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Salman: Republicans make right decision

by focusing on millennial voters


http://www.dailyorange.com/2015/03/salman-republicans-make-right-decision-by-focusing-onmillennial-voters/
Published on March 4, 2015 at 12:05 am
By Vanessa Salman
This past weekend, Conservative leaders and activists came together at the Gaylord National Convention
Center & Resort in National Harbor, Maryland for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
From prominent media talking heads, to potential presidential hopefuls, CPAC was the No. 1 spot for all
things politically conservative.
This year, the American Conservative Union, which hosts the event, made a few changes to the
conference. The most important one, however, was that it made its target audience clear: young voters. By
making this crucial alteration to such a major event, the ACU is paving the path for the party itself to
follow. If the GOP takes this advice, then the 2016 presidential election will be a walk in the park.
While the issues and policies discussed throughout the four-day conference affect each and every person
in attendance, they have more of an affect on young voters. In a majority of speeches given at CPAC, it
was said that reform is necessary to alleviate the financial and social burdens on the future generations.
The cohort politicians were referring to is current millennials.
Four notable speakers who appealed to the younger crowd were Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Gov. Chris
Christie (R-N.Y.), Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers (Wash.) and Donald Trump.
Paul had one of the strongest fan bases at the conference, which explains his third consecutive victory in
the straw poll. Despite the heavy content of his speech, mainly focusing on foreign policy and the Islamic
State, the crowd cheered President Paul like there was no tomorrow. Christie and McMorris Rogers
both spoke about their humble beginnings. Christie reminisced about growing up in a middle class family
with hard-working parents, and McMorris Rogers spoke about her journey from working as a
McDonalds drive-thru cashier to becoming a member of Congress. Lastly, Donald Trump was a major hit
with college Republicans, but that was not because of his speech. If anything, his speech detracted from
the overall wow factor that came with Donald Trumps attendance.
Despite some Republican political actors taking necessary steps to appeal to young voters, the party at
large needs to do the same. It will take more than former Gov. Jeb Bush taking selfies at happy hour to do
that. That doesnt mean that its not a starting point, however. Politicians need to overcome the cold,
robotic, bland stereotype that GOP members are associated with. By Republicans humanizing themselves,
they will attract younger voters regardless of political affiliation. The Democratic Party has one thing

going for them, and that is its strategic utilization of social media. If the GOP wants to become the party
of cool, they can start taking notes from President Barack Obamas campaign in 2012.
The Republican Party has already started to make strides to achieve this goal. It wasnt just the conference
that charmed young Republicans, but the various events occurring outside of CPAC itself were targeted to
that key demographic. From the College Republican National Committee hosting happy hours and
brunches with potential presidential candidates, to the Young Conservative Coalitions annual
Reaganpalooza, college-aged Republicans were bound to find something to do after convention hours.
The conventions planners took necessary measures to appeal to youth this year, however, they still have
more work ahead of them. Young voters are a crucial demographic that the party needs to reclaim. Come
election season, it will be important to captivate Generation Y if leaders want to obtain or remain in
power.
Vanessa is a sophomore policy studies major. Her column appears weekly. She can be reached at
vksalman@syr.edu and followed on Twitter at @VanessaSalman.

(Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

What determines the perfect candidate for


2016?
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_GOP_2016_PERFECT_CANDIDATE?
SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAUL
3:46 p.m. CST March 2, 2015
By: Nancy Benac

WASHINGTON Let's say, for a moment, that America has given you the job of picking the perfect
candidate for president. Good luck, Mr. or Ms. Voter, deciding what they've got to have and what they
can do without.

There are all sorts of things to start the list: leadership, vision, charisma, communication skills and foreign
policy cred. And more: fundraising prowess, authenticity, empathy, a keen understanding of the
presidency and maybe a little familiarity with running for the office.
And even more: good looks are always a plus, even if people don't want to admit it. For many, being an
"outsider" is a must at a time when "Washington" is on the outs with a lot of people.
Where do you even start? For Republicans, you can't do much better than last week's Conservative
Political Action Conference. There were as many as two dozen GOP hopefuls eyeing the party's
nomination in 2016, and many of them were offering themselves at CPAC as the perfect prom date for
conservatives in search of a winning candidate.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, and Wisconsin

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker share a laugh Sept. 29 as Walker campaigns at Empire Bucket in Hudson. Walker, Christie
and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are among at least 10 current and former governors considering a bid. (Photo: File/AP)

Can anyone claim the total package? Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which
runs CPAC, sees a strong lineup of potential candidates and says that now, "they're going to preen and
strut and we're going to see a president emerge."
But you know how schoolgirls may dream up the perfect boyfriend by imagining a mashup of the jock,
the hottie and the smart kid, with a whiff of bad boy for excitement? What if Republicans could do the
same to assemble their dream candidate to go up against the Democratic nominee, who most expect will
be Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Here's a look at a few qualities they might want to pick from, and some of the candidates with something
to offer.

LEADERSHIP
Pick a governor. Wisconsin's Scott Walker, New Jersey's Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
are among at least 10 current and former governors considering a bid. Says Walker, "Governors are the
ones who get things done." One other option: Carly Fiorina, a former tech executive, has the initials
"CEO" on her resume.
COMMUNICATION
Grab a senator. Boy, do they know how to talk. There are at least five current and former senators
considering running, and Florida's Marco Rubio, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Texan Ted Cruz are all known
for giving a good speech. Rubio has the added benefit of a compelling back story to share on the stump:
he's the son of Cuban immigrants who came to the U.S. seeking a better life.
THE OUTSIDER
Walker is a Harley-riding preacher's son who's been governor since 2011 and cultivated the image of the
outside-Washington upstart. He's best known for a taking on public unions, and surviving a 2012 recall
election after that brouhaha.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush speaks to the Chicago
Former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush speaks to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs on Feb. 18 in Chicago.
Most voters dont really care about campaign finance, but raking in cash is an essential skill for any
successful candidate, and Bush is in a position to do just that. (Photo: M. Spencer Green/AP)
UNDERSTANDING THE PRESIDENCY
Hands down, this is Bush he's the son and brother of former presidents. No one else can claim the
same intimacy with the office, says Schlapp, who calls Bush a "historical anomaly." But, then again, that
whole Bush dynasty thing is a downside to those with bad memories of presidents 41 and 43.
CAMPAIGN EXPERIENCE
A handful of White House potentials have been here, done that. How much did they learn last time out?
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was the last candidate standing in opposition to Mitt Romney
for the GOP nomination in 2012, a role played by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee against John
McCain in 2008.
FOREIGN POLICY
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the Armed Services Committee who has traveled
extensively to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel and more, and serves in the U.S. Air Force Reserves at the rank of
captain, has a fluency with foreign affairs that stands out. Rubio, who serves on the Foreign Relations and
Intelligence committees, is well-versed on Latin America.
Foreign policy is typically a weak area for governors, which may be why Christie, Walker and Louisiana
Gov. Bobby Jindal have all trooped to London in recent weeks. In a recent speech on foreign policy, Bush
stressed that he had lived in Venezuela for a time, led 15 trade missions as Florida governor and traveled

extensively since then. "I forced myself to go visit Asia four times a year to learn about the dynamic
nature of the region," he said.
FUNDRAISING
Bush. Most voters don't really care about campaign finance, but raking in cash is an essential skill for any
successful candidate. Veteran GOP fundraiser Fred Malek predicts Bush will raise twice as much money
as any other GOP candidate, but he says other leading candidates, including Christie and Walker, can raise
enough to compete.
AUTHENTICITY
Paul has a reputation for candor that endears him to many, but sometimes gets him into trouble. Christie
has the authenticity factor in spades, for better or worse. His tell-it-like-it-is bravado is a plus to some and
a huge turnoff to others. "The knock on him is that he is who he is," Schlapp said. "Some people love that,
and maybe some people don't."
GOOD LOOKS
There's no People Magazine list of the hottest candidates. But you can bet most of these candidates like
what they see in the mirror.

The Latest Anti-Choice Strategy: Less


Planned Parenthood Bashing, More
Insurance Bans
http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2015/03/04/latest-anti-choice-strategy-less-planned-parenthoodbashing-insurance-bans/
March 4, 2015
by Emily Crockett, Federal Policy Reporter, RH Reality Check

To win over the middle, anti-choice leaders argued at CPAC, it's more helpful to message around
"incremental" abortion restrictions like 20-week bans or insurance coverage restrictions.
To win over the middle, anti-choice leaders argued at CPAC, it's more helpful to message around
"incremental" abortion restrictions like 20-week bans or insurance coverage restrictions. (Shutterstock)
Click here to read more of RH Reality Checks coverage of the 2015 Conservative Political Action
Conference.
Abortion issues were mostly treated as an afterthought on the main stage of this years Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC). But in breakout panels, anti-choice groups had in-depth discussions
with supporters about strategies to continue rolling back access to reproductive health care.
Representatives from the anti-choice groups Americans United for Life (AUL), Susan B. Anthony (SBA)
List, and National Right to Life spoke to CPAC attendees Friday and Saturday at panels called Baby
Steps: The Pro-Life Success Story and Supply-Side Strategy: Exposing and Confronting the Abortion
Industry as Big Business.
AUL President Charmaine Yoest started one panel with stories about rogue abortion provider Kermit
Gosnell, providing misleading anecdotal evidence that abortion, an exceptionally safe procedure, harms
women.
Why, as Im talking about the abortion industry, am I so emphasizing women? Yoest said. Its not
something that the pro-life movement is necessarily known for.
The answer, she said, involves legal strategy.

Since Supreme Court precedent from Roe v. Wade stipulates that the state has a compelling interest to
protect womens health, Yoest said, it stands to reason that the anti-choice movement has to pursue a
mother and child strategy.
That includes passing laws that ostensibly protect womens health, but actually do nothing of the kind.
AUL has a list of seven key bills to restrict abortion access under the guise of helping women.
The strategy also includes putting shoddy evidence before courts and legislative bodies claiming that safe,
legal abortion harms women more than it helps them, thereby creating a record that future courts or
lawmakers can draw on regardless of scientific merit.
Every time you introduce a bill in the legislature, every time that youre engaging in a public debate over
how were addressing abortion, the legislation youre standing on gives you a chanceto further the
conversation about how it affects women, Yoest said.
As we look at our legislative strategy, we need to tie that into our legal strategy.
Also included in this idea is the so-called supply-side strategy of educating the public about the dangers
of the big business of abortion. Yoest said that Planned Parenthood receives about $1.26 million of
federal tax dollars every dayneglecting to mention that none of that federal money can go toward
performing abortions.
But at another panel, Yoest acknowledged that since most Americans have a positive view of Planned
Parenthood, anti-choice activists need to be training ourselves to speak outside the echo chamber.
Weve got to be careful about our rhetoric, said National Right to Lifes Darla St. Martin. At this point
in time, this time, this place, this is not a good thing to ask your candidates to do publicly. To say, well,
Im opposed to Planned Parenthood. Because, you and us and everybody, we havent yet convinced the
public. And thats our job. We dont want to put the people who we are trying to elect on the line to do the
job that we should be doing.
A better strategy, panelists argued, is to focus the rhetoric on so-called taxpayer-funded abortions. If more
moderate voters can be persuaded by negatively tying the issue to Obamacare, so much the better.
AUL, as RH Reality Check has reported, has led an intense legislative push at the state level to restrict
insurance coverage of abortion care, even though the Affordable Care Act doesnt allow federal money to
be directly spent on the procedure.
Panelists said they focused specifically and narrowly on their top two legislative priorities, restrictions on
insurance abortion coverage and 20-week abortion bans, which are unconstitutional and contradict Roe v.
Wade.
That goes for the federal level as well as the statea national 20-week ban bill was pulled after a GOP
intra-party fight over rape exemptions, but it was replaced by an insurance coverage ban that passed the
House.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List, called the federal 20-week bill a litmus test for Senate
candidates, and called the fight for that bill the most important moment in the pro-life movement since
1973.
St. Martin said she didnt consider the 20-week ban the end-all, be-all, but it builds momentum for
more anti-choice laws and candidates.
One yard can make all the difference, Yoest said, using a football analogy. Were marching down the
field.

