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

McCain not included on CPAC invite

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. IowaMom

    A Great Man:

    McCain himself said we need to unite together and support Obama. I guess you aren't near the good man he is huh?

    I may not have voted for him, but his concession speak was wonderful, I guess some people would just rather keep on hating.

    November 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. kathy

    I am a married, mother of two. I am so tired on the conservative – liberal labels. My views are personal – I am Catholic, pro-choice and I consider choice to be the conservative view. This country has spoken and decisively chosen the candidate who is articulate, well educated and inclusive all many skin colors and religions.

    There are clear reasons for separation of church and state. When candidates as inept as Palin are chosen to appease the "religious right", then there is something wrong with the voice of the "right" wing, which I have grown to believe is a danger to our democracy. Let the Republican Party learn that we do not clearly fit into their neat little categories.

    November 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    How pathetic that the CPAC throws John McCain 'WAR HERO' under the bus! Really disgusting, considering ALL John McCain has done for his party and the Nation!

    This article just confirms my reason for no longer being a Republican, they are despicable!

    November 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  4. tas in wisconsin

    It's done America has cast their vote,we need to come together and help our leaders rebuild what we knock down. stop looking at Obamba as black but look at him as an American. We need to work together stop beating each other down we are American lets start acting like it.

    November 5, 2008 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Erica

    Senator McCain was very gracious in his speech last night. I wonder had he run his campaign the same way, we might have seen a different outcome. I wish him and Cindy well. Whether you voted for him or not, now is the time to come together to stand behind our next President: Barack Obama. Acting like whiners, and being a sore loser is not good for the soul. The Obamas need to feel our support, prayers, and strength as one nation, under God, and indivisible. God bless the Obama family and God bless America!

    November 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  6. RealAmerican

    As I read all the comments made I can see why things went the way they did. Just in case you don't know the Dems have controlled everything for over two years and several years before the 2006 change. Folks we just put the Fox in the Hen House. The ones crying raceism are the reason this country has now going to pot. Wake up and look at what you just did. The man could be green and that would not change his thinking. He is a disaster looking for a place to happen and we the true real Americans are going to pay a very steep price. I hope the tratiors to this country are happen they deserve what ever they get.

    November 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  7. Honker Bob

    Mike – I suggest that you step back a bit and re-evaluate. Ultra conservatism represented by Palin is dying. The Republican Party needs to come to grips with it and move away from such extremism.

    November 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. PDX for Obama

    Unbelievable! :
    "Obama for President; I believe my grandparents just rolled over in their graves.Ugh!
    2012!!!! Anyone but Obama…"

    Do I detect a bit of racism here??

    November 5, 2008 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  9. George

    The current Republican base can never win another national election. They represent the parts of American culture that should be in its rearview mirror. The fact that a polarizing force such as Sarah Palin represents it's future shows just how out of touch CPAC is.

    November 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  10. Mike

    William that may be the best comment ever on a CNN blog!!!

    Palin in 2012!!!

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

    To the ignorant who voted for Obama, enjoy the socialist, third world country we are about to become, please don't come crying to the Independants and Liberal Republicans once you realize the magnitude of your mistake. There will be no mercy. You have sealed Americas fate for the worse.

    November 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  12. vahe

    bye bye bye bye bye mccain/palin yes we can!!!!!!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  13. Chip

    Palin Rocks and was the only Conservative on the Presidential ballot.

    Respectfully, John , find a nice quiet place, enjoy your retirement and stop meddling in Conservative Principles.

    We need to return to our roots and no more compromising. We have to toughen up and stop bending over to placate any da* Liberal. NO MORE....Meet me in the middle.

    No Liberal ever met any one in the middle unless their private parts were being gripped by a real conservative.

    November 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  14. bruce

    Did not you listen to speeches by both last night?
    The devisive comments and partison feelings need to be put away and we need to come together as a nation.
    A house divided against itself will inherit the wind.

