September 18th, 2009
06:30 AM ET
13 years ago

2012 on the ballot at conservative conference

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will speak at the conference on Friday evening."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Conservatives will descend upon the nation's capital Friday for the 2009 "Values Voter Summit," the fourth annual gathering of like-minded political activists who will plot 2010 strategy and hear several potential presidential prospects discuss the GOP's future.

In-between speeches, attendees will also participate in forums with titles ranging from “Thugocracy: Fighting The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” to “Global Warming Hysteria.”

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the weekend will be "2012 Presidential Straw Poll," the results of which are scheduled to be announced Saturday.

The potential Republican candidates on the ballot are: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Romney won a similar straw poll in February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, which was held at the same hotel and featured many of the same speakers. Romney also won the last Values Voter straw poll - in October 2007 - when he narrowly defeated Huckabee in a vote that was open to both attendees and people who signed up to vote on the internet. This year’s survey will only be open to conference-goers.

Just four of the Republicans on the ballot will actually attend the event. Pence, Huckabee and Pawlenty will address the conference on Friday morning, while Romney will deliver remarks on Saturday.

Palin was invited to the event, but according to organizers, the former GOP vice presidential nominee never confirmed she would attend.

Among the other conservative luminaries slated to speak: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Georgia Rep. Tom Price, New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Miss California Carrie Prejean.

Filed under: Mike Huckabee • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Ron Paul • Sarah Palin • Tim Pawlenty
soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Pragmatic

    Will someone, anyone, show me the facts? I want proof of when any conservative idea, put into real use, in the current century, ever was successful!

    And I mean successful for the nation as a whole ... not just successful for the rich and famous! When did a conservative policy ever do something positive for America? Put your money where your principals are and show me!

    September 18, 2009 06:44 am at 6:44 am |
  2. cbc

    You know that Sarah Palin will be running in 2012 – if she can't bully her way on the GOP ticket, she'll run for some weird right wing party. She doesn't care about the GOP or the USA; she cares about Sarah Palin.

    September 18, 2009 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  3. Issano in Florida

    Is this what the Right Wing has to offer the American people? Obama has no competition from this group. The list of names are all rejects, fear mongers and wackos. With the signing of the health care bill and the resurging of the economy, the Republican party is in for a major defeat in 2010 and beyond.

    September 18, 2009 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  4. SC

    This is the problem with the repubs they never stop to help the American People they only look to win the next election and the next election and the next.........ENOUGH of this STUPIDTY

    September 18, 2009 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I guess with pushing up the primaries so early last cycle, I guess it is no surprise that this is happening. I would hope that these people get their act together and have something to propose. I hate it when they say the current policies are wrong, but they have no alternatives other than what is already here.

    September 18, 2009 07:03 am at 7:03 am |
  6. Tammy

    ya gotta be kiddin', right?

    September 18, 2009 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  7. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Conservatives literally make me sick! I realized that I have a conscience, have compassion and care for my fellow man. I do not hate nor do I want to live in a negative place that is why I no longer consider myself a republican and never will. They are the party of hate.

    September 18, 2009 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  8. truthsayer

    Dream on!!!...Republicans wont smell the WH for the next 12 years, hopefully never again

    September 18, 2009 07:16 am at 7:16 am |
  9. Gary

    Sounds like a gathering of "The World is Flat" society.....

    September 18, 2009 07:34 am at 7:34 am |
  10. Debra R

    Romney or Ron Paul would be my choice They both make sense.

    September 18, 2009 07:42 am at 7:42 am |
  11. WESPAC

    what a bunch. I don't think any of these candidates have the temperment or intelligence to run the US. All names listed here prescribe to hate, bigotry, untruths, and division. Not one of them has any substantive policy stances that the majority of Americans will vote for. I can't wait to see them go at each other in primaries.

    September 18, 2009 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  12. Dee, 1 Vote

    Gov P, I'm voting for Pres Obama in 2012! Remeber, he is doing a GREAT job!