Webb: Where CPAC and


Bibi Cross Paths
http://thehill.com/opinion/david-webb/234524-david-webb-where-cpac-and-bibi-cross-paths
By David Webb
03/03/15 07:30 PM EST

Greg Nash

It is easy to think this years Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahus speech to Congress are not connected, but in fact they are inexorably intertwined.
Our world now faces its greatest existential threat and where leadership vacuums exist, that threat
metastasizes.
Structure and substance collided or more accurately coalesced as the annual gathering of the
conservative tribes occurred, from the disaffected, libertarians, gays, neocons, to your typical social
conservative and everywhere in between. (It is of note that the left does not have a conference like CPAC
where multiple aspects of the party get together to debate and activate.)

Top issues were the economy and jobs with 52 percent of the straw polls respondents, and 29 percent
voted for foreign policy and national security. If you cannot afford to live and have a secure environment
in which to live, how can any American follow their dreams?
Anecdotally, many of the attendees I spoke with and interviewed on SiriusXM Patriot radio go beyond the
single-issue voting perception often attributed to conservatives. They did not sacrifice their individual
primary issue but recognize that many issues are interrelated and are not simply a linear ranking.
So, was there someone in the Gaylords Potomac ballroom who will be the Republican nominee and
potentially next president of the United States? Rand Paul has won three times in the straw poll at CPAC,
but history does not support his chances and there just arent enough libertarians to vote him president.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second with a strong showing and very little plan to bus in the
multitudes but his future, as a candidate or otherwise, is uncertain at this time.
When it comes to the prime minister of Israels speech to Congress Tuesday, the political wrangling
between Republicans and Democrats over attending or not attending, led by Democrats who boycotted, is
part of what made the event such a controversy.
Obama the petulant president not only said he would not attend the speech but would not even watch it. It
wouldve been best to simply say nothing rather than send that signal. One would think this is below
anyone who sits in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden was conveniently abroad. Some 50 members of
Congress all Democrats did not attend. These actions of petulant politicians send a message of
divisiveness to the world and to our enemies.
Netanyahu had already laid out the red line for the world in his speech at the United Nations in 2012 with
a simple picture.
The Obama administration has erased that red line politically and crossed into dangerous waters, sailing
toward a bad deal with Iran an Iran that aims to be the nuclear hegemon in the Middle East and a direct
and existential threat to the world.
A key component of this current deal being negotiated by the Obama administration via Secretary of State
John Kerry in Geneva is that there will be a sunset clause but no guarantee that Iran will sunset its march
to a nuclear weapon.
Obama has never made the commitment its not who he is. Obama thinks and acts like a college
professor where the consequences of an intellectual exercise are merely a scholarly grade, not a degraded
global situation.
Could Netanyahu, a man who was a soldier, a commander in Israeli special forces, who became an
elected official and developed into a world leader for both his nation and the world against radical Islamofascist tyranny, be the canary in the nuclear mine to awaken the world, stop a bad deal, help force a better
deal with Iran and help save all of us from a nuclear Iran?
Communist nations sought and still seek domination but are not willing to except annihilation during the
Cold War and today. Radical Islam sees annihilation as an acceptable part of the picture. There is a
fundamental question for those seeking the Republican nomination for president next year: What is your
cultural and foreign policy footing when it comes to dealing with Islamic-based radicalism? Failure
means death of nations.

The Lessons of CPAC


http://hotair.com/archives/2015/03/03/the-lessons-of-cpac/
March 3, 2015
By: Jazz Shaw
During this CPAC I had a couple of wonderful opportunities to sit down and spend some enjoyable, nonwork hours time with our good friend and award winning journalist Andrew Malcolm of Investors
Business Daily. (Trust me, hes every bit as engaging and entertaining over a good steak as he is during
political interviews.) But now that were both back to the office, Andrew has compiled a list of the main
takeaways from the annual conservative conference. Ill include the summary and a few other choice bits,
balanced against my own observations.
Themes: Moderate is out. Conservative is in. Washington is bad. Flyover country is good. Hillary will
have to work harder than she thinks to separate herself from whats-his-name on the golf course. Plus
shes got some overweight baggage of her own to check, starting with Benghazi, fomenting the illconsidered Libyan war and disastrous fallout and, as always with the Clintons, taking in tons of money
from anyone. Theyre not dead broke, by the way.
It was wise for John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to skip this years sessions. They drew almost as
much criticism as Democrats for not yet going to the mat over halting Obamas illegal illegal alien ploys.
Despite the anti-Washington, anti-Congress fervor, Senators Cruz and Paul plow ahead with their
efforts. The lazy D.C. media will go to Capitol Hill for stories much more often than Madison or Austin,
skewing impressions of the horse race.
All true, and very much so on the topic of Boehner and McConnell. Given the mood around the place
when discussions of DHS funding and executive amnesty arose on the floor and at the bar, the reception
that Jeb Bush received would probably have been viewed as warm and congenial compared to what the
House and Senate leadership would have gotten if they took the stage. As for Hillary, I believe Andrew
penned this column before the news about her lack of an email address broke. The mood at CPAC about
Hillary was pretty much the opposite of the worry weve heard privately from party leaders as recently as
three months ago. The attendees I spoke to were in large part more optimistic than ever about the GOPs
chances of beating her. With these recent revelations I would only expect that trend to continue in a
positive direction.
Andrew has some kind words for Ted Cruz, but has a few concerns as well.

Cruz and Pauls fans are intense, vocal and dedicated. Cruz is a compelling speaker, strolling the stage
without notes, excoriating RINOs and calling for a clear conservative revolution.
But the fifth or sixth time you hear him speak, his laugh and applause lines sound too practiced,
rehearsed. Maybe he didnt bus in as many supporters as Paul or Bush, but the CPAC Cruz crowd was
nowhere near as enthusiastic as last year.
Im not so sure about that. I think that Cruz was pretty much as on point as he normally is, but hes no
longer the surprising outsider he was a year to two back. This was CPAC after all, and I doubt there was
anyone there who wasnt already very familiar with Cruz. He put on a great performance and was well
received.. it just wasnt anything really new.
Andrew thinks Rand Paul is heading for troubled waters as the nations eyes focus more and more on
trouble abroad. Probably a fair point, but Rand can never be counted out. In a more general sense, Andrew
seems to feel that governors will have the upper hand over Senators, which is a fair and frequently heard
comment, but some of the governors are doing their share of stumbling as well, starting with Jeb Bush.
Malcolm offers one dark horse to watch for.
Watch Fiorina. Her story (one-time secretary to high-powered CEO) is compelling. Her rhetoric is fresh
and pointed. Women are not a special interest group. We are now the majority! On Hillary: She tweets
about equal rights for women but takes millions from foreign governments that deny women the most
basic rights.
As I wrote while I was down there, Carly Fiorina may turn out to be one of the big stories of the
conference. Lots of analysts were counting her out early and saying that she was running for Vice
President, but she was extremely impressive in her various appearances at the Gaylord this weekend. Her
message is spot on, her delivery was sharp and she brings a few things to the table which her male
counterparts cant match in a battle with Clinton. Shes an exciting candidate.
Andrew also notes that Ben Carson is a nice guy and Donald Trump is a joke. Ill just leave those two
observations here to stand on their own. You can read the rest of his observations at the link.

Scott Walker may have won the Conservative Political Action Conference after all.
David Catanese of U.S. News & World Report writes that according to a measurement of media impact
by GOP consulting firm The Gage Group and social analytics company General Sentiment, the
Wisconsin governor had the events biggest media value share. He got a 25 percent share, followed by
former Florida Gov. Jeb Bushs 23 percent.
The data were compiled from combing Twitter, Facebook, news websites, blogs, comment sections and
forum postings for candidate names and associated hashtags and keywords, and assigning a value to all of
the mentions on a scale determined by sentiment.
Heres how it works, according to Catanese:
Each media mention is assigned a dollar value, and the more positive the coverage, the higher dollar
value it receives. The idea, says GOP targeter Alex Gage, is to measure a brands reach and place a hard
number on the overall level of exposure a candidate gets over a given time frame. In shorthand, he refers
to it as a candidates kindling effect.
CPAC took a straw poll, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., won. Walker was second, and Bush was fifth.
But Catanese wrote that any buzz around Paul was trumped by Walker and even Bush.

Op-ed: Robertson CPAC Speech has Merit


http://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/opinion/2015/03/03/robertson-duck-dyansty-speechconservatives-goldberg-opinion/24341743/
March 3, 2015
Jonah Goldberg

Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family franchise, gave a stem-winder of a speech at the
Conservative Political Action Conference last Friday.
It was an odd spectacle, as he fished around in his kit bag while telling the audience to make sure you
carry around "your Bible and your woman." He then produced his Good Book, wrapped in duct tape (but,
fortunately, not his woman similarly attired).
The most remarkable part of his talk was his long discourse on sexually transmitted diseases which, prior
to his address, had not been high on the CPAC agenda. Citing the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, Robertson lamented that 110 million Americans have an STD. "It's the revenge of the hippies!
Sex, drugs and rock and roll have come back to haunt us, in a bad way." Among his advice, find a diseasefree spouse and don't stray.
Lots of people rolled their eyes at this. But I'm not exactly sure why. Surely no one thinks it's a good thing
that a third of Americans have a sexually transmitted disease.
Hippies still to blame?
Sure, blaming the hippies for today's ills is a bit of clich, but it's not like he doesn't have a point. I was
reminded of one of my favorite essays: "The Great Relearning" by Tom Wolfe. He recounts the story of
how doctors working at the Haight-Ashbury Free Clinic in 1968 had encountered maladies "no living
doctor had ever encountered before, diseases that had disappeared so long ago they had never even picked
up Latin names." These afflictions not all of them STDs had such street names as the mange, the
grunge, the itch, the twitch, the thrush and the rot.
What happened? Well, the hippy communards of the Summer of Love didn't want to play by The Man's
rules anymore. Like Rousseau's noble savages, they wanted to let their freak-flags fly. "Among the codes
and restraints that people in the communes swept aside quite purposely were those that said you
shouldn't use other people's toothbrushes or sleep on other people's mattresses without changing the
sheets or, as was more likely, without using any sheets at all, or that you and five other people shouldn't
drink from the same bottle of Shasta or take tokes from the same cigarette," wrote Wolfe. "And now, in
1968, they were relearning ... the laws of hygiene ... by getting the mange, the grunge, the itch, the twitch,
the thrush, the scroff, the rot."

Some facts of life


One can surely make too much of such things, but there's a clear and important lesson nonetheless. We
don't always know why certain rules and customs have survived so many generations, but that doesn't
mean they serve no purpose. This is the morale of G.K. Chesterton's parable of the fence. The modern
reformer sees a fence in a field and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." The more
intelligent reformer will say in response, "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it
away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may
allow you to destroy it."
There's a natural human tendency to take our good fortune for granted and mistake vast human progress
as the natural order of things. The reality, alas, is that reality always intrudes. And when it does,
relearnings great and small are required. This tendency predates the hippies by millennia, so how
much blame can be placed specifically at their sandaled feet for STD rates is an open question. But
consider other diseases? The media coverage of the California measles outbreak has died down, but the
problem endures (and not just in California) because people take vaccinations for granted.
It's a lesson with parallels everywhere, from international terrorism, to big city crime. The facts of life can
be cruel tutors for those in need of relearning old lessons. There's no law that says you must follow
Robertson's advice, but the one thing you can say in favor of the old and tried over the new and untried:
We know it works.

