Nobody in their right mind wants this mess to continue. Landslide victory for whomever runs against this idiot obama full of promises and has not delivered yet in fact started another war instead of withdrawing, Increased our debt more than any other president in history, increased the size of government with all of his crooked czars, vacations while the rest of us eek out a living, while his wife shops and dines and while his crony nancy pelosi flys a gov. jet at 50 thousand dollars to fly back and forth to california. Yea big change Obama you failure.

    February 11, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. Izzy I.

    I see lots of coverage of CPAC. Will CNN be covering Netroots Nation with as much enthusiasm?

    February 11, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. MaryM

    Republicans Invite Racist to Speak at CPAC
    Peter Brimelow as a white nationalist/racist. Brimelow, warns against the polluting of America by non-whites, Jews, Catholics, and Spanish-speaking immigrants. Brimelow also runs a web site called VDARE which hosts a variety of anti-minority authors.
    Is this what the GOP/TP is about now?

    February 11, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  22. Larry in Houston

    I know this may sound a bit crazy – but when I used to Live "back east" – - I used to Vote for the Candidate – you know – sort of like, whomever had the best qualifications ? I mean, it could have been a dem or a repub – BUT – Believe me – since I've only been down here for the last 7 yrs – and maybe I might feel like my Vote doesn't count –

    I AM VOTING A STRAIGHT TICKET, THIS YEAR !!

    DEMOCRAT 2012

    February 11, 2012 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  23. GTA

    Palin exists to a Shania Twain tune

    I can only assume that they could not find a tune by a singer who was actually "Made in America".

    At least it wasn't by a Russian.....

    February 11, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  24. Larry in Houston

    @Willie Floyd – I am Too – and I agree w/ YOU ! & Your post !

    February 11, 2012 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  25. labman57

    " "We are not red and blue Americans, we are red, white and blue Americans," Palin proclaimed, praising the impact of the tea party on the Republican Party. "

    Palin criticized Obama ... but not before ripping off his most famous speeches.

    February 11, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
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