Image 01 Image 03

CPAC2016 Tag

Speeches, panels, candidate selfies, cocktail hours, and parties are the lifeblood of CPAC, the annual conservative conference. But what really happens at CPAC? Our good friends at Ben Howe Creative published what might be the most important CPAC video EVER:

Many speeches were given at CPAC this weekend, but one stood out from the rest. Conservative author, activist and entrepreneur Michelle Malkin gave a fiery speech in which she reminded movement conservatives that they have been repeatedly betrayed by the Republican Party. Malkin began her speech by saying:
"It's not people outside the party that have thrown the conservative grassroots base under the bus. It's the people who have paid lip-service to limited government while gorging on it."
She was only getting started. In the course of her seventeen minute speech, she went after Republicans for the Gang of Eight, Common Core, cronyism, immigration and more. She slammed the party elites who smear and sneer at the conservative grassroots as fringe while pretending to support causes they care about at election time.

Marco Rubio spoke at CPAC this morning. Based on the video, it looked like a full house and enthusiastic crowd. The Washington Times reports:
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida on Saturday told the conservative grassroots that the country’s young people won’t have a chance if Democrats keep control of the White House — or if the conservative movement is “hijacked” by someone who’s not a conservative. “Being a conservative can never be about simply an attitude. Being a conservative cannot simply be about how long you’re willing to scream, how angry you’re willing to be, or how many names you’re willing to call people,” Mr. Rubio said at the 2016 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), to sustained applause. “I think there’s a growing amount of confusion about what conservatism is,” he said. “And it is time for us to understand that conservatism is not built on personalities. Conservatism is not simply built on how angry you might seem from time to time.”

In his speech Thursday at CPAC, Rick Santorum spent much of his time describing to the crowd what he believes everyday, blue-collar Republican is feeling. While much of the party as a whole is frightened over the possibility of a Trump nomination, Santorum stressed to CPAC that the blue-collar conservative has been worried about not just the party, but the country for decades. "They're seeing the conservative movement, the Republican party potentially being torn up. They're nervous as all heck as to what they're going to do," Santorum said. "Well, now you know how the American public has been feeling over the past ten, twenty, thirty years. " Santorum centered his speech around two statistics, one being that 90% of Americans aged 25-65 are working and the other that almost 70% Americans aged 25-65 do not hold a college degree. Bringing back themes similar to his 2012 presidential campaign, Santorum stressed that conservatives among the above groups have significant worries about their jobs, families, and the trajectory of the country since. They have had these concerns since the end of the Reagan presidency afterglow.

Ted Cruz is an excellent public speaker, and today's CPAC speech was yet more evidence of this (and look, Obama, no teleprompter!). The crowd is clearly enthusiastic about Cruz, the raucous cheers almost drown out his introduction.  Of course he takes jabs at Trump for cancelling his scheduled CPAC appearance, saying that Trump must have heard that Megyn Kelly, conservatives, libertarians, or young people would be there.  The crowd went wild.  There were a few lone voices trying to chant "Trump, Trump, Trump," but they were quickly drowned out by the CPAC audience's booing. Cruz gives a wonderful speech about the principles that make America great in the first place, something he implies is not well-understood by Trump, and he talks about how to free the economy, secure our nation, and keep Americans free in the process:  jobs, security, and liberty were his themes.

One has to wonder if the increasing conservative attacks are the reason why Donald Trump dropped out of his CPAC appearance at the last minute. At least the Twitter chatter I've seen the past day from people at the conference was pretty hostile. And let's face it, Ted Cruz took him to the cleaners last night at the debate on conservative issues.