Can reactionary GOP win in 2016?


http://www.thenorthwestern.com/story/opinion/2015/03/03/robertson-duck-dyansty-speechconservatives-goldberg-opinion/24341743/
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
By E.J. Dionne Jr.
Its a daunting challenge to spin the word no into a hopeful and forward-looking political battle cry.
There are, of course, circumstances when negative arguments can work. In obviously terrible times,
voters are often content to take a chance on a barely sketched-out alternative. In midterm elections, which
are like midsemester report cards, voters often protest against what they dont like. No was a successful
pitch in three straight midterms going back to 2006. The GOPs 1946 slogan, Had Enough? Vote
Republican, was a model of simple and clever effectiveness.
But the evidence of the moment is that had enough will not be enough for the GOP in 2016. Of course
we cannot know from Hillary Rodham Clintons leads of around nine or 10 points over her major
Republican competitors that she will ultimately prevail. Still, her advantage owes at least in part to unease
about where Republicans would take the country if they won both the presidency and Congress. For now,
voters dont want to go there.
Events of the past week underscore why. The absurdity of going to the wire on funding the Department of
Homeland Security tells us that many in the party, particularly right-wingers in the House, do not care
about how their inability to govern in an orderly fashion looks to citizens outside the conservative bubble.
For the more radical members of Speaker John Boehners caucus, this is all about high principle. Since
most of them come from very conservative districts, they will only strengthen their own political
situations by continuing to link Department of Homeland Security funding to overturning President
Obamas executive actions on immigration. They have nothing to lose.
But collectively, their party has a lot to lose. To win the presidency and to improve their chances of
holding the Senate in 2016, Republicans will have to do far better with Latino voters than Mitt Romney
did in 2012. This fight will only make that harder. And middle-of-the-road voters dont like this sort of
brinksmanship, as well they shouldnt.
The way Republicans are behaving could thus turn one of the partys assets, the likelihood that they will
hold their House majority for some time, into a liability. This argument is advanced forcefully by political
scientist Thomas Schaller in his new book, The Stronghold.
Schaller describes the potential of a vicious cycle: As the party has become more conservative, it has
become more Congress-centered, anchored to and defined by its congressional wing, and its House
caucus in particular. But a majority of its House members are either extremely conservative or fearful of

primaries from the right. This makes the House highly sensitive to right-wing donors, right-wing media
and right-wing voters and far less responsive to those middle-ground citizens who usually decide
presidential elections. The danger, says Schaller, is that the GOPs congressional stronghold could
become a chokehold.
The doings at the Conservative Political Action Conference that closed on Saturday only reinforced the
point. Republican presidential candidates worry about those very conservative primary voters too, and
CPAC was an excellent opportunity for the hopefuls to show how well they can dance to the oppositionist
tune, a chorus of nos to Obama, Clinton, liberalism and big government.
Jeb Bush, who is actually very conservative, has put up some resistance to the spirit of negativity. We
shouldnt be the reactionary party to how bad things are, he told a Club for Growth gathering in Florida
on Thursday.
When he appeared at CPAC on Friday, he did declare that we have to start being for things again, but
only after praising Republicans in Congress for standing up to Obama. He sidestepped when Fox News
Sean Hannity asked about the House Republicans approach to DHS funding though he did speak of his
partys need to win more Latino votes.
Bush would clearly like to take a cue from his brother who, before the 2000 election, occasionally
distanced himself from an unpopular right-wing Congress. But Jeb is orchestrating his independence with
great caution and some ambivalence. The GOP is well to the right of where it was 15 years ago and also
much more insulated. Its worth remembering that Fox didnt become the largest cable news network until
2002.
In my experience, the people who see Jeb Bush as the most electable nominee tend to be Democrats, not
Republicans. This may prove his general election strategy is working, but it also shows his party may not
let him get there because its quite happy being reactionary.

#CPAC2015: College Students Talk of AntiConservative Campus Atmosphere


Its not easy to be a conservative college student these days.
http://www.mrc.org/articles/cpac2015-college-students-talk-anti-conservative-campus-atmosphere
March 3, 2015
By Kristine Marsh & Katie Yoder
Everyone knows that college campuses are hubs for liberal groupthink and propaganda. But the media
never cover the presence of conservative voices on campuses. So MRC Culture asked conservative
students at CPAC, Have you ever been treated differently because youre a conservative on campus?
The answers we got were not surprising and reveal stories that the media is too biased to report.
Students from colleges around the U.S. talked about being shut down by professors and fellow students;
even being afraid to tell their professors that they were going to CPAC for fear of repercussion.
This kind of cultural fascism is nothing short of common on college campuses today.
As MRC President Brent Bozell said at CPAC, It is not hyperbole to say that on many college campuses,
conservatives live in fear.

We Asked CPAC Attendees: In One Word,


How Do Liberals Portray Women? Liberal
media is anything but empowering to women.
http://www.mrc.org/articles/we-asked-cpac-attendees-one-word-how-do-liberals-portray-women
Published: 3/3/2015
By Kristine Marsh & Katie Yoder
Victims. Weak. Unintelligent. Hopeless. Thats how the left and its media allies portray women,
according to young conservatives at CPAC.
The War on Women has been debunked many times over, but still the media enjoy taking any
opportunity they can to make conservatives look sexist, out-of-touch, and anti-women. So MRC Culture
wanted to know what conservatives believe the lefts message to women is. We asked, in one word,
describe how liberals portray women. Here are the answers we got:
The liberal media boast a history of shameful attacks on conservative women, from MSNBCs Martin
Bashir suggesting someone should defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth to entertainment news criticizing
Stacey Dash for being appalled by Patricia Arquettes Academy Awards speech. After a panel last
summer on communicating to women, Rep. Ann Wagner argued that conservative women fight three
times as hard in order to have our voices heard in the media.
Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh
on Twitter.
We Asked CPAC Attendees: In One Word, How Do Liberals Portray Women?
Liberal media is anything but empowering to women.
Media Research Center
Hopeful NYT: 'A Pleasant Surprise' for Govt. That Kennedy Might Flip

Victims. Weak. Unintelligent. Hopeless. Thats how the left and its media allies portray women,
according to young conservatives at CPAC.
The War on Women has been debunked many times over, but still the media enjoy taking any
opportunity they can to make conservatives look sexist, out-of-touch, and anti-women. So MRC Culture
wanted to know what conservatives believe the lefts message to women is. We asked, in one word,
describe how liberals portray women. Here are the answers we got:
The liberal media boast a history of shameful attacks on conservative women, from MSNBCs Martin
Bashir suggesting someone should defecate in Sarah Palin's mouth to entertainment news criticizing
Stacey Dash for being appalled by Patricia Arquettes Academy Awards speech. After a panel last
summer on communicating to women, Rep. Ann Wagner argued that conservative women fight three
times as hard in order to have our voices heard in the media.

The Federal Government has a Spending


Problem, Not a Revenue Problem
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/the-federal-government-has-a-spending-problem-not-arevenue-problem/article/2560923
March 2, 2015
By: Jason Russell

Conservatives and liberals often look at the federal budget deficit and see two different things: a spending
problem or a revenue problem. The chart above makes multiple points affirming that federal spending is
driving the deficit, not lackluster revenues.
Compared to historical averages from 1965 to 2014, spending is rising much faster than revenues.
Spending is projected to rise almost 6 percentage points higher than its historical average, whereas
revenue is projected to rise only 2 percentage points above average revenue.

Furthermore, revenue is not projected to rise enough to meet the historical average from 1965 to 2039, let
alone the much higher spending projected in 2039.
From 1965 to 2014, federal spending averaged 20.1 percent of GDP. Revenues never once reached that
level, averaging 17.4 percent of GDP over the same time period.
Tax rates weren't constant over that time period. Whether taxes were relatively high, as in the 1960s, or
low, as in the early 2000s, revenue levels were fairly constant with some swings for economic booms and
busts. From 1965 to 2014, there was only a 5.4 percent of GDP difference between maximum and
minimum revenue levels. Spending was more volatile, with a 9.3 percent of GDP difference.
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Chelsea Clinton: Men must 'lead the way' to gender equality
If he is elected to the Senate in 2016, he could run for president in 2020 without giving up his seat.
Now, with the economy projected to slowly recover, revenue is projected to slowly grow. However,
spending is projected to grow even faster. This is contrary to the precedent seen in the 1990s, when
spending fell as the economy grew.
This is partially due to mandatory spending taking up a greater portion of the federal budget. In 1990,
mandatory spending was 25 percent higher than discretionary spending. In 2014, mandatory spending was
more than double discretionary spending, and the ratio is only expected to rise.
"With increasing debt, we are less free," said House Budget Chairman Tom Price, R-Ga., at the
Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday. Price went on to note that President Obama's
budget would add another $8.5 trillion in debt over the next 10 years. "The president doesn't believe that
we have a spending problem, doesn't believe we have a debt problem," Price would later tell the
Washington Examiner.
Getting the budget to balance is not simply a question of getting more revenue. The tax system should be
designed to improve the economy, through simplification and rate cuts. Fiscal policy alone does not
determine economic growth, but it can be a powerful tool. Other policy changes, especially regulation,
deserve a dynamic scoring analysis that measures a change's effect on the economy and tax revenue.

CPAC Panel Offers Conservative


Alternative To Obamacare
http://www.westernjournalism.com/cpac-panel-offers-conservative-alternative-obamacare/
#XXgBQ67iBvSgdZOd.97
Monday, March 2, 2015 10:45
B. CHRISTOPHER AGEE

In an administration rife with scandal and controversy, perhaps no act over the past six years has attracted
as much criticism as the so-called Affordable Care Act. Barack Obamas attempt to turn over control of
the nations health care system to the federal government has been panned by countless Americans who
cite unsustainable costs and broken promises delivered prior to its implementation.
A panel of policy experts and elected officials joined onstage at CPAC last week to discuss the ways
conservatives can not only repeal the unpopular law, but replace it with a free market program.
One of the most important freedoms we have is to decide what is best for our families, declared
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, and includes making our own choices about health care.

Under the current administration, however, he said that freedom has been assaulted by the disastrous,
destructive law known as Obamacare.
Calling the legislation unpopular, unworkable, and unaffordable, Barrasso said a conservative approach
to health care reform would look much different.
We can do it without a 2,000-page law, he said, we can do it without a government takeover, and we
can do it without all of these incredible negative side effects of the current law.
He went on to point out a few of the disingenuous ways the Obama administration has attempted to hide
the true effects of the law, including offering subsidies to ineligible enrollees in an effort to cover up the
actual increase in coverage costs.
We are committed to repealing and replacing Obamacare while protecting those hurt by Obamas broken
promises, he concluded.
Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn weighed in on the issue as well, describing Obamacare as a huge tax
and asserting that there is no documented case of a government-operated health care system developed as
a better model than one embracing a free market approach.
She cited H&R Block, which not only called the law a tax issue no one can understand, but predicted
more than three million Americans will receive reduced tax refunds this year as a result of its
implementation.
It becomes an issue of what are we going to do about this, she said, explaining citizens are facing
decreased access, increased cost, [and] enormous tax penalties in their effort to comply with the
behemoth laws regulations.
Lets say we all agree our goal is how do you make health care more affordable for the American
people, she continued, suggested conservatives back an approach that would empower patients and
individuals to control their money, control their access, and control that relationship.
She touted her own proposal, which she has worked on for six years and, if successful, would allow
Americans to purchase the insurance coverage they choose even across state lines.
Offering his expert analysis, Ethics and Public Policy Centers Jim Capretta lambasted the Department of
Health and Human Services for its increased interest in telling doctors how to care for patients,
explaining government mandates and rationing of patient care is obviously the next stage of
Obamacare.
Capretta did give Obama credit for acknowledging the need for reform within the health care system,
though he criticized the manner in which such reform was approached.
In developing a conservative alternative, he said, we must realize that many Americans have perfectly
fine health insurance and they dont want the government to take it away from them.
He offered a number of clear steps leaders can take to reverse the negative results of Obamacare.
Allowing Americans to keep their employer-provided coverage while providing tax credits to those
without it is one tactic he suggested.
He also said the insurance market should work for patients by not penalizing those who develop a
health condition while insured.
Finally, he encouraged a rational, pragmatic approach to reforming Medicaid and Medicare.

