(CNN) - House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's latest Republican proposal to balance the federal budget and reform Medicare predictably drew sharp reviews from Democrats.
But at the Conservative Political Action Conference - which Ryan described Friday as a place where he could "catch up with friends" - he was slammed on Saturday by conservative activist Brent Bozell.
(CNN) - Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky won the presidential straw poll at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday. Paul won with 25% of the vote and finished slightly ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. In third place was former senator and presidential candidate Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Nearly 3,000 votes were cast by attendees at the three-day conference held at a hotel just outside of Washington. The straw poll is considered one way to gauge where the conservative base stands on potential Republican nominees. The ballot included 23 Republicans with a national political profile as well as spots for write-ins and "undecided."
(CNN) - U.S. Rep. Steve King - who is mulling a run for the U.S. Senate - said Saturday he will leave this weekend’s Conservative Political Action Conference with renewed energy.
"I'm going to go out of this place like a rocket. This is such a dynamic place for conservatives to gather together," he said in an interview on CNN. "There's no better place to be in America right now."
Oxon Hill, Maryland (CNN) - Sarah Palin, igniting a crowd of conservatives, says it's time to stop "preaching to the choir" and instead evangelize a grass-roots, anti-Washington message to all Americans, even those who disagree with the right.
"They're not our enemies. They're our sisters and our brothers. They're our neighbors, they're our friends. It's imperative to reach out and to share that conservative message of liberty and less government and lower taxes," the former Alaska governor said, urging growth of the movement.
(CNN) - If Rep. Michele Bachmann had been elected president, would she have walked Boomer?
The former 2012 presidential candidate and Minnesota Republican said Saturday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference just outside Washington that the White House is overly lavish, citing several examples including the minder of the presidential pooch.
Oxon Hill, Maryland (CNN) - Dr. Benjamin Carson, the neurosurgeon who made headlines in February for making political statements during his address at the National Prayer Breakfast, said Saturday he was leaving medicine and pursuing other opportunities, which could include politics.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, Carson said he was ending his medical career "while I'm on top," making the comparison to airplane pilots who retire before crashing.
(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.