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. Matt

    Michael in Houston....

    The fact that you are all laughing is representative of your kind of people. You act like you care about people and ask for equality, but really, almost all my liberals friends do is belittle others as you have done just now.

    Might I also point out that while there are 63 million people "laughing", there are 56 million people who support conservative ideas and ready to rip your ideologies to shreds over the next four years. Oh, what am I saying; they're all just racist bigots!

    Further, other countries were celebrating because of the historic feat – a black man being elected president. They are happy for our progress in terms of racial acceptance. Do you really think they were happy because liberals are now dominate? Do you think they even know what that term means? It is certainly not a universal term.

    Shame on you for such a ridiculous post. Perhaps you're just bitter you live among conservatives in Texas?

    November 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. Mari

    i forgot to ask-what about joe the plumber-did he get the invite?

    November 5, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  3. Alan J. Hahn

    I keep hoping that the conservatives will learn that the country doesn't need their single-minded application of conservative ideology to every issue or problem that comes along. How refreshing it is to hear more sensible voices calling for pragmatic approaches that begin with the problem instead of the solution.

    November 5, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Steve the Canadian

    In a story that is completely about McCain, I find it reprehensible that racist comments regarding Obama are made. Really, didn't America grow up last night?

    As for the story, McCain is better off without those hate-mongerers.

    November 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Mel in GA

    McCain did not earn my vote, but this treatment by CPAC is awful

    November 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. chris

    Now that Obama won we should not be refering to black people as African Americans we are all Americans whether you are white,black red, yellow purple ,or any color a nation divided can not stand it is noe time to put that behind us.I do not feel that calling yourself something other than an American is unpatriotic.

    November 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  7. Helena

    Even though I am beyond thrilled that Barack Obama will be the next president John McCain is a good and decent man that deserves all Americans respect for his service to our country. Did you all not listen to President Elect Obama's speech last night?

    November 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  8. Joy

    Joe the Plumber was invited!!

    November 5, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  9. David

    Conservatives need to open their eyes to the realities of the nation. I'm tired of hearing the Republican's claim how this is a center-right nation and that President-Elect Obama needs to govern with this in mind.

    He was NOT elected as center-right candidate. He was elected because he wants to move beyond this and bring everyone together to work for the greater good of the country rather than for partisan purposes.

    Conservatives you do not define this country-WE DEFINE OURSELVES. Quit trying to throw your weight around and control our lives.

    We are a diverse nation and need to celebrate that diversity while working for the common good of our country instead of own special interests.

    We all love this nation and want nothing but the best for our country that does not just belong to you.

    McCain should be a part of your efforts because he can help you move closer to the center and help your overcome your extremist views.

    You the conservatives must become engaged in and a part of the reality that is this nation.

    November 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  10. Schneider (I) - CA

    Ouch! He loses the election because he moved too far to the right, and now those same righties won't let him play in their reindeer games.

    November 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  11. Dave in Atlanta

    That's mean-spirited on the part of CPAC. Even if they don't agree with his politics and are dissapointed at his performance, he was still their candidate and is still definitely a party leader.

    November 5, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  12. Chardonnay

    See this is the first mistake of reform the GOP is making. McCain would have won if he would have stuck to being someone who could work across the aisle and not be so far to the right and unreasonable. He bought into their gimmicks by picking Palin instead of picking a presidential choice. McCain is conservatie but not Bush/Palin conservative and America voted against that last nigt duh GOP....its like they dont get it!

    November 5, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. Ian

    The American public has had its fill of Extremism.


    If that's the case, then why did this country just go to the extreme left?

    McCain is a centrist, and because of that, he was ridiculed by both parties; the Republicans because he agreed with Democrats too much, and the Democrats because he carried the Republican tag.

    When a boat is about to capsize because too many people are on one side of it, you don't make a mad rush for the other side. Unfortunately, that's precisely what this country has done in electing the most liberal President in history supported by a Democratic-led Congress. Now, the boat is going to capsize in the other direction.

    It's well past time for a viable Independent party in this country that represents where most of us really stand: in the middle.

    November 5, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Diane - Indy

    In McCain's speech last night, I heard a man who seemed to speak from his heart. It is a shame the GOP used him, brainwashed him, and then kicked him to the side. I didn't care for him during the campaign but gained great respect for you last night.