Three noteworthy CPAC moments


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2015/03/02/three-noteworthy-cpacmoments/
March 2, 2015
By Jonathan Capehart
Now that Ive had time to ponder the jamboree that was the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC), three things ranked in order of wow! stood out.
1. Jeb Bush
It wasnt exactly a Sister Souljah moment, but it was a profile in courage by Jeb Bush when he talked
through a mix of boos and applause to say his piece on immigration reform. Fast forward to 5:30.
The plan includes a path to legal status. The simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11 million
people. We should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they dont receive government
benefits, where they dont break the law, where they learn English and where they make a contribution to
our society. Thats what we need to be focused on.
This position will cost him with the GOP primary base. But if the former Florida governor secures the
Republican presidential nomination, his unwavering position on immigration despite opposition within
his own party will help him in the general election.
2. Scott Walker
While on MSNBCs Hardball last Thursday, host Chris Matthews showed a clip of Wisconsin Gov.
Scott Walkers speech and asked me to react. Fast forward to 7:00.
And up the way in Washington, we have a president, a president who draws lines in the sand and fails
to act. A president who calls ISIS the JV club, who calls Yemen a success, and who calls Iran a country
we can do business with. And to add insult to injury whose former secretary of state actually gave a reset
button to the Russians. A reset button. We need a leader in America who stands up and realizes that
radical Islamic terrorism is the threat to our way of life and to all the freedom loving people around the
world.
I dont agree with anything Walker said, but I will admit to being impressed by his energy and command
while hurling buckets of red meat to the party faithful. Unfortunately, the presumed presidential candidate
has not shown the same acumen when he performs off-script. Punting on evolution, not distancing
himself from the anti-Obama lunacy of Rudy Giuliani, casting doubt on the faith of the president and
comparing the fight against the Islamic State to his battles with labor unions, as he did in his CPAC
speech, are just four recent examples. These are signs the current golden boy of the Republican Party
remains unready for prime time. Luckily for Walker, he has time to learn and recover.
3. Chris Christie

Those heady days when the New Jersey governor was the golden boy of the Republican Party are long
gone. Christies sit-down with Laura Ingraham was one proof of that. He did well. Walker could take
some pointers. But Christie spoke from a defensive crouch for more than 20 minutes with the
conservative radio host. And the CPAC crowd provided the second bit of love-lost evidence.
(The Washington Post)
(The Washington Post)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) won the CPAC straw poll, surprising no one. Walkers second-place finish (21.4
percent) was good news for him. But Christie came in 10th with 2.8 percent. Coming on top of news that
Bush is making inroads with the New Jersey governors home-state donors, no wonder folks are saying
Christie peaked too soon.
Yeah, yeah, polls mean nothing this far out. But its sure better to be at the front or the middle of the pack
than bringing up the rear.

Whats Being Said About Former Texas


Governor Rick Perrys ELECTRIC
CPAC SPEECH
http://www.americanfreedombybarbara.com/2015/03/whats-being-said-aboutformer-texas.html
Monday, March 2, 2015
Source: RickPAC, Inc.
Every year Conservative Political Action Conference CPAC holds a meeting in Washington D.C. and
conservatives from across the states attend. Below is what the media new and mainstream plus attendees
had to say about Perrys speech.
Image result for rick perry at CPAC
Perrys full CPAC speech
Electric, Energizing Swagger Pulled No Punches An Impressive Showing Bold
Words Reaganesque Greeted With Applause And Cheers Of ApprovalGetting CPAC Crowd
Fired Up Standing Ovation Fiery Animated, Energetic Big Standing Ovation
Glasses On And Fists Flying
American Spectators Emily Zanotti: Perry Was Electric, Energizing The Tired Audience With His
Trademark Texas-Sized Personality This mornings round of Presidential contenders featured the
Texas governor and Sen. Marco Rubio, but where Rubio was steadfast and eminently relatiable, Rick
Perry was electric, energizing the tired audience with his trademark Texas-sized personality and his brand
new hipster glasses. (American Spectator, 2/27/15)
Zanotti: Rick Perry Is Far Better At Mornings Than I Am. Rick Perry Might Be Better At Mornings Than
Almost Anyone. (American Spectator, 2/27/15)
The Washington Posts Jennifer Rubin: Perry Made An Impressive Showing A Shot Across The Bow
Of Other Candidates Perry made an impressive showing, demonstrating that he knows his stuff on
foreign policy and can talk authoritatively about his economic and regulatory accomplishments. It was a
shot across the bow of other candidates: This is not the Perry of 2012. (The Washington Posts Right
Turn Blog, 2/27/15)
Rubin: And To Great Applause, He Vowed That We Even Survived Jimmy Carter. We Can Survive The
Obama Years, Too. (The Washington Posts Right Turn Blog, 2/27/15)

Rubin: In The Q And A [Perry] Did Extremely Well In the Q and A he did extremely well,
delineating his success in lowering pollutants with incentive-based regulations and reiterating that he
secured the border when Obama would not. (The Washington Posts Right Turn Blog, 2/27/15)
Politicos Daniel Lippman: Perry Struck An Energetic And Strident Tone Former Texas Gov. Rick
Perry struck an energetic and strident tone against terrorism, illegal immigration and President Barack
Obama as he spoke to conservative and libertarian activists on Friday morning here at the Conservative
Political Action Conference. (Politico, 2/27/15)
The Hills Jonathan Easley: The Big Talking Texan Can Still Work A Crowd His Texas Swagger Was
Well-Received Among Conservatives At The Conference The big talking Texan can still work a
crowd. He walked on stage to AC/DCs Back in Black, and his Texas swagger was well-received among
conservatives at the conference. (The Hill, 2/27/15)
The Blazes Zach Noble: Perry Pulled No PunchesAddressing the 2015 Conservative Political
Action Conference Friday morning, the former governor pulled no punches as he attacked the Obama
administration and touted himself as the kind of leader America needs. (The Blaze, 2/27/15) Noble: He
Took The Stage To AC/DCs Back In Black And Bragged About Texas. Thats Rick Perry For
You. (The Blaze, 2/27/15) The Blaze Headline: Rick Perrys Texas-Sized Speech Fires Up Conservative
Activists (The Blaze, 2/27/15)
The Washington Times David Sherfinski: A Fired-Up Rick Perry A fired-up Rick Perry warned the
crowd Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington that at no time in
the last 25 years has the future been more uncertain and the world more dangerous than it is today. (The
Washington Times, 2/27/15)
Texas Tribunes Abby Livingston: Perry Held The Crowd With Withering Criticisms Of President
Obamas Foreign Policy. (Texas Tribune, 2/27/15)
The New York Times Maggie Haberman: Many Lines In His Speech Were Greeted With Applause And
Cheers Of Approval Still, Mr. Perry has a conservative record as a former Texas governor, and many
lines in his speech were greeted with applause and cheers of approval. (The New York Times, 2/27/15)
Fox News Insider Blog: An Animated Address Drew A Big OvationIn an animated address
(watch below), Perry lambasted the president for his refusal to acknowledge that ISIS is a religious
movement. And he drew a big ovation with this line. We had a Civil War, two World Wars, we
survived a depression. We even survived Jimmy Carter. We will survive the Obama years too! said
Perry. (Fox News Insider Blog, 2/27/15)
Townhalls Cortney OBrien: Perry Had Some Bold Words For The Obama Administration And A
Congress That Has Done Little To Secure Not Only Our Foreign Security, But Our Own Borders. At
no time has the world been more dangerous, former Texas Governor Rick Perry said not long after he
took the stage at this years Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Perry, who
is rumored to run for president next year, had some bold words for the Obama administration and a
Congress that has done little to secure not only our foreign security, but our own borders. (Townhall,
2/27/15)
Breitbarts Bob Price: Perry Received A Strong Positive Reaction From The AudienceFormer Texas
Governor Rick Perry received a strong positive reaction from the audience at CPAC when he said
America must secure its border before we can talk about immigration reform. (Breitbart, 2/27/15) Price:
In A Reaganesque Moment, Perry Made His Third And Final Point, Stating, I Have Never Been More
Certain Than I Am Today That Americas Best Days Are In Front Of Her. (Breitbart, 2/27/15)

National Reviews Andrew Johnson: The Room Was Close To Full When Perry Took The Stage, With
Attendees Crowding In The room was close to full when Perry took the stage, with attendees
crowding in to find out how he would recast himself as he reportedly considers another presidential
bid. (National Review, 2/27/15)
Dallas Morning News Todd J. Gillam: Perry Blasted The President For Maltreating Israel Perry
blasted the president for maltreating Israel even as it refuses to quash Irans nuclear ambitions. (Dallas
Morning News, 2/27/15)
CNN: Perry Slugged Obama For His Handling Of Foreign Threats Like ISIS.Perry also slugged
Obama who was the sole focus of his speech and remarks in a subsequent question-and-answer session,
unlike other Republicans who have hit Hillary Clinton or other party members for his handling of
foreign threats like ISIS. (CNN,2/27/15)
The Associated Press: Perry Slammed President Barack Obamas Approach To Dealing With World
Leaders Perry slammed President Barack Obamas approach to dealing with world leaders, arguing
that the world would be safer if the White House took a harder line approach. (The Associated Press,
2/27/15) USA Todays David Jackson: Perry Is Getting CPAC Crowd Fired Up Jackson Tweet: Rick
Perry is getting CPAC crowd fired up over immigration, taxes, health care, and government
regulations. (Twitter.com, 2/27/15)
McClatchy DCs David Lightman: Standing Ovation For [Gov. Perry] At #CPAC2015 (Twitter.com,
2/27/15)
Canadian Press Alexander Panetta: A Fiery Answer Panetta Tweet: Moderator: How do you deal
with illegal immigrants? Rick Perry: A fiery answer on first securing border, then lets have that
conversation (Twitter.com, 2/27/15)
Townhalls John Harkins: Perry Has A Much More Animated, Energetic Speaking Style Harkins:
Rick Perry has a much more animated, energetic speaking style in this run, now that his back isnt
injured any more. #CPAC2015 (Twitter.com, 2/27/15)
Austin American Statesmans Jonathan Tilove: Highly AnimatedTilove Tweet: [Gov. Perry] delivery
is highly animated with lots of gesticulating, arms and hands in constant motion. (Twitter.com, 2/27/15)
USA Todays Catalina Camia: Perry Made His Case To Be The Next Commander In Chief Rick
Perry made his case to be the next commander in chief as he knocked the Obama administrations
incompetence on crises such as the threat from the Islamic State and tensions in the Middle East. (USA
Today, 2/27/15)

USA Today Headline: Rick Perry Blasts Obamas Misguided Foreign Policy At CPAC (USA
Today, 2/27/15)
Mediaites Andrew Kirell: Perry Gave A Rather Energetic Set Of Remarks Garnering Quite A Bit Of
Applause Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a rather energetic set of remarks Friday morning at the
2015 Conservative Political Action Conference, garnering quite a bit of applause for several of his big
one-liners. (Mediaite, 2/27/15)
New York Daily News Adam Edelman: Perry SHOWED Off Some Newly Found Foreign Policy
Chops Former TEXAS GOV. Rick Perry showed off some newly found foreign policy chops in a
plainspoken speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday, emphasizing pressing national
security issues like ISIS, Irans nuclear program and the nations relationship with Israel. (New York
Daily News, 2/27/15)

