The Donald and Sarah Palin hair: a CPAC carnival of conservatism
Day 1 of the Conservative Political Action Conference – or CPAC – included Donald Trump touting himself, Michele Bachmann slamming 'Obamacare,' and Rand Paul talking about massive budget cuts. In other words, a classic CPAC day.
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Mr. Gingrich, who hints every four years he might run for president, but might actually do it this time, focused his remarks on energy policy, proposing replacement of the Environmental Protection Agency with an “environmental solutions agency.” He accused the Obama administration of waging a “war against American energy,” and suggested “it’s time we passed an aggressively pro-American energy policy.”Skip to next paragraph
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Mr. Santorum criticized Obama for siding with the Egyptian protesters instead of longtime American friend, President Hosni Mubarak. “We’ve turned our backs on ... almost all of our allies,” Santorum said. Conservatives have been split, in fact, over how to approach the fast-moving events in Egypt. And it’s doubtful that foreign policy will be the strongest argument against Obama in 2012. But at least the issue came up.
Trump's got 'bravado'
Then there was Trump. Former Michigan GOP chair Saul Anuzis summed up his 10-minute speech in one word: “bravado.” It’s highly questionable, perhaps even doubtful that the billionaire real estate developer and reality TV star will actually run, but in his CPAC appearance he showed how to own a room. And he got off some good lines, mostly centered on his own greatness.
“If I run and if I win, this country has a chance of being respected again,” he said.
And then this: "Considering the shape the US is in right now, we need a competitive person, a highly competent person, or we're going to have very serious problems, very soon.”
Trump also showed he’s not afraid to tell people the hard truth: “By the way,” he said, “Ron Paul cannot get elected. I’m sorry folks.” The rowdy contingent of Paul supporters booed loudly. “I like Ron Paul,” Trump added, “but he has zero chance of getting elected.”
Congressman Paul will have his chance to respond when he addresses CPAC on Friday. Other possible/probable presidential candidates still to speak are former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, former UN Ambassador John Bolton, and businessman Herman Cain.
On Saturday, the results of a presidential straw poll will be announced. But if the past is any guide, the winner of the CPAC poll will have no bearing on who might actually get the Republican nomination.