Major conservative conference comes at crucial time for GOP
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday.
March 14th, 2013
07:28 AM ET
5 years ago

Major conservative conference comes at crucial time for GOP

Washington (CNN) - Take a political party trying to find its way, add thousands of conservative leaders and activists gathered from across the country, mix in the first real cattle call in next race for the White House, and controversies over who is allowed to speak and you get CPAC 2013.

The Conservative Political Action Conference touts itself as the largest and oldest annual gathering of conservatives. The three-day event is considered a good gauge of the mood of the conservative movement, but it's also increasingly criticized as more political carnival than conference.


Filed under: CPAC • Republicans
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl these guys even know the people of USA are fed up with Republicans and their greed and WARS? Yes, stocks are way up today. Yes, socialistic ideas are working for the better capitalism than conservative Greed putting you in Wars and bankrupting nation. Yes, nation now is in right track and heading right way.

    March 14, 2013 07:36 am at 7:36 am |
  2. g

    same circus ,same clowns

    March 14, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  3. MrBeenThere

    Another day at the Circus.................. same group that we saw and heard at the Primary's, what they all have new clown noses so it will be funnier this time........

    March 14, 2013 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. Pete

    There we go republicans all chiefs hardly any Indians and you wonder why you're sinking in public polls..Everybody wants to advise everyone ,everyone wants to be the boss,everyone in their so called conservative party wants political recognision..How hilarious,how politically pathedic but that's the republicans as a party taking trips but never leaving the farm and definitly legends in their own minds,just ask any of their nitwits who represent them!!!

    March 14, 2013 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  5. rs

    CPAC will help define the GOP for at least the next year if not the election cycle. Unfortunately, this one is shaping up to be a pon-pom fest for the so-called "conservatives". This one could only be made worse by having Mr. Akin chair a panel on Women's Rights.
    Seriously, the GOP is doomed. The John Birch radicals have taken the party over, and it stands for nothing now except to whine about everything the duly elected President of the United States does-EVEN WHEN HE AGREES WITH THEM.
    Until the GOP takes a serious look at the positions it has staked out on economic and social events, its through.

    March 14, 2013 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Maintaining par for the course in the fashion that only our current crop of conservatives can, they have finished criticizing Pres. Obama for attending a formal sponsored by OFA, and now begin their exclusive, invitation only, conclave known as CPAC. CPAC is an annual event that lasts for a few days, which is considered by some to be the burning sands for true American conservatives. [I guess Republicans can attend multi-day fund raisers with supporters, but the Democratic POTUS should not even attend a single dinner with his supporters.]

    On a historical note, CPAC celebrates its' 40th anniversay. It was began the year folowing the Watergate break in. Established by upstanding, duty bound conservatives who felt themselves apart from the "the establishment" wing, attending CPAC has becomve over the years a top ten item on any "serious" conservatives' bucket list who wants to be somebody. Well, it used to be that way. I think all of the richly steeped esteeem is about to be burned off this year as "too liberal".

    The Tea Party seems to be running the show, and it promises to leave a disastrous impression on the public. This can be gleamed by not only looking at the list of guest speakers, but by also examining the speakinjg schedule and time allotments to each distinguished guest. I'll cut right to the chase. Sarah Palin is allotted twice the time as Paul Ryan. Donald Trump is allotted twice the time as Speaker Boehner. Continuing on, the coup de grace is the keynote speaker, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX, who is alloted more than double the speaking time of the next highest, Palin and Trump. Cruz is preening up to be the next Joe McCarthy, R-WI, which does not forebode well for the near future of American politics.

    To the consrvatives attending CPAC, I encourage them to take a good, hard stand on their principles, and to proclaim their values loudly and clearly to the American people. Just keep on doing whatcha been doin'. To those not attending, better luck next time.

    March 14, 2013 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  7. Name lynn

    The cpac is fill with cold air, the people is waiting on the white house leaders an the president on making right budget cuts, the people is not thinking the cpac groups nor the leader.

    March 14, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    A look at the potential presidential field of guest speakers at CPAC indicates a bleak future for the Republican/Tea Party. Even with the additions of new faces like Bush and Rubio, it is a list of politicians with the same old rejected conservative ideology and message. The only new and refreshing candidate, Gov Christie, won't be included because he can't pass the purity test.