National Journals Josh Kraushaar: Perry Going All In On Attacking Obamas Dangerous Foreign
Policy. Kraushaar Tweet: Perry going all in on attacking Obamas dangerous foreign policy. The latest
to continue the anti-Rand approach (Twitter.com, 2/27/15)
Breitbarts Charlie Spiering: Calls For A Tough Foreign Policy Have Dominated Perrys Speech So Far.
(Twitter.com, 2/27/15)
NBC News Headline: Perry Slams Obamas Views On ISIS As Simply Not True, Misguided (NBC
News, 2/27/15)
KTRKs Tom Abrahams: Big Standing Ovation For [Gov. Perry] As He Takes Stage Abrahams
Tweet: Big standing ovation for [Gov. Perry] as he takes stage to AC/DC Back In Black (Twitter.com,
2/27/15)
Talking Points Memo: Glasses On And Fists Flying, Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry On Friday Belted
Out An Address At The Conservative Political Action Conference Glasses on and fists flying, former
Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday belted out an address at the Conservative Political Action Conference
that wandered throughout but landed a few big applause lines. (Talking Points Memo, 2/27/15)

Covering Washington
http://townhall.com/columnists/richgalen/2015/03/02/covering-washington-n1964250
Mar 02, 2015
By: Rich Galen

I love Twitter. With the advent of Twitter I can follow the major (and even some minor) national reporters
and get 127 versions of what all of them have just seen, heard, and thought.
For someone like me, that is a significant time-saver and amajormoney saver.
The recent CPAC convention is a case in point. First of all kudos to Matt Schlapp, chairman of the
American Conservative Union which organized the convention. By all accounts it went off without a
major hitch, and just about all of the major (and even some minor) unannounced, but "seriously
considering" candidates for the GOP nomination made an appearance.
That's part of what I want to discuss.
Given Twitter, cable news, instantaneous updates to stories previously filed on the websites of major (and
even some minor) news organizations' websites there is a serious competition to file first.
If that new posting can include some tidbit that no one else had yet, written with a Matt Drudgeian
breathlessness (BREAKING!) then the First Filer might not just get a mention on other websites but pats
on the back in the bar (PBBs) at the end of the working day.

What that has led to is a situation in which journalists don't just report what they're seeing and hearing;
but declaring it is the beginning, the end, the rebound, or the end of one campaign or another.
This is like watching a pre-season football game in August and having the color man in the booth telling
the play-by-play guy (and the audience) not just whether a play worked or not; but declaring the ultimate
winner of the Superbowl the next February, based on that play.
While CPAC was going on in suburban Maryland, just up the Potomac another game was afoot as House
Republicans fumbled in their first attempt to force House Democrats to support a short-term funding bill
for the Department of Homeland Security.
DHS is not the issue; the issue is looking for ways to defund or otherwise reverse President Barack
Obama's executive order on deporting illegal aliens.
Republicans thought well, I'm not sure what Republicans thought but when they finally threw in the
towel after nearly an hour (on an official 15 minute vote) the vote was 203-224 to extend funding for
three weeks.
Twelve Democrats disregarded the instructions of their leadership and voted for the bill. Unfortunately, 52
Republicans ignored the wishes of the GOP leaders and voted against it.
Having made their point, Democrats later in the evening helped pass a one-week funding bill so every
non-essential employee at DHS who would not have shown up for work on Saturday

Who scored, who didn't, at CPAC


http://staugustine.com/news/politics/2015-02-28/who-scored-who-didnt-cpac#.VP2eeUZVoqE
Posted: February 28, 2015 - 8:55pm
By David Lightman

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP
Photo/Carolyn Kaster) Carolyn Kaster
Carolyn Kaster

MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU


OXON HILL, Md. Scott Walker has momentum with conservatives. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have the
passion. And Jeb Bush still faces widespread skepticism thats not going away.
Those were some of the conclusions as thousands of conservatives ended a four-day conference Saturday
with fresh takes on potential candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, impressions that
will help shape the early stages of the wide-open race.
Thirteen potential candidates each got 20 minutes before the Conservative Political Action Conference.
Walker, the Wisconsin governor, got the loudest applause, with Paul, a U.S. senator from Kentucky, and
Cruz, a senator from Texas, close behind. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was the grass-roots
champion, as his T-shirted army seemed to be everywhere.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stoked considerable curiosity with his detailed prescription for derailing the
Common Core educational standards. And former business executive Carly Fiorina got buzz for her lively
zingers aimed at likely Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
None emerged as the clear rising star. Walker came closest. Hes stoked interest because hes a new face,
a 47-year-old just-re-elected governor from a nominally Democratic state who took on labor unions and
won.
His appearance at the meeting was tarnished a bit, though, when he appeared to liken union protesters in
Wisconsin to terrorists. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, he said, I can do the same across the
world.
Walker nonetheless remained an attractive option to a bloc of activists frustrated that the past two
Republican presidential nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, werent conservative enough and
seemed too tied to the mainstream political establishment.
Barbara Decker, a San Diego retiree, liked Walker and Cruz, explaining, Im tired of establishment
figures.
That was Bushs burden, and will be for some time. Hes not only the candidate piling up big donor
money and tapping a network of well-known insiders, hes also the son and brother of presidents.
That bothered a lot of people at the conference. Im not a fan of imperial presidencies, said Travis
Murray, a Coast Guard officer from Shorewood, Ill. The Founding Fathers never intended to have a
hierarchy handing down the presidency to future generations.
The Bush name also remains a source of conservative wariness. Theres a lot of Bush fatigue, said
David Keene, former American Conservative Union chairman, and neither his brother or father was seen
by many conservative as conservative enough.
They disliked President George H.W. Bush for agreeing to a tax increase after pledging no new taxes.
They criticized President George W. Bush for presiding over huge federal deficits in his second term.
Jeb Bushs supporters said he did what he needed to do at this conference. He flooded the convention hall
with supporters when he spoke Friday, making sure cheers drowned out booing for his immigration and
education resume.
Those issues will continue to dog Bush. He maintained that the Common Core educational standars,
which he supports, is not a federal overreach into a local function, a view not widely shared here. While
the standards were developed by governors and education officials, the Obama administration has tied
some federal funding to acceptance of the standards.
Bush also reiterated his support for a path to legalization for many immigrants now in this country
illegally. To supporters, thats the kind of stance that will help him if hes the nominee and needs to attract
a wider audience.
He explained himself very well, said Ed Cowling, a Phoenix public relations executive. The crowd
really seemed to quiet down as he spoke.
Not in the halls. No, a thousand times no, said Nedra Babcock, a Tulsa prison reform advocate, of
Bush. Why not? Common Core.
The next test for these potential candidates will be pulling away from the pack.

Some made progress. It was hard to walk down a hall without someone trying to slap a Run Ben Run
sticker somewhere, or offer a Stand with Rand button. Walker got positive comments everywhere,
notably for fighting the unions. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida got some mention for his explanations of his
views, notably how hes learned a lesson from his initial stand on immigration, which was protested by
conservatives.
Others were all but forgotten in the Saturday hall chatter. Few were talking about potentials such as New
Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry or
Donald Trump.
Most will appear again next Saturday at the Iowa Ag Forum, where theyll address rural issues. Theyre
also quietly competing in the money primary. Bush is expected to be the leader in fundraising.
The true gauge of whos up and down will be more subtle and difficult to measure. Activists headed home
Saturday with new thoughts and feelings about these candidates, ready to share them with like-minded
friends and associates.
Impressions forged here will matter, and thats why Walker emerged with a slight edge. He seems real,
Babcock said.
***
Straw Poll winners
n Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 26 percent
n Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, 21 percent
n Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 11.5 percent
n Dr. Ben Carson, 11 percent
n Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 8 percent
n Less than 5 percent Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Pa. Sen. Rick Santorum,
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Scott Walker finishes second in CPAC


presidential straw poll
http://chippewa.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/scott-walker-finishes-second-in-cpac-presidentialstraw-poll/article_0b21ed69-3f2f-52e5-8c1d-e76f019335ba.html
March 01, 2015
JOE SKIPPER Associated Press

Gov. Scott Walker jokes with board member Frayda Levin at the conclusion of his remarks at the winter
meeting of the free market Club for Growth winter economic conference Saturday in Palm Beach, Fla.
March 01, 2015 5:20 am MATTHEW DeFOUR mdefour@madison.com, 608-252-6144
(1) Comments
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Tracking Scott Walker
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Gov. Scott Walker sustained his presidential momentum at a conservative
gathering just outside Washington last week, finishing second in the events straw poll despite a third
speaking stumble in as many weeks.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts the Conservative Political
Action Conference, said Walker finished strong, but the 2016 presidential nomination is wide open.
I view this race as being very unusual in American politics, Schlapp said. Its an open seat and the
Republicans dont have an obvious next person.
In results announced Saturday after the four-day session, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul came in first place in
the poll for the third straight year. Last year, he won with 31 percent support but fell to 26 percent this
year.

Walker received 7 percent support last year, but leaped to 21 percent this year. When combining first and
second choices, Paul received 42 percent and Walker received 40 percent. Walker received the most
second-place votes.
Stephen Flanagan, 60, the Florida state director for Concerned Veterans for America, said he voted for
Walker in the straw poll because he has proven that he can do the job.
He stands for what we (as conservatives) stand for in terms of fiscal conservatism and doing whats right
for his state, Flanagan said. More than that, I think hes withstood probably the biggest assault of any
governor in the history of this country when he ran for a recall election.
David Perez, 24, a staffing recruiter from Wayne, New Jersey, picked Paul, and said he doesnt like what
hes heard of Walkers support for putting boots on the ground in the Middle East.
If youre going to lower taxes, you have to lower spending, Perez said. At the end of the day, I dont
really see how Scott Walker can accomplish that. I kind of feel like its rhetoric. Hes saying, Lets cut
taxes and lower spending, but he wants to increase military spending and that never works.
The poll included 3,007 respondents, 42 percent of whom were students. It included 17 names, all of
whom either have said they are seriously considering running or are accepting invitations to presidential
forums.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz placed third at 12 percent, retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson finished fourth
at 11 percent, and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in fifth at 8 percent, despite the conservative
audience being hostile toward some of his more moderate positions.
The previous eight CPAC straw polls had been won by Paul, his father, Ron, a former Texas
representative, or former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Rand Paul and his father have performed well
here because they appeal to young, libertarian-minded conservatives who turn out en masse for the
grassroots event. Romney won three straight from 2007-09 and again in 2012, when he went on to
become the GOP presidential nominee.
Walker is one of six Republican presidential contenders who has a shot at going the distance, according to
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform and an ACU board member. The others he
mentioned include Bush and Paul, but also New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who finished 10th, 11th and 12th and polled a combined 4 percent.
Other people dont have the name ID, the capacity to raise money or the narrative as to why they should
run, Norquist said.
Walkers visit to CPAC did not go off without a hitch. After his speech Thursday, he was asked how he
would handle Islamic State terrorists as commander-in-chief, and said, If I can take on 100,000
protesters, I can do the same across the world.
Walker quickly clarified that he wasnt comparing the protesters who occupied the state Capitol in 2011 to
terrorists, but Democrats demanded an apology and even Perry called the remarks inappropriate.
Ned Ryun, founder and president of American Majority, which trains conservative activists, said during a
panel discussion Saturday about the conference that Walkers speech was obviously very well received.
But he also offered mild criticism.
I thought he could have done a little bit better job answering the questions that I asked, said Ryun, who
asked Walker about ISIS, how to impart hope to young people, net neutrality and the minimum wage.

