(CNN) - As Newt Gingrich laid out his ideas for the future of the Republican Party on Saturday, a light bulb appeared next to his head - quite literally.
The former House speaker and 2012 presidential candidate brought the light bulb and a wax candle as props to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Oxon Hill, Maryland (CNN) - Republicans hoping to win a national election need to adopt an "optimistic" and "relevant" message, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker told an enthusiastic crowd of conservative activists Saturday.
The tea party favorite, who survived a recall election in 2012 after curbing collective bargaining rights for public employees, said the GOP's focus on fiscal issues like the federal debt and spending cuts ignore policies that have a real effect on Americans' lives. Instead, he argued Republicans should look beyond Washington to find a new direction for the party.
(CNN) – Taking his inspiration from a photo unearthed earlier this week by CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby, Jeb Bush on Friday compared the current state of the Republican Party to a happily outdated hairstyle from the last century.
"We used to be the party in the front. After this last election, sadly, we're the party in the back," the former Florida governor told a gathering of conservative activists outside Washington, recalling a 1970 photo Hamby posted on Twitter recently featuring a mullet-topped Bush.
Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN) March 01, 2013
(CNN) – The current Republican Party is distracted by the constant battles in Washington over the bloated federal debt, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told a gathering of conservative activists Friday.
Bucking some in his party's tendency to place balancing the federal budget over all other issues, Jindal said such a narrow focus on the country's fiscal problems amounted to a diversion.
(CNN) – The next wave of Republican leaders can be found in the nation's statehouses, last year's GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told a receptive crowd of conservative activists Friday.
In his first major speech since last November's defeat, Romney cited governors in traditionally Democratic states as examples of effective conservative leadership who could make inroads nationwide. Romney himself served as governor of Massachusetts before making bids for president in 2008 and 2012.
Washington (CNN) – Proposed universal background checks of firearms purchases won't stop gun violence, but would serve agendas of people "bent on destroying the Second Amendment," a top National Rifle Association official told a conservative political conference on Friday.
Wayne LaPierre, the executive vice president of the influential NRA, received repeated cheers and prolonged applause at the Conservative Political Action Conference when he took on proposals to toughen gun laws in the aftermath of the Connecticut school massacre that killed 20 first graders last December.FULL STORY
(CNN) – Former Sen. Rick Santorum delivered a solemn but forceful rallying cry when speaking about the death of a close family member Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
With tears in his eyes, the former presidential candidate talked emotionally about his nephew who passed away Thursday in Pittsburgh from what Santorum described as "a horribly painful disease that almost overnight began ravaging his body."
(CNN) - Three days after he unveiled the GOP budget, Rep. Paul Ryan stayed focused on the country's fiscal problems during his address to the Conservative Political Action Conference and took a dig at the Democrats' own budget proposal in the Senate.
"You know, this has been a really big week. We got white smoke from the Vatican and we got a budget from the Senate," he said to applause. "But when you read it, you find that the Vatican's not the only place blowing smoke this week."
(CNN) – Real estate titan Donald Trump was all over the map Friday in his speech to conservatives, criticizing a range of Republicans from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to former GOP nominee Mitt Romney–and arguing that the country "is in a total mess."
The billionaire also cooked up a plate of his own solutions for fixing the economy while speaking to the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Among his advice: Immigration reform could be a "suicide mission" for Republicans and taking oil from Iraq could help reboot the country's economy.