Tag Archives: CPAC 2013

The Gun-Totin’ Mama Grizzly: Sarah Palin Rallies the Troops at CPAC

Palin CPACOn the final day of the 40th annual CPAC 2013, conservative darling, Sarah Palin (former Governor of Alaska) took the stage in the main ballroom. The conference-goers had begun making their way into the ballroom at the tail end of the session that preceded hers, quickly leaving standing room only. That Palin was introduced by a representative of the NRA definitely set the stage for the references to guns and Constitutionality that would litter her speech.

In her brief introduction, Vanessa Younes of the National Rifle Association advised the audience to “always shake things up.” This nod to the renegade Sarah Palin continued, describing her as “a pioneer, a patriot” with “undeniable charm and confidence.” The crowd took to its feet to welcome the featured speaker, but instead of Palin, the keynoter, Ted Cruz (R-TX), took the stage first. With his famous ear-to-ear grin, Cruz said to the confused crowd, “As all of you know, I’m not nearly cool enough to be Sarah Palin,” but said he came out on stage to thank her publicly for her ongoing support of Tea Party candidates and noted that she “drives the mainstream media bat crap crazy.”

Cruz welcomed Sarah Palin onto the stage, where she wasted no time launching into attacks on Obama and the mainstream media. To the liberal media attending CPAC to report on the “annual conservative-in-crisis story,” and whom she asked to identify themselves with a show of hands, she said, “Be proud, you’re loud, and we’re used to it.”

In usual fashion, she hit Obama pretty hard and got a great deal of laughs and applause. On the recent election, she acknowledged that yes, we did just lose a big one: “We came in second…out of two.” What we really wanted, she said, was to see Obama “bubble wrap the Nobel…and the golf clubs…and the hi-tops,” but, addressing Obama directly, she said, now it’s time to “step away from the teleprompter and do your job!”

Some of her other great Obama-busting lines:
“We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington. We have reality television.”
“Obama is a good politician, which is like saying Bernie Madoff was a good salesman.”
“More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President! Shoulda started with yours!”

The consistent message of her talk to the conservative audience was that we’re not here to rebrand the party; we’re here to restore America. “Never before have our challenges been so big and our leaders so small.” She encouraged people to identify folks they know and “encourage her…or him…to run for office!” noting that “the last thing we need is Washington, DC vetting our candidates.”

Now a hallmark of Palin speeches, she became rather antagonistic when speaking of the current President’s disdain for the Constitution. She cited “Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution” saying, “No budget for four years is government refusing to declare what it intends to do with the people’s money. Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration…Barack Obama, you lie!”

Over the years since Palin has been in the national spotlight, she’s consistently held the affection of the GOP, in large part for the relate-ability of her personality. She talks about her personal life in way that middle-America can connect with. When she turned to discussion of the Second Amendment today, for example, she referenced the gifts she and hubby Todd bought each other for Christmas. She described a gun rack he bought her to attach to the couple’s four wheeler and the gun she bought him to put on it, saying, “Yep, I got the rack, he got the rifle.” For probably the tenth time during her speech, the crowd erupted in laughter and applause.

In perhaps the funniest moment of her 25-minute long speech, however, Palin reached down beneath the podium and returned with a Super Big Gulp filled with “pop,” from which she took a rather large swig …and again, the crowd went wild.

Whether you are a Sarah Palin fan or not, there is no denying that she gets the conservative crowd riled up, especially when she starts in on Big Government’s infringement on Americans’ rights. She connects with most subsets of the conservative movement to some degree: gun owners, hockey moms, Christians, small business owners, women (shouting “Amen, sista!” while talking about Margaret Thatcher), and even college Republicans (whom she said should be “thinking like Sam Adams and not drinking Sam Adams”). Her speeches are always guaranteed to entertain, and considering the lack of energy in many of the other speeches at this year’s CPAC, Sara Palin’s Big Gulp moment was a welcome change of pace.


America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives
New Challenges Timeless Principles

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson returned to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) stage for the ever-popular “Fight Club 2013: A Liberal & A Conservative Duke it Out,” moderated by Colin Hanna, President of Let Freedom Ring. Begala is a CNN Political Contributor and Democratic strategist who frequently appears on CNN’s The Situation Room as well as other programs on all CNN networks. Carlson is a 20-year media veteran with a wide variety of experience in journalism and is currently a contributor to FOX News.
Both panelists sparred over a variety of issues including Benghazi, health care, and large sodas.  With over three rounds of energetic conversation, Begala and Carlson concluded with a lightening round addressing topics such as the hit movie Argo, Afghanistan, IRS, Putin, NRA, Ashley Judd, Clinton Eastwood, Tea Party, Ronald Reagan, President Obama, and God.