Walker, whose newly formed political action committee opened a national headquarters in Madison a few
days ago, characterized this weeks episode as media driven, similar to his dismissal of previous instances
when his staff had to issue statements clarifying his position on evolution and whether he thinks President
Barack Obama is a Christian.
Im not going to take that bait, the 47-year-old Walker said Saturday about his recent media encounters,
while speaking to the Club for Growths annual winter meeting in Florida. Im going to talk about things
that everyday Americans want to talk about.
Walker also told attendees, according to Politico, that the most significant foreign policy decision in my
lifetime was made by a president who was previously a governor, referring to President Ronald Reagans
decision to fire striking air traffic controllers in 1981.
He previously had referred to the action as one of the most significant in trying to boost his own foreign
policy credentials. The moderator of the event, a Paul supporter, told Walker that donors at a recent New
York event where Walker spoke were unimpressed by his remarks on foreign policy.
Thats interesting because, actually, a number of columns were written that said just the opposite,
Walker said, according to Politico. They said they were surprised by how well prepared we were to talk
about foreign policy.
Walker announced last week that he will be conducting another trade mission to Europe in April. On a
trade mission to London last month, he was criticized for not answering questions about foreign policy or
evolution. He only took two foreign trips during his first four years in office.
Next weekend, Walker heads to Iowa for the second time this year for an agricultural summit that will
feature other presidential contenders. The following weekend, hell rally Republican activists in New
Hampshire before returning to Washington for the annual Gridiron Club Dinner, a white-tie gathering of
journalists and politicians that will also feature President Barack Obama.

____________________________________

Can conservatives come together?


http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/28/politics/cpac-candidates-analysis/
February 28, 2015
By Stephen Collinson, CNN
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (CNN) - Conservatives are trying to overcome their biggest challenge:
themselves.
As the Conservative Political Action Conference wrapped up its annual gathering here on Saturday,
conservatives were determined to conquer their persistent divides and work together to help Republicans
mount a credible push for the White House next year.
After two presidential elections won by Democrats, recent CPAC meetings have often been more about
airing grievances and wallowing in the legacy of Ronald Reagan than preparing activists for power. But
CPAC leaders worked to keep the focus this year on the future and a new, more diverse generation of
GOP leaders.
"We need to go out and communicate a modern message to voters who weren't alive when Reagan was
president," said American Conservative Union board member John Eddy.
Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee, 43, added: "a conservative candidate who ignores moderates is as
misguided as a moderate candidate who ignores conservatives."
But talking about unifying Republicans is easier than actually doing it.
Just a few miles up the Potomac River from the CPAC gathering, Republicans on Capitol Hill were
feeling their way through another meltdown over the weekend. Speaker John Boehner failed to corral
conservatives behind a bill to keep the Department of Homeland Security running, forcing him to come
up with a last minute alternative Friday night and renewing questions about his ability to maintain control
of the House.

But that didn't seem to matter much at CPAC, which was the usual riot of late night parties, Democratbaiting, tough talk on foreign policy and off color jokes about Bill Clinton.
"The kids are in charge!" declared the American Conservative Union's energetic new leader Matt Schlapp
at a four-day conference packed with "boot camps" and tutorials to train activists in the political ground
game.
There was even talk of emulating President Barack Obama. Conservatives once mocked Obama for being
a community organizer but, chastened by his two electoral wins, there's now a certain admiration for his
brand of precinct-by-precinct politics and record of uniting Democrats.
Charlie Kirk, leader of Turning Point USA, a national conservative student movement, said Democrats,
unlike Republicans, were able to unite behind common principles without "infighting."
"We can learn from the left in that regard," he said.
In the event's straw poll, which provides a snapshot of conservative opinion but is a poor predictor of
presidents, Sen. Rand Paul pulled off his third win in a row in a fresh show of his organizational muscle
and appeal to younger voters. He beat out Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by four points. Texas Sen. Ted
Cruz, neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush rounded out the top five.
It was difficult to make firm conclusions about the poll because it disproportionately attracts students and
young voters who may not reflect the eventual Republican electorate.
But though CPAC organizers were pre-occupied with building the infrastructure of the next election, most
excitement surrounded the candidates, who seemed much more professional than some of their
predecessors in 2012.
The big questions going into CPAC were: Can Bush win over conservative critics? Is Walker ready for
prime time? And can another candidate break into the conversation?
Bush braved the lion's den and boos from conservatives who abhor his positions on Common Core
education standards and immigration reform. His 8% total in the straw poll was not a surprise. But the
consensus after his performance in a Q&A session on Friday indicated he might have helped himself a
little.
"He was impressive. He came across and shared his conservatism really well," said Glenn McCall, a
Republican National Committeeman from South Carolina who had previously been skeptical about
Bush's appeal to grass roots conservatives.
"I think it is going to play well for him," McCall said. "People are going to be excited in South Carolina
after seeing him (at CPAC)."
Bush stood his ground on his differences with the movement, but offered his most explicit statement yet
that he was a true conservative while governing Florida.
But he still has work to do.
Talk show host Laura Ingraham voiced the fears of many CPACers when she complained Bush was so
close to Hillary Clinton on surveillance, immigration and education that "they might was well run on the
same ticket."

Walker lived up to his billing as the hot new conservative hope. "Run Scott Run," the crowd chanted as he
reeled off his resume on hammering unions and slashing taxes.
But he again showed a tendency to set off media brushfires a week after being caught up in a tussle over
whether Obama and is a Christian and loves his country.
When asked how he would handle ISIS, Walker said that if he can take on 100,000 protestors at home, he
could "do the same across the globe" in an answer which seemed to reveal his foreign policy
inexperience.
Rubio, who hurt his ties with conservatives by initially backing comprehensive immigration reform in the
Senate, got a warm reception and so did Cruz. Paul sought to distance himself from isolationist sentiment
among many in his libertarian base by promising a strong defense against the "barbaric cult" of ISIS.
Christie, meanwhile, played into a widespread feeling at CPAC, and foreshadowed an attack line against
Bush, when he said that rich donors should not decide the Democratic nomination.
The party's relatively minor potential contenders, like Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, John Bolton, and
Rick Perry, also gave speeches which seem more likely to usefully shape the party's debate rather than
drive it to the extreme.
Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, meanwhile, offered a tutorial in
how to take down Clinton, who was universally condemned as a disastrous secretary of state who will
seek a "third term for Obama."
"The funny thing about Hillary Clinton, the more people that hear from her the less they like her," Priebus
said. "Hillary never comes out in public these days. If there's not a private luxury jet and a quarter of a
million dollar speaking fee, you can forget about it."
But Democrats scoffed at the idea that conservatives were now turning to the kind of techniques
pioneered by Obama.
"Of course they are trying to run their presidential campaigns with our message (#WeWonTwice), but
their policies don't match and voters know that. And with 619 days until the election, anyone who hasn't
figured that out already is going to," said DNC spokeswoman Holly Shulman.

CPAC HAS CHOSEN A WINNER FOR


2016.
http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/cpac-has-chosen-a-winner-for-2016/question-4727370/
Posted February 28, 2015
by Yo'Adrienne..AFCL
BUT THE BEST NEWS......is 1.) Jeb Bush was 5th.....
and 2.) it's far from over.
Rand Paul edged Scott Walker out of the top spot...and
Dr. Ben Carson had a great showing at 4th....
After three days packed with Republican stars peddling their latest book, 2016 presidential hopefuls vying
for grassroots approval and business attire including tricorn hats and American flags, the long-awaited
Conservative Political Action Conference presidential straw poll results are in.
2016 GOP presidential hopefuls make their cases at CPAC conference
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won over CPAC's right-wing activists for the third year in a row with more than
a quarter of the votes.
"Since President Ronald Reagan, the Conservative Political Action Conference has been the gold standard
on where conservatives stand," Paul
said after the announcement of his victory. "The constitutional conservatives of our party have spoken in a
loud and clear voice today. I plan on doing my part, and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the
GOP a bigger, better and bolder party."
The conference, held by the American Conservative Union (ACU), chose Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as
the second place winner, with the 2016 GOP hopeful raking in 21.4 percent.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson finished in third (with 11.5 percent) and
fourth (with 11 percent) place, respectively. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush came in fifth place at 8
percent.
Other Republican stars, like former Sen. Rick Santorum, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and real estate mogul
Donald Trump, rounded out the list of 17 potential candidates.
The poll results are the final culmination of a Maryland weekend loaded with heated speeches and the
occasional grilling by conservative talk show hosts. The invited speakers treat it as a testing ground for
their 2016 messaging: Walker pitched his executive experience as foreign policy competence, Bush
answered for his record on immigration and education reform, and everyone bashed presumptive
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Scott Walker didn't compare unions to ISIS


Donald Trump scolds Republicans: "Toughen up"
It's the straw poll that launches a thousand spinoffs: attendees at CPAC spawn a drove of Twitter polls,
official flash polls, even satirical troll polls. And the survey looms so large in the conservative
imagination that veteran strategists have deemed it the "starting gun of the Republican primary
campaign."
But while dispatches with the "Oxon Hill, Md." dateline overran Washington media outlets during the last
few days, the confab's popularity obscures its actual predictive accuracy.
"The track record of CPAC straw polls in predicting the Republican nominee is not a good one,"
American University political science professor Richard Benedetto told CBS News. "History shows us
this starting in the 1980s. "
The polling data underscores this. According to a National Journal report, in 41 years of the poll's
existence, only three presidential nominees have been winners of the survey. The winners in years past are
typically a reflection of grassroots activism, with Paul leading the GOP pack in 2013 and 2014, rather
than overall Republican sentiment.
Jeb Bush, Rand Paul top GOP's 2016 presidential wish list: Poll
Even months away from GOP primaries, the small sample doesn't hold up to national polling data. CBS
News' latest election poll doesn't necessarily reflect this conservative hierarchy. Bush and Paul lead
among self-identified Republicans, with 41 percent and 39 percent respectively.
The ACU, which flashily advertises their headliners using adaptations of Avengers posters (complete with
"Conservatives Assemble" tagline), gains a lot of press coverage from CPAC.
"First, the CPAC straw poll is a reflection of a candidate's ability to organize," Ian Walters, ACU's
communications director, told CBS News. "On top of that, they have to be able to come here to this event
and be able to connect with conservatives -- and the grassroots conservative movement."
The ACU bills itself as the "oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation,"
according to their website. And their reputation precedes them -- CPAC is indeed an activist stronghold
and a bastion for grassroots campaigning.
But political experts say that it's not really a true representation of the Republican Party's demographics,
nor does it actually reflect the voters who take part in the early primaries of presidential years.
"This is a strange part of the conservative base," CBS News' John Dickerson said of conference attendees.
"It's kind of the smallest core of the conservative core, which is just a portion of the Republican group."
Over 3,000 registrants voted in CPAC's 2015 poll, with a plurality of those being 18-25 year-olds.

Election 2016: Rand Paul Wins CPAC


Straw Poll; Jeb Bush Finishes Fifth
http://www.ibtimes.com/election-2016-rand-paul-wins-cpac-straw-poll-jeb-bush-finishesfifth-1831858
February 28, 2015
By: Marcy Kreiter

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., won the CPAC straw poll for the third time in as many years Saturday. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Conservative darling Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., picked up his third win in a row Saturday at the annual
Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, giving an early boost to his likely bid for the 2016
Republican presidential nomination, Politico reported. Paul garnered nearly 25.7 percent of the vote,
topping Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's 21.4 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's 11.5 percent and Dr. Ben
Carson's 11.4 percent. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush finished fifth with just 8 percent of the vote and
former Texas Gov. Rick Perry garnered an abysmal 1.1 percent, coming in 11th, behind New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie's 2.8 percent.

