National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) – It would be a mistake to read too much into the speeches, breakout sessions and late-night parties that took place at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
Thousands of right-leaning activists made the pilgrimage here this year, to a convention hall outside the nation's capital. They were greeted, as they are every year, by a bevy of candidates, bloggers, political operatives and more than a few hucksters out to make a buck.
(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul easily won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, giving the potential White House candidate an early boost with the Republican base ahead of the 2016 election.
It was the second-straight year the Kentucky lawmaker topped the poll at the annual gathering, notching 31% support.
(CNN) – The third and final day of the Conservative Political Action Conference – better known by its initials, CPAC – is underway at a major convention center at National Harbor, just south of the nation's capital.
The conference is the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists, and when there's no Republican in the White House, it's a must-attend cattle call for Republican presidential hopefuls looking to pass the conference's conservative litmus test. CPAC will close Saturday with the much-anticipated results of the confab's GOP presidential nomination straw poll.
Here are the latest developments:
Washington (CNN) – Former Republican presidential nominees Bob Dole and John McCain are pushing back against Sen. Ted Cruz for comments he made Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
As Cruz was talking about how the Republican Party had not been successful in recent campaigns and what it needed to do to win, he said if “you want to lose elections, stand for nothing.”
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul stepped on stage Friday at CPAC-and into his element.
The Kentucky Republican, whose libertarian fight in the Senate is often met with a tepid response, spoke before an audience Friday that treated him like a rock star.
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) - Day two of the Conservative Political Action Conference – better known by its initials, CPAC – is underway at a major convention center at National Harbor, just south of the nation's capital.
The conference is the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists, and when there's no Republican in the White House, it's a must-attend cattle call for GOP presidential hopefuls looking to pass the conference's conservative litmus test.
One of those possible presidential contenders, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said it was "time for a little rebellion on the battlefield of ideas,” while another potential White House candidate, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, gave what sounded like a presidential campaign stump speech.
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) – On the heels of a rousing morning address to the Conservative Political Action Conference that brought a sleepy audience to its feet many times over, Texas Gov. Rick Perry had a bounce in his step.
He hosted a meet-and-greet with conservative activists, young and old, in a corner room at the Gaylord National Resort outside Washington. The line snaked out the door and down the hall. He crossed paths with major conservative donors.
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) – Filling the basement of a convention center in National Harbor, where Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is underway, are dozens of booths, set up to hand out fliers, candy and other knick-knacks to woo conference attendees. One booth, however, is not handing out goodies.
Instead, it's offering stress relief in the form of brick-shaped sponges that people can use to whack pictures of politicians.
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) – Potential Republican presidential candidates take the stage, hoping to generate a buzz. But the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC, has a lot more happening outside the massive, big-screened adorned ballroom where conservatives take the stage.
It's a conference where thousands of young Republicans from colleges across the country come to network and possibly meet Mr. or Ms. Right. It's a marketing bonanza for authors and organizations. It's a place to wear your favorite American flag underwear. This is CPAC - CPAC beyond the headline-making political speeches.
Updated 2:53 p.m. ET, 3/6/2014
National Harbor, Maryland (CNN) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, receiving a warm reception from a large conservative audience Thursday, said the GOP needs to change the way it shares its message with voters in order to defeat Democrats in future elections.
"We've got to start talking about what we're for and not what we're against," the Republican governor said. "Our ideas are better than their ideas, and that's what we have to stand up for."