    November 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  15. Sara

    Don't do it Bobby!!!!!! You may actually have a chance in the future!!!!!

    November 5, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. Joe the Drunk

    I don't see how Palin helped McCain. It's not as if right wing conservatives would have voted for Obama or Nader. McCain should have embraced his real roots and run closer to the center. He deserved to lose for running to the right.

    November 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  17. BuckeyeGrad

    Before he chose Palin, I, a lifelong Democrat actually respected John McCain. Although I have issues with many of his decisions (tax breaks for firms sending jobs overseas really gets in my craw) he seemed like a viable candidate. But Palin? Come on people! There were so many others they could have chosen. I still don't get what they were thinking.

    And to Unbelievable, why don't you just put on your hood for crying out loud? Get over yourself and your obvious issues. Just put on your "I'm a racist" t-shirt and walk down the avenue. And to the yahoo who will not refer to President Elect Obama as president: crawl back under the same rock as Unbelievable you two deserve each other. The people have spoken and the world response is evident. America has not been the best neighbor in the last eight years and the world is holding us accountable for it. We have lost our status and we need to get our act together. Haven't you ever wondered what has been done in our name that we don't know about? Why so many people hate us? I love my country even when it hasn't always loved me, but we have work to do. America has to come down off of its high horse and realize we're not the only ones in this world.

    If we don't learn to get over our differences and meet somewhere in the middle, we are doomed. The GOP does need to get away from its extreme ways and realize that it is a new day.

    November 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  18. Mr Conservative

    It's simple. They understand the reason the Republican ticket lost is because they did NOT stick to Conservative Pricinples. When conservatives do stick to their principles they WIN, just like Reagan, and California proposition 8. The American people DO support conservative pricniples and values, NOT liberal radicalism. Next time we need to run a TRUE conservative candidate that sticks to conservative principles, and we CAN'T LOOSE!!! Particularly after four years of the liberal socialist fiasco that awaits us now!

    November 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  19. Former Republican in TX ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    CPAC– is that some kind of acronym for "bigots" and "racists" and "keep the little lady under your thumb"???

    November 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. frank

    I wouldn't say that McCain got beat by the better man as someone indicated. He got beat not by the better an but by "the thought of him being a Republican and all the problems that the current adminstration created. In this past election, there was not better man or person running for election than a "true hero" John McCain

    November 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Ricky

    The people that make up this great nation spoke loud and clear last night. Obama / Biden will be the the best President & Vice President this country has seen in years.
    The majority of Americans are fed-up with the republican BS and being to far to the right. Nothing wrong with being conservitive, but the "ultra conservitive" wing is destructive.
    John McCain should take it as a compliment that he is not invited.

    November 5, 2008 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  22. Rave

    To John,
    I understand your anger, rage over my comments.
    Now, think about it ... How would Mr. Brack Obama , a true Patriotic American – have felt , when you guys were accusing him of terrorist connections and being un-patriotic ??
    So, now you know how it is to make false allegations and test the patriotism of a fellow American.

    November 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  23. Carmen

    People are so out of control. President elect barack Obama deserves our support and respect. Even McCain stated that last night in the most eloquent speech he has made to date.

    Please people you don't have to agree with President Elect Obama but he has a monumental accomplishment and we all need to get behind this president.

    No one is rolling in their graves but looking forward to a brighter more hopeful tomorrowm

    November 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  24. LIP

    Is it necessary to kick people after they are down?
    Is it necessary to mock them and make vile remarks of those that put everything on the line to represent their party, whether it be Democrat or Republican? I would like to hear from Barrack Obama that enough is enough and we should move on an d begin the process of putting this nation back together and we should begin this process now on these blog sites or maybe CNN should simply not make them available anymore.

    November 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  25. Nik

    They're always eating their own. The republicans that will return to or make their first trip to Washington can either get with the program or get the hell out of office! The majority of Americans can care less about ideology. We've got work to do.


    November 5, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
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