A guest reaches for a flag pin at the Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) booth at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National
Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 28, 2015. Reuters/Mike Theiler

Paul is popular among segments of the GOP, especially libertarians, but a win at CPAC is far from a
guarantee the presidential nomination is in the bag. Candidates can bring supporters to the conference and
then purchase passes for them to boost poll numbers. Last year, Paul took 31 percent of the vote, and in
2013 he took 25 percent.
Bush supporters flocked to his question-and-answer session but an adviser told Politico the likely
presidential hopeful, favored by the Republican establishment but unpopular with more conservative
elements because of his immigration and education policies, would not make a major effort in the straw
poll. The Hill, however, reported Bush bused hundreds of supporters in to show strength.
Bush tried to polish his right-wing credentials in an appearance Friday, criticizing President Obama for
going "way beyond his constitutional powers." His remarks, however, were met with just mild applause
and boos along with the cheers, the Boston Herald reported. He actually drew jeers when he defended his
support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11 million people. We should give them a path to legal status
where they work and they dont receive government benefits, Bush said.
This year's CPAC, under the leadership of American Conservative Union chief Matt Schlapp, was
mellower than previous confabs, lacking on intra-party on-stage fights and low on heckling, Bloomberg
reported. It also lacked some of the media gaffes that plagued earlier get-togethers.
The four-day meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, ended Saturday.

Rand Paul wins CPAC poll; Lindsey


Graham at bottom
http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20150228/PC1603/150229345/1031/rand-paul-wins-cpac-polllindsey-graham-at-bottom
Feb 28 2015 6:45 pm
By: Schuyler Kropf

National Harbor, Md. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won his third straight CPAC straw poll, while South
Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham finished with the smallest of blips.
The Conservative Political Action Conference came to a close Saturday after four days of saber-rattling
and speeches where most of the Republican White House hopefuls came to energize the faithful.
Pauls victory just barely ahead of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came from a CPAC audience that
skewed young. Many were college-age, including those from South Carolina.
The Citadel and Clemson University each were represented by Republican student delegations. Some 42
percent of those who took part in the computerized voting system identified themselves as students,
officials said.
Graham, R-S.C., chose not to appear at CPAC this week while he is mulling a White House run. Political
watchers said his absence was designed to avoid the more right-leaning conservatives who commonly
make up CPAC audiences. Many consider him too liberal and differ with him on some of the unsettled
issues of the day, including immigration reform. Seventeen potential 2016 GOP candidates were included
in the survey.
While the poll is accepted as a measurement of the activists pulse, coming in first doesnt necessarily
translate to presidential campaign success. Nor is it indicative of scientific polling of where the White
House race stands today.
The top five finishers were: Paul, 25.7 percent; Walker, 21.4 percent; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, 11.5 percent;
Dr. Ben Carson, 11.4 percent; and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 8.3 percent.
Graham drew only a 0.1 percent level of support, above former New York Gov. George Pataki but below
former ambassador John Bolton.
The 17 names on the ballot were selected based on indicators that they were hiring staff in early voting
states, were raising money, were talking to the media about running, and had accepted invitations to
presidential-themed forums.

If you look at these results, the people who did well will receive a bump, said Matt Schlapp, chairman
of the American Conservative Union.
A sampling of ballots by South Carolina voters showed the results were mixed. One Citadel cadet, who
asked not to be identified, said he voted for Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Paul hes kind of more libertarian which is how I see myself, he said.
Paul spoke at the Citadel more than a year ago, getting loud applause from the Corps of Cadets for his
support of libertarian government and for criticizing Hillary Clintons performance as secretary of state.
Last year, he stopped by the College of Charleston.
Poll participants were asked to pick two top selections so that organizers could show a range of where the
activists preferences are leaning.
Clemson University junior Kyra Palange said she didnt ever consider voting for Graham, even though
hes from South Carolina.
Im more a fan of (Sen.) Tim Scott than Lindsey Graham, she said. Hes Republican; hes not
conservative.
She marked Carson and Cruz on her ballot. Voting was done through a bank of computer terminals
outside the meeting hall.

CPAC: Paul edges Walker in straw poll


http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/28/conservative-political-action-conferenceobama-jeb-bush-rand-paul-straw-poll/24176749/
David Jackson, USA TODAY
February 28, 2015

(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Rand Paul won a high-profile straw poll for a third straight year
Saturday, capping an annual conservative conference at which delegates argued about how to turn their
ideas into a presidential victory in 2016.
The Kentucky senator carried 25.7% in the Conservative Political Action Conference poll, while
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second with 21.4% a closer-than-expected tally in this early test
of political strength among conservative Republican activists.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, finished third with 11.5%, followed closely by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
with 11.4%.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush perhaps the most criticized candidate at this conservative conclave
finished fifth at 8.3%.
Other potential presidential candidates including Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Rick Perry had
less than 4% in the straw poll. Paul also won CPAC contests in 2013 and 2014.
The straw poll highlighted the four-day conference at which conservative delegates generally agreed they
need to elect one of their own to the presidency in 2016, but disputed the best way to go about it.
Some CPAC delegates said Republicans should nominate a true believer, someone who can repeal health
care, shrink the size of the federal government and aggressively wage war on the Islamic State militant
group.
Others agreed on the need for a conservative nominee but said the GOP needs to reach out to moderates
who may hold different views on immigration, education and foreign policy and will be needed to win the
presidential vote in 2016.
"I am 60% confident right now," said attendee Brian Long in-between conference sessions. "I'd like to say
I'm 80% confident."
As CPAC members swapped stories and handed out buttons and pamphlets in the hallways, the longtime
tension between "real conservatives" and "establishment Republicans" surfaced repeatedly.
It could be seen in the reactions to one prospective candidate in particular: Jeb Bush.
Although some CPAC members applauded Bush's call for "reform" conservatism, others described the
former Florida governor as a dreaded RINO Republican In Name Only. "He should be a Democrat,"
said Christmas Simon, a public speaker from Yorba Linda, Calif.
Bush's name drew boos during some of Saturday's wrap-up sessions.
Noelani Bonifacio, 26, a legislative aide to a state senator in Hawaii, said conservatives fight each other
too much. Bonifacio said she knows people who backed former Texas congressman Ron Paul during the
2012 Republican primaries, then refused to vote for eventual nominee Mitt Romney in the general
election.
"We have a lot of disagreements which is good but I think we spend too much time attacking each
other," said Bonifacio, who voted for Rubio, a Florida senator, in the straw poll. "We should be attacking
Democrats."
Bonifacio said Bush "is not my first choice," but she would vote for him in the general election if he is the
nominee because "he is better than the alternative."
Not everyone at CPAC agreed. Some cited Bush's support of a pathway to citizenship for migrants who
are in the country illegally. Others criticized his support of education standards known as "Common
Core."
Simon who cast her straw vote for "hard-core conservative" Cruz, the Texas senator said voters
want people who "really stand firm on what they believe in."
There's also the fact that the last two Republican presidents were named Bush.

"The only dynasty that I like is the Duck Dynasty," said radio talk show host Mark Levin during a CPAC
session Saturday, a reference to a television program featuring a family headed by Phil Robertson, a
religious conservative who spoke here Friday.
CPAC members some of whom spent as much time attacking the new Republican Congress as
President Obama gravitated toward prospective candidates who say they want to challenge the GOP
establishment in Washington.
That group includes Paul, Walker, Cruz and Carson.
Long, 68, a regional economist from Kalamazoo, Mich., said Republicans need to attract people who
rarely vote, just as the Democratic turnout machine helped elect Obama twice. "We have to reach out to
conservative voters who stay at home when they see a candidate who does not move them," he said.
Democrats, meanwhile, watched the proceedings at CPAC with pleasure, saying conservatives are
pushing the Republicans too far to the right to win a general election.
Jesse Lehrich, spokesman for a Democratic opposition research organization called American Bridge,
noted "the continued divide between the conservative and establishment wings of the party," exemplified
by the "animosity" toward Bush. He said that "earning the acceptance of Republican voters is
incompatible with being a viable candidate in a national election."
Republicans said the prospect of a "third Obama term" possibly in the form of Hillary Rodham Clinton
will persuade most Americans to support a conservative in 2016.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said the different types of conservatives
social, economic and national security agree more than they disagree. They also share one overarching
goal, he said: the desire to win after two terms of Obama.
"They want to win," Schlapp said. "They are ready to win."
There are months to go before any Republican caucus or primary votes are cast. But by the time CPAC
next gathers in March 2016, the identity of the Republican nominee may be known.
Getting there involves a process, said Roman Buhler, director of a Virginia-based organization called the
Madison Coalition.
"What's happening here," he said, "is the beginning stage of a really important debate to determine what it
takes to bring new leadership to the country.

CPAC Makes its Pick for 2016 in Straw Poll


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cpac-makes-its-pick-for-2016-in-straw-poll/
Last Updated Feb 28, 2015 8:14 PM EST
By REENA FLORES CBS NEWS

After three days packed with Republican stars peddling their


latest book, 2016 presidential hopefuls vying for grassroots
approval and business attire including tricorn hats and
American flags, the long-awaited Conservative Political Action
Conference presidential straw poll results are in.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won over CPAC's right-wing
activists for the third year in a row with more than a quarter
of the votes.
"Since President Ronald Reagan, the Conservative Political
Action Conference has been the gold standard on where
conservatives stand," Paul said after the announcement of his
victory. "The constitutional conservatives of our party have
spoken in a loud and clear voice today. I plan on doing my

part, and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the


GOP a bigger, better and bolder party."
The conference, held by the American Conservative Union
(ACU), chose Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker as the second
place winner, with the 2016 GOP hopeful raking in 21.4
percent.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben
Carson finished in third (with 11.5 percent) and fourth (with
11 percent) place, respectively. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
came in fifth place at 8 percent.
Other Republican stars, like former Sen. Rick Santorum,
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and real estate mogul Donald
Trump, rounded out the list of 17 potential candidates.
The poll results are the final culmination of a Maryland
weekend loaded with heated speeches and the occasional
conservative talk show host grilling. The invited speakers treat
it as a testing ground for their 2016 messaging: Walker
pitched his executive experience as foreign policy competence,
Bush answered for his record on immigration and education
reform, and everyone bashed presumptive Democratic
presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Scott Walker didn't compare unions to ISIS
Donald Trump scolds Republicans: "Toughen up"
It's the straw poll that launches a thousand spinoffs: attendees
at CPAC spawn a drove of Twitter polls, official flash polls,
even satirical troll polls. And the survey looms so large in the
conservative imagination that veteran strategists have deemed
it the "starting gun of the Republican primary campaign."
But while dispatches with the "Oxon Hill, Md." dateline
overran Washington media outlets during the last few days,
the confab's popularity obscures its actual predictive accuracy.

Jeb Bush takes on tough crowd at CPAC


"The track record of CPAC straw polls in predicting the
Republican nominee is not a good one," American University
political science professor Richard Benedetto told CBS News.
"History shows us this starting in the 1980s. "
The polling data underscores this. According to a National
Journal report, in 41 years of the poll's existence, only three
presidential nominees have been winners of the survey. The
winners in years past are typically a reflection of grassroots
activism, with Paul leading the GOP pack in 2013 and 2014,
rather than overall Republican sentiment.
Jeb Bush, Rand Paul top GOP's 2016 presidential wish
list: Poll
Even months away from GOP primaries, the small sample
doesn't hold up to national polling data. CBS News' latest
election poll doesn't reflect CPAC's conservative hierarchy. In
the nationwide CBS survey, Bush and Paul lead among selfidentified Republicans, with 41 percent and 39 percent
respectively.
Still, the ACU, which flashily advertises their headliners using
adaptations of Avengers posters (complete with
"Conservatives Assemble" tagline), gains a lot of press
coverage from CPAC.
"First, the CPAC straw poll is a reflection of a candidate's
ability to organize," Ian Walters, ACU's communications
director, told CBS News. "On top of that, they have to be able
to come here to this event and be able to connect with
conservatives -- and the grassroots conservative movement."