    September 18, 2009 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  13. lieNoMore

    This is the gang of Idiots. Lying pile of hypocritical dirtbags and spoiled rich kids.

    September 18, 2009 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    DON'T count your chickens before they hatch!!!

    September 18, 2009 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  15. Robo

    Is it just me, or is the GOP looking more and more like a bunch of nut jobs?

    September 18, 2009 07:56 am at 7:56 am |
  16. Minnehaha

    "Values", yeah right. Pawlenty may help himself with what the GOP has become, but the rest of us will remember. Why not bring up "States' Rights" and other great slogans from the past. Millions of us shudder to think what comes next? "McCarthyism II"?

    September 18, 2009 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    "Values Voter Summit,"

    After the scandals of Sen. Ensign, Gov. Sanford and the unveiling of C-Street, I don't think republicans and family values belong in the same sentence.

    September 18, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  18. Richard

    Doesn't matter who they select, Obama will beat them because the programs he has implemented will have us back on track, after the distruction of the country by the Bush administration. By that time, we will be on the same path that we were on after the first Clinton administration, which led to a budget surplus.That was a funny thing, when the surplus surfaced, Republicans wanted to give more tax cuts, instead of paying down the debt, which we should have focused on. Now those same Republicans are screaming about the debt.

    September 18, 2009 08:10 am at 8:10 am |
  19. OpenYourMindsAmerica

    Didn't Romney, Huckabee, and Paul lose significantly to McCain last elections? They all lost in a wide disperaty to McCain so what makes them a better candidate now. Palin must be taking a crash course on polotics and foreign affairs so that she can do better than her performance running for VP. Jindal has been no-were-to-be-seen since the embarrassing speech he gave. And, who has heard of the remaining hopefuls? Republicans need some young, fresh, honest leaders to come forward. But, that is hard for them because the elder GOP are to greedy to share. So sad that this is all that Republicans have to offer the public.

    September 18, 2009 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  20. patriot

    I got some forum suggestions:

    "GROW UP: How to act like an adult at a Town Hall meeting (or in the halls of Congress)"

    "DEBUNKING THE FAIRY TALES: The Easter Bunny, the Boogie Man and Death Panels"

    September 18, 2009 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  21. EC

    This is priceless, Pawlenty couldn't even make a decision in the Coleman – Franken issue. He's a WIMP and a spineless leader. Ooops, just what the Republicans need, another spineless clown in the GOP Circus of Clowns.

    If you listen and watch closely, most Republicans are nothing but "STEPFORD WIVES" they robotically mimmic each other and repeat the same tired and old "do as I say, not as I DO" baloney.

    September 18, 2009 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  22. Susan

    I hope they have a runout session on "Civility in American Politics," but then, probably none of them would understand the concept. Since bullying is working so well , and attacks on the President appear to get them points, why should they tone down the hate or tamp down the protestors they have made so angry. When someone dies, maybe they will stop and think, but I doubt it. That, too, will be the fault of the Democrats.

    September 18, 2009 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  23. Ric in PA

    when I read that list of possible GOP candidates, i just wanted to puke. Especially loser Santorum. Not only is he ridiculously stupid, and out of touch with normal people, he is an elitist who thinks only the rich people count. He would be worse than another 8 years of Bush. Why doesn't he get a real job for once – and I don't mean on FOX news – that's not a real job.

    September 18, 2009 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  24. CityOfBlindingLights

    "In-between speeches, attendees will also participate in forums with titles ranging from “Thugocracy: Fighting The Vast Left Wing Conspiracy” to “Global Warming Hysteria.”"

    Please tell me this is a joke, inserted in an otherwise sad story.

    September 18, 2009 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  25. Sam Sixpack

    Our glorious leader offers us a guilt-free excuse to steal the money promised for our grandmothers' health care. Grandma is old, wrinkly and smells funny. Obamacare: pulling the plug – one grandmother at a time.

    Those pesky Republicans are ruining everything.

    September 18, 2009 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
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