    March 14, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  9. ST

    If I were a republican I would ask myself whether to cry or to laugh. CPAC may claim that their gathering is partially "getting together", getting together and do nothing after losing consecutively two major elections??? Is there any logic listening to people who are losers like: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump(he lost on being a birther) and still attain hope of winning??? If this is the path for winning, they will never find their way out or where they came from neither where they are now.

    March 14, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. Yanni

    I hear them saying at the opening of the conference: ”Let the hate fest begin” Who hate Obama first? Who hate the poor?.... who loves the job creator? Me…Me…and someone stand up and say, I hate Obama more than all of you hate combined and he will be crowned the leader of the GOP/Conservative/Tea Party.

    March 14, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    if this is the driver for the GOP direction, they're going off the

    March 14, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    [the oldest invitee to CPAC was caught on hidden microphone]

    Is Hermain Cain invited to CPAC? What about the nice little dark skinned fellow from Mississippi who spoke so well at the convention about how he used to be an Obama supporter? What was that? They have served their usefulness? You see, I've always told you that reaching out to minorities never works, haven't I?

    March 14, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  13. gijames1225

    The GOP simply needs to completely abandon the crony 'capitalism' that buys off the mainstream left and right politicians and go libertarian on both economic and social issues. It's not going to happen, but it would be fantastic to live in a nation that values people and liberty once again.

    March 14, 2013 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    CPAC?. Been there, done that. Seems like forever now.

    I'm am curious though about the "re-branding" and the "re-messaging" Reince Priebus promised would take place. Looks to be a re-hash of the year before. And the year before that. And the year before that. And the year before that. And so on and so on.

    Interesting re-brand. Or not. GOPer messaging seems to be the same old song and dance as well. I can't quite put my finger on it, but likely it has to do with the fact the same old clowns still run the show.

    Generic 2016.

    March 14, 2013 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  15. rs

    Did CPAC invite Mr. Jindal? Maybe they didn't appreciate the "stop being the stupid party" evaluation of the GOP.

    We all know you can't "fix" stupid, right?

    March 14, 2013 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    You gotta give conservatives credit for the courage that they've displayed to call this new and improved rollout "rebranding".

    March 14, 2013 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Wake up People!

    In the words of my late, great granny..... You can bet your bottom dollar that all waitstaff will be searched THOROUGHLY. No cameras or cell phones will be allowed in. They will NOT let happen again what happened with Mitt and the 47% video. They must be free to bash all minorities, gays and the poor.

    March 14, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  18. rs

    "New and improved" GOP?
    "Fair and Balanced" GOP?

    No, the "Dumb and Dumber" GOP! They have Jan Brewer on the list!

    March 14, 2013 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Some in the media correctly point out that CPAC is not the Republican Party. To that I say, "What diffference does it make?"

    March 14, 2013 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  20. Getoverit

    @Rudy NYC
    Is Hermain Cain invited to CPAC? What about the nice little dark skinned fellow from Mississippi who spoke so well at the convention about how he used to be an Obama supporter?
    No. The MSM has successfully torpedoed their political careers.

    March 14, 2013 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  21. Thomas

    If Joe" McCarthy was still alive , he would be asked to speak at CPAC.

    They could invite GW Bush .

    March 14, 2013 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  22. Malory Archer


    @Rudy NYC
    Is Hermain Cain invited to CPAC? What about the nice little dark skinned fellow from Mississippi who spoke so well at the convention about how he used to be an Obama supporter?
    No. The MSM has successfully torpedoed their political careers.


    They needed no help from the MSM – they did it to themselves with their words and actions.

    March 14, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  23. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Don't you love farce? My fault, I fear
    I thought that you'd want what I want, sorry my dear
    But where are the clowns? Send in the clowns
    Don't bother they're here

    March 14, 2013 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  24. Former GOP

    I remember a time when the John Birch Society was the subject of jokes and ridicule. Now they control the Republican party!

    March 14, 2013 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  25. The Elephant in the Room

    Exactly what is it that conservatives want to "conserve"?

    The GOP`s problems lie in the true answer to that question.

    For too many Americans, the answer is that they want to maintain "traditional America" where white men held priveledged, exempt status which gave them advantages at the expense of others. They want to "conserve" power and influence. They claim to want to "conserve" liberty & freedom but the problem is that their means of doing so comes at the expense of the remaining new majority: thinking white males; most women; most asians,blacks, latinos; most urban & suburban dwellers; most straight people; most gay people; most young adults; in short most Americans.

    When CPAC stops being an exclusionary club, with a we`re better than them moral attitude, the GOP will have a chance to survive.

    March 14, 2013 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
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