CPAC 2013 Stands With Rand

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this week in National Harbor, just across the river from Washington, DC, did not appear to be a depressed gathering of Republicans and conservatives still reeling from last November’s presidential loss. There was friendly rivalry between supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL), but I saw no evidence of divisive infighting and vicious internal attempts to gain mainstream media publicity at the expense of fellow party members.

But then again an impressive contingent of off–duty police officers was probably more than enough to keep John McCain and Lindsey Graham from attending the conference.

The opening day of CPAC 2013 evolved into a faceoff between two potential Republican presidential candidates: the aforementioned Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Judging by the crowd’s reception, Paul was the winner.

Rubio — America’s foremost spokesman for regular hydration — did not address immigration, the issue he’s been most associated with this year. Instead the bulk of Rubio’s speech, once we got past the H2O jokes, was fairly standard — although he did touch on the call for a remodeled Republican party.

Rubio said the goal of the Republican Party should be to “create an agenda to apply our time–tested principles to the challenges of today” because average Americans are asking, “who is fighting for them?”

Specifically, Rubio believes the US should be the best place in the world to create middle–class jobs and to facilitate that the country must solve the federal government’s debt and spending problem. Republicans should stress pro–growth energy policies that include both oil and gas. On the home front, he wants every parent to have an opportunity to send their children to “the school of their choice.” And we need real heath care reform that empowers Americans so they can buy insurance from any company, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

The young senator also addressed leftist critics and predicted they will downplay his speech and claim that he didn’t offer any new ideas. “We don’t need a new idea. The idea is called America and it still works,” Rubio responded as the audience applauded.

It would have been the best conservative speech of the day, if Rand Paul had not made an appearance.

It was a standing–room only crowd that anticipated Paul’s appearance and it erupted in applause as he brandished the binders he used during his drone filibuster in the Senate and declared, “I was told I only had ten measly minutes, but just in case I brought 13 hours worth of information.”

Paul — who gives hope to the curly–haired since no one will ever call him ‘blow dried’ — began by explaining that the motivation for his filibuster was to question whether presidential power has limits: “We want to know will you or won’t you defend the Constitution?”

As an audience member called out, “Don’t drone me, bro!” Paul explained that the president’s good intentions are not enough. “No one person gets to decide the law,” he said. And that’s his philosophy in a nutshell: leaders must defend and abide by the Constitution even when it’s not convenient.

Paul then moved to compare his conservative philosophy with that of Obama’s, which has proven to be you can have your cake and eat your neighbor’s, too. He quoted Ronald Reagan who said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

With that in mind he proposed a five–year plan to balance the budget. Paul’s blueprint cuts the corporate income tax in half, creates a flat personal income tax of 17.5 percent, erases the regulations “strangling American business” and eliminates the Department of Education entirely giving the power and the money back to the states.

Paul observed without mentioning names that the GOP “of old has grown stale and moss–covered.” His new GOP will need a big tent because it will “embrace economic and personal liberty. Liberty needs to be the backbone of the Republican Party and I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.”

And the crowd did, giving him a standing ovation that easily eclipsed the response to Rubio’s earlier speech.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Conservative Union (ACU) today announced former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will address CPAC 2013 – the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference. America’s largest gathering of conservative leaders and activists will be held Thursday, March 14 – Saturday, March 16, 2013.

“We are pleased to announce that my friend Governor Jeb Bush will be a featured speaker at CPAC 2013,” said ACU Chairman Al Cardenas. “We look forward to welcoming Governor Jeb Bush to the CPAC stage for the first time in March.”

Governor Jeb Bush was elected Florida’s 43rd Governor in 1998, and was re-elected in 2002. During his two terms, Governor Bush revolutionized the education system to achieve dramatic rising student achievement, provided substantial, broad based tax relief and economic incentives to strengthen and diversify Florida’s economy. He also initiated measures to strengthen families, help the state’s most vulnerable citizens, and protect Florida’s natural resources.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference, to be held March 14-16, 2013, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, will provide three days of blockbuster speeches, policy discussions and networking opportunities – all celebrating the shared principles of smaller government, a strong national defense and traditional American values. The ACU has hosted CPAC in the Nation’s Capital since 1973, and it now stands as the largest annual gathering of conservatives in the country.

The CPAC 2013 schedule and list of confirmed speakers will be announced in the coming weeks. Previously announced confirmed featured speakers include: former U.S. Representative Artur Davis, former Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, U.S. Senator Mike Lee, U.S. Senator Rand Paul, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, U.S. Representative Paul Ryan, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, former U.S. Representative Allen West and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

For additional information, visit the ACU website at conservative.org/cpac2013, on Facebook at facebook.com/CPACNews, or on Twitter at @cpacnews and #CPAC2013.