Washington (CNN)– "Government policies are getting us killed" and the shootings in Tucson revealed the failure of government, said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, Thursday.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), LaPierre said government has failed with "laws, lies, and lack of enforcement." CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative activists and this year is particularly notable as it has become a cattle-call of potential GOP presidential candidates.
Washington (CNN) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum criticized President Obama's view of America in a speech emphasizing his own social conservatism.
Speaking before a crowd at CPAC, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that this year is considered a cattle call of potential 2012 presidential candidates, Santorum took issue with the president's handling of the crisis in Egypt.
Washington (CNN) - Addressing thousands of grassroots activists at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, former House Speaker and potential White House contender Newt Gingrich challenged President Obama to model himself after the last Democratic president and "move to the center" in the next year.
Gingrich joked that Obama should be should be invited to headline next year's CPAC in the unlikely event that he accomplishes seven policy goals favored by conservatives.
Washington (CNN) - Fifteen Republicans are on this year's Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll ballot, including one Republican's consider a rock star, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – who says he has no interest in running.
Balloting will be open to the 11,000 conference-goers until Friday evening and the results will be revealed at conclusion of the three-day gathering on Saturday.
Washington (CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared a new era for the Republican Party Thursday, saying the GOP has "embarked on our comeback."
"A lot has changed over the last few years, but one thing hasn't changed," McConnell said in his address at CPAC. "Democrats continue to underestimate the intelligence and memory of the American voter."
Washington (CNN) - Organizers for the Conservative Political Action Conference are downplaying the fact several socially conservative groups have boycotted the event this year.
David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a major organizer of CPAC, told reporters Thursday "our mission is to bring everyone together."
Washington (CNN) - Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann of Minnesota used her keynote address at CPAC to issue a charge to the ever cheering crowd: "Win the Triple Crown."
"We need to win the Triple Crown in 2012, which is holding onto the House, winning a conservative Senate and oh yeah baby, winning the White House," the Minnesota Republican congresswoman said.
Washington (CNN) - David Keene, the organizer of CPAC opened the three-day conference by addressing the appearance of potential presidential candidates before the conservative crowds.
"You will see, hear and I hope question many of the people who wake up in the morning and think they're going to be president," Keene said.
Washington (CNN) - Donald Trump will speak Thursday at a major annual gathering of conservative activists that also doubles as the first major cattle call for probable contenders for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.
Trump will address the crowd at the Conservative Action Political Conference in the nation's capital, a representative from CPAC confirmed to CNN Thursday morning.