November 5th, 2008
02:44 PM ET
12 years ago

McCain not included on CPAC invite

McCain spoke at last year’s CPAC.

McCain spoke at last year’s CPAC.

(CNN) - Votes are still being counted in some states, but conservatives stinging from last night’s losses are planning to get together to plan the movement’s future — and so far, it doesn’t look like that vision includes John McCain.

McCain, who made a poorly-received appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference last year, was not included on a list of major movement figures invited to next year’s gathering e-mailed to supporters Wednesday morning. More than a dozen conservative leaders made the cut — including McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal have also been invited to address CPAC in February, along with McCain’s former primary season rivals Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.

“At CPAC 1975, one speech initiated the conservative comeback,” American Conservative Union president David Keene wrote on the invitation to the group’s annual meeting, citing Ronald Reagan’s encouraging words to activists after the “disastrous” post-Watergate election losses of 1974. “CPAC friends, it's imperative that we continue to fight for conservative principles despite recent losses. We face new challenges, but our principles are timeless.”

Last year, McCain faced a thorny reception during a rare appearance at the gathering, as his visit – and even the mention of his name – drew boos from many in attendance.

Romney narrowly beat the Arizona senator, 35 to 34 percent, in the conference’s presidential straw poll of conservative political activists. The result came even though it was clear that McCain, who had addressed the group that week, would be the Republican Party’s nominee — and even though Romney had ended his presidential run there earlier in the conference. The announcement of Romney’s win was greeted by cheers from the crowd, angry over McCain’s past positions on immigration policy.

UPDATE: CPAC Director Lisa De Pasquale said in an e-mail that the list included in the message sent to past CPAC attendees this morning was not complete.

"With the exception of Gov. Palin, who confirmed in early April after having to drop out of CPAC 2008 at the last minute, very few invitations (Jindal and Pence) were sent to elected officials because of the volatility of the November elections," she wrote. "Now that the election has passed, we will begin inviting other elected officials."

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (154 Responses)
  1. Dean

    I guess McCain won't be joining the dark side. Time for the NEW

    November 5, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Rob

    whoa, as a democrat, I thought McCain was actually a great guy and someone independents could vote for (without Palin). Now they are dumping him and making Palin a spokeswoman? The whole party must want to flush themselves down the toilet.

    November 5, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. JL

    Too bad. Sen. McCain has learned a lot over the last few months that would benefit them greatly if they chose to include him.

    November 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  4. It's Over!

    They eat their young. What do you expect.

    November 5, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Rave

    McCain, although he is a good man, he got nasty, jealous, out of touch, lier and a total looser. His brain needs some repair and he will be welcome to any Mental Institution he chooses to go now.

    November 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  6. FAYE, NV

    Poor John don't get invited and Sarah does, how funny. Best wishes to John. The Mac Is Back.

    November 5, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  7. A Great Man!

    Senator John McCain, I am sorry that I will be unable to call you "President McCain" in the near future; however, I will NOT refer to Obama as "President," though as Barry.

    Senator McCain, I respect you, I voted for you, and I wish you well.


    November 5, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  8. Michael in Houston

    Wow they are throwing him under the bus less than 24 hours after the election? See that is the problem. Instead of looking at what Obama has said and done, you automatically start pointing fingers. Your conservatives views are like most things in America, outdated and past it's time. You no longer can rule by fear and hate Republicans. No one fears you and no cares about your so called conservative values. If anything most of us mainly 65 million of us are laughing at you. You ideology of the world does not work. That is why every other country was cheering louder than us americans last night. Your reign is over. If the republican party wants to change, throw away your old rule book and create a philosphy that is condusive to the 21st century. When you stop letting those few bible thumping, greedy, self serving idiots run your party Republicans, then you too may have the support of the American people, and not just the few racist bigots.

    November 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Neil, Butte, MT

    He's tired, let him go home and rest.

    Obama/Biden 08

    November 5, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Fabian Blache, Baton Rouge, LA

    The mere fact that Palin was included is a clear sign of poor judgment.

    November 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. Maggie

    I look forward to hearing more from the Conservative Political Action Conference in the near future.

    November 5, 2008 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Pete

    Isn't that a shame. Good riddens McCain, no more lies.........time to retire.

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. paul (staunch Moderate)

    John McCain will now have face up to the consequences of losing the election. This is just the first of many to come.

    I would, however, caution Former Speaker Gingrich and Gov Jindal to focus on the basic reason the GOP got trounced in yesterday's election: The American public has had its fill of Extremism. It is time to distance the party from the fundamentalist, religious right vitriol of last century; there is no future in it.

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He didn't win is one big reason that he isn't being invited. Some of the statements while on the campaign trail didn't sound very conservative to me either. Is it that conservatives like people who come in lock step with their ideals?

    Sarah is an ideolog who doesn't really understand what being conservative is. She shouldn't be allowed back on the national scene unless she has served several terms as Senator and member of the House after completing at least another term as governor.

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  15. skeeter

    I finally saw the "real" Mccain when he gave his concession speech. Too bad the GOP took a good man and made him into something he is not.

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Mari

    I actually like and respect McCain-Palin, however, what are these people thinking???

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  17. PDX Gal

    Was Conscience of a Conservative by Barry Goldwater invited?

    It really... really.... REALLY couldn't hurt.

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  18. Doug R.

    McCain's political career is pretty much over. It's now time for him to retire to one of his 7 or 8 houses.
    I still say if he didn't have That One from Alaska as his VP running mate he would have faired better. He lost big time (by nearly 200 electoral votes).

    November 5, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. maurice

    there are 2 losers in this situation...mcain and lieberman. and they will have lost for what they truely believe in.

    November 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  20. Real Talk

    The John McCain that ran this campaign should not be invited, but I believe he will end his career on a high note and do everything he can to help America, and Barack Obama.

    November 5, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  21. Unbelievable!

    Obama for President; I believe my grandparents just rolled over in their graves.


    2012!!!! Anyone but Obama...

    November 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  22. Annette

    Well, that's what happen when you are a lone "maverick".

    November 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  23. gbrown2

    Who do you all have to balme!!! Try the GOP!!! This a repudiation and indictment of the GOP!!! The GOP has systematically run this country into the ground!! And you have the audacity to want 4 more years to finish us off!!!

    November 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Vincent, Great Lakes, IL

    Sen. McCain, even though I didn't vote for you this time, I wanted you to know that you should be proud that they don't want you. You are better then they.

    November 5, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. ANGIE

    Why Couldnt Mccain stay the Way He Was like last night in His Speech, I guess thats what happens when you sell your soul for power SAD!

    November 5, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
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