    Mr. McCain, last night your words were clean and from the heart. It was almost as if you woke up and saw what you had become and that you had been used. Empty out the GOP garbage and continue to be the great man God created YOU to be. There is something better for you than being their scape goat.

    November 5, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. Obama voter

    It really doesn't say much for the state of Alaska. First they vote in Sarah Palin as Governor. Now based on the other article here, the people of Alaska have all but voted to reelect Senator Stevens. Atleast now we know for sure that the people of Alaska don't really care who they vote for and that those people don't need to have any requirements, honesty or integrity to get a high profile job in their state.

    November 5, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. California Gold

    Frankly if Palin is the new face of the Conservative PAC, then McCain should be flattered they excluded him. This election cycle gave conservatives a very ugly, mean and hateful meaning. The Conservative Barry Goldwater type, which was tolerable, has given way to hate, narrow minded, bigots. Blech.

    November 5, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. JOHN


    November 5, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  18. Change 08


    Why, because he is half black/half white or is it his name? Give me one good reason? Maybe you need to turn your grandparents around and tell them to let it go....It is about time we have other cultures and other race working in the government other than the white race! Maybe you can learn a lesson or two.....

    November 5, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  19. JOhn

    rave leave this site ur very ignorant, SMFH

    November 5, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  20. Rachael

    When the Republicans decide to take time and look at where the majority of Americans stand, they'll see where all just right of center. The radical right wing-nuts have alienated many of us, including Colin Powell.

    Move left, get real, pay attention, listen to the people and change the way you do business. That's the only way you'll ever get my vote again.

    One candidate's race and another's gender played no part in my vote. What mattered was the issues, which the Repubs failed to adequately address. But who has time for issues when you're being mavericks and telling tall tales around the campfire? Or spending hundreds of thousands of contributor dollars on a wardrobe? The "lipstick on a pig" comment has never been truer.

    Yes we did! 08

    November 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  21. jimmy-ohio

    I am a proud dem today but reading these posts bother me greatly.Our candidate ran on healing wounds and bring ALL America together.While I understand the desire to gloat after the last 8 years as well as the tone of the republican campaign,NOW is the time to bring us all together.If the conservative wing doesn't want McCain we should embrace him to our fold not castigate him.Do not let Obama's message be trampled by the rush for payback.I welcome all my friends who are republican to to join us and look forward to the future.Sadly I feel that before anyone jumps me for being a "plant" ,I must say i ran for office as a dem and lost in the primary.Follow our new presidents message and UNITE this country,it will feel better than cheap payback

    November 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. ST

    I think that's terrible.

    November 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  23. Ohh NOO!!

    There is a striking difference between republicans and democrats. During Senator McCain’s concession speech, every time he mentioned President Elect Barack H. Obama you heard enough boo’s that he had to raise his hands to quiet them. When Obama spoke about McCain you heard either respectful silence or some cheers. Senator McCain of 2000 would have won the election or made it close, the fact that he sold out to the far right Bush machine did him in. I’m 100% positive he didn’t mean a lot of the negative stuff his campaign was endorsing. If republicans want to be included in 21st century America they need to shed the fear tactics and come up with better solutions than lowering taxes for the wealthy.

    November 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  24. mbg

    Sen. McCain did not lose this election it wa sthe Republican party that did it they made him choose an ill equipt running mate that was aloud to spew hate and throw accusation around about a setting US senator. She aloud Hank Williams JR. to say Obama doesnt like the National Anthem or the Pledge an dshe was a few feet away. I dont buy she never heard a racist comment from her supporters. I surley did. I dont know if that is the true lady we say or some manufacterd right wing whack job.

    McCain is a man of honor and the Republicans are lucky to have him, they are at fault. I am wondering did they invite that hate monger Dole to this conferance? I am sorry if the best that the Republican party has to offer is Mrs. Palin I will cast my vote again for President Elect Obama.

    November 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Sally Independent

    If Jindal wants a political career , he should stay away from this movement. The country is slowly moving away from these right wing conservatives. McCain's campaign should of seen that coming. It's time to move forward.

    November 5, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
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