What conservatives are really saying about Jeb Bush


The ACU bills itself as the "oldest and largest grassroots
conservative organization in the nation," according to their
website. And their reputation precedes them -- CPAC is
indeed an activist stronghold and a bastion for grassroots
campaigning.
But political experts say that it's not really a true
representation of the Republican Party's demographics, nor
does it actually reflect the voters who take part in the early
primaries of presidential years.
"This is a strange part of the conservative base," CBS News'
John Dickerson said of conference attendees. "It's kind of the
smallest core of the conservative core, which is just a portion
of the Republican group."
Over 3,000 registrants voted in CPAC's 2015 poll, with a
plurality of those being 18-25 year-olds.

CPAC straw poll winner: Rand Paul


http://hotair.com/archives/2015/02/28/cpac-straw-poll-winnerrand-paul/
POSTED AT 6:24 PM ON FEBRUARY 28, 2015
BY ED MORRISSEY

To no ones great surprise, Rand Paul won the CPAC 2015 straw poll
for the third year in a row but it got a lot closer this year. Despite
having no observable ground organization, Scott Walker placed
second with 21.4% of the vote, just behind Paul:
Rand Paul won a high-profile straw poll for a third straight year
Saturday, capping an annual conservative conference at which
delegates argued about how to turn their ideas into a presidential
victory in 2016.
The Kentucky senator carried 25.7% in the Conservative Political
Action Conference poll, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished
second with 21.4% a closer-than-expected tally in this early test of
political strength among conservative Republican activists.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., finished third with 11.5%, followed closely by
retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4%.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush perhaps the most criticized candidate
at this conservative conclave finished fifth at 8.3%.
Bush and Paul had the most obviously organized followings at CPAC.
Ben Carsons team exhibited some organization too, enough to get a
fourth-place finish. Cruz, who came in second last year with 11%,

finished third but with about the same level of support as in 2014, but
that did not appear to be organized support.
I took part in the final panel of the afternoon, being a last-minute
substitution for Katie Pavlich on a panel on 2016s presidential race.
The panels time kept getting extended as the straw poll tallying took
longer than expected, but we were having plenty of fun.
For the first time in my memory, there was no final keynote speaker to
end the event. This CPAC was reportedly the most well-attended,
getting over 11,300 registered attendees for the three day conference.
Straw poll voters grew by over 20% over last year, though, which may
be a result of Walkers supporters getting involved for the first time.
Looks like the American Conservative Union had a very successful
event complete with the traditional debate over the meaning of the
straw poll.

CPAC 2015 Straw Poll: Rand


Paul wins again but Scott
Walker is surging


Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National
Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) more >

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/28/cpac-straw-poll-rand-paul-wins-scottwalker-surgin/?page=all
The Washington Times
Saturday, February 28, 2015
By David Sherfinski and Seth McLaughlin

Sen. Rand Paul won this weekends Washington Times/CPAC


presidential preference straw poll for the third time, but the real battle
was going on beneath him, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker easily
distancing himself from the rest of the field, while Sen. Marco Rubio
continued to struggle as the GOP begins to debate its next White House
nominee.
The activist leaders at the Conservative Political Action Conference also
sent a message to Republicans on Capitol Hill, saying that Congress
should use its power of the purse to halt President Obamas deportation
amnesty.
More than 3,000 activists voted in the straw poll, taken Thursday
through Saturday at the conference, which was held in suburban
Maryland, and the mood was combative, with both Mr. Obama and some
Republican leaders coming under fire for everything ranging from
foreign policy to immigration.
Potential presidential candidates repeatedly criticized GOP leadership on
Capitol Hill for the way the immigration fight with Mr. Obama has gone,
and the activists on Saturday booed when former Florida Gov. Jeb
Bushs name was read as fifth place in the straw poll.
Mr. Bush says he opposes Mr. Obamas unilateral grant of amnesty to
illegal immigrants, but also says the country must legalize those illegal
immigrants at some point anyway a stance that meets with resistance
among conservatives, who generally want to see them either deported or
given some status shy of citizenship.
Immigration has also taken a toll on Mr. Rubio, who two years ago came
in second in the presidential straw poll but sank to seventh place this
year, garnering less than 4 percent of the vote.
His decline coincides with his decision to join the so-called Gang of
Eight senators who wrote the 2013 immigration bill that would have
offered most illegal immigrants a path to citizenship the legislation
that paved the way for Mr. Obamas new unilateral deportation amnesty.

The beneficiaries of the weekend were Mr. Paul and Mr. Walker, with
Sen. Ted Cruz and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson placing third and
fourth.
You have to say that Rand Paul did what he had to do when he came
here. He fired up his passionate supporters, who were out in number, as
they always are, and he maintained equilibrium with them and held them
solid, said Charlie Gerow, a board member of the American
Conservative Union, which plays host to CPAC.
Mr. Paul said his win was evidence that the GOP is looking to broaden
its message with a bolder conservative approach.
But history suggests Mr. Paul is unlikely to carry the GOPs flag come
next year. The CPAC straw poll winner a year out from the primaries has
never gone on to be the partys nominee.
Mr. Walker saw the biggest surge in this years poll, rising from sixth
place and 7 percent last year to reach 21.4 percent this year.
Karen Reagan, 38, from Raleigh, North Carolina, praised Mr. Walkers
stand against public sector labor unions in Wisconsin a battle that
earned him a recall election, which he survived. He has since won a
second term, meaning hes won three elections in swing state Wisconsin
in little more than four years.
I think he is the most unifying figure that this party has had in a couple
of decades, she said. This guy set out to do something in Wisconsin,
and he had 100,000 people screaming at him, terrorizing him and his
family.
To stand up in the face of that kind of terror and abuse, I mean there is
just no question where my heart is at, she said.
The 17 names on this years straw poll already represent somewhat of a
winnowing from last year, when more than two dozen names were
listed.
Beyond the presidential contest, the poll suggested a continued shift
among the conservative activists here toward a libertarian attitude on
marijuana. The 65 percent who said the drug should be legal for
medicinal or recreational purposes is a jump of 4 percentage points from
2014s poll.

Asked about the Common Core education standards that have become a
flashpoint, 57.6 percent of conservatives at CPAC said they would not be
able to vote for a candidate who supported the standards. That is likely
to affect Mr. Bush the most: His remarks to the conference this week
included a defense of Common Core, even though many of his rivals
have backed away from their previous support.

At CPAC, Jeb Bush does his best to


reestablish conservative credentials

By Joseph Weber

Published February 28, 2015

FoxNews.com



http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/28/at-cpac-bush-does-his-best-toreestablish-conservative-creds-break-through/

Feb. 27, 2015: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks during the Conservative Political Action
Conference in National Harbor, Md.(AP)

Potential 2016 White House candidate Gov. Jeb Bush made the
most of his opportunities this week to assure attendees at the
Conservative Political Action Conference that he rides with them
on such key issues as immigration reform and education
standards.

But that was about the best the former Florida GOP governor
could expect in a gathering where long-standing allegiances and
beliefs are hard to change.

Eschewing the ballroom speech upon which other presidential


hopefuls relied, Bush instead used a 20-minute question-andanswer session to try to reestablish his conservative credentials
and dispel notions about being a squishy moderate and
Republican establishment royalty.

The simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11 million people,


he said Friday, defended his gubernatorial record on granting
drivers licenses to illegal immigrants. We should give them a
path to legal status where they work, where they dont receive
government benefits where they make a contribution to our
society.

Eight years out of oce, Bush has had to work hard to remind
potential voters that he was among the country's most
conservative governors.

Still, some conservatives need no convincing. Bush already


enjoys formal and informal support from a growing network of
well-connected conservative leaders with whom he maintains
regular contact.

"It'd be hard to be better than Bush on the life issue," said


Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a
national group that advocates for social conservative values and
supports candidates who oppose abortion. "He's said many
times -- said it to me -- that he can be counted on."

Matt Schlapp, president of the American Conservative Union,


which hosts CPAC, cannot formally endorse a presidential

candidate but says Bush had "sterling conservative credentials"


as Florida governor and "took prominent conservative positions
in a battleground state."

"Conservatives play a large role in determining who the


Republican nominee is," said Schlapp, who served as political
director in Bush's brother's White House. "People will forgive him
if they connect to him when he makes his pitch. I think that's
what's critical."

Though the crowd at CPAC, the nation's largest annual


conference of conservative activists, largely responded to
Bushes responses with cheers, others booed and walked out.

"No more Bushes. No more Clinton." chanted Georgia Tea Party


activist William Temple, who led the walkout. "What's he doing
here? He's an establishment candidate, not a conservative
candidate.

Reports that Bush supporters were bussed to CPAC from


downtown Washington and allegations they intend to ballot stu
the events straw poll have also shadowed his appearance at the
event.

But winning over some or any of those who attended the event
was always going to be dicult -- considering the popularity of
other potential Republican candidates such as retired
neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul -who won the CPAC straw poll in 2013 and 2014.

Rand Paul is not the old school conservative, said Alexis


Esneault, who especially likes Pauls eorts to reform the criminal
justice system and who attended CPAC with the nonprofit group
Young Americans for Liberty. Hes pulling in people from the left
and hes also got the youth vote. I really like that.

To be sure, many of the hundreds who attended the event were


under 30. They were eager to stake their position in conservative
politics and eagerly welcomed by the movements old guard,
which held such seminars as Reclaiming the American Dream:
Millennials Look Toward Their Future.

Paul already benefits from being the son of Libertarian and retired
Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who as a presidential candidate had a large
and devoted youth following.

It would be tough not to vote for Rand, said Dave Franklin, a


stock market analyst who has attended CPAC since 2011. I was
a little skeptical at first. But hes his own man.

Bush, now largely considered to be the presumptive GOP


frontrunner, arrived at CPAC amid aggressive, nationwide
fundraising eorts, while his team and key backers take steps to
remind the party of his history as a conservative in oce.

Al Cardenas, a longtime Bush supporter and former chairman of


the American Conservative Union, said it would take Bush six to
eight months to "totally set the record straight."

Cardenas and other Bush allies say the problem is one of


misperception, as a new era of conservatives are simply less
familiar with his record as Florida governor.

Aides say that while in oce from 1999 to 2007, Bush was
among the first state executives to take on teachers unions,
lowered taxes each year and signed Florida's "stand your
ground" gun law. He was a hero among social conservatives for
his actions to keep Michael Schiavo from removing the feeding
tube from his brain-damaged wife, Terri.

It shouldn't be like this, but Bushs name almost disqualifies


him, said R.J. Robinson, a fundraiser for Run Ben Run: The
National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee. It seems
almost unanimous that nobody wants another Bush-Clinton
race.

Beyond the criticism about being soft on immigration reform,


Bush is also taking heat for his support for the Common Core
education standards.

The federal government has no role in the creation of standards


Bush said Friday, adding the government should not dictate what
is taught in schools. The role of the federal government, if any, is
to create more school choice.

Just four in 10 self-identified conservatives and tea party


supporters rated Bush favorably in an Associated Press-GfK poll

conducted earlier this month. There was evidence, too, of antiBush sentiment in the crowded hotel lobbies Thursday as
thousands of activists gathered for CPAC.

"I have not seen a single Jeb Bush button here," said Neil
McGettigan, 25, of New Jersey. "Honestly, I think the media's
more excited about him than anyone here."

CPAC: Paul edges Walker in


straw poll
David Jackson, USA TODAY 5:40 p.m. CST February 28, 2015w

http://www.wfaa.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/28/conservative-political-actionconference-obama-jeb-bush-rand-paul-straw-poll/24176749/

(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Rand Paul won a high-profile straw poll for a
third straight year Saturday, capping an annual conservative conference at
which delegates argued about how to turn their ideas into a presidential
victory in 2016.
The Kentucky senator carried 25.7% in the Conservative Political Action
Conference poll, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second with
21.4% a closer-than-expected tally in this early test of political strength
among conservative Republican activists.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, finished third with 11.5%, followed closely by
retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4%.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush perhaps the most criticized candidate
at this conservative conclave finished fifth at 8.3%.
Other potential presidential candidates including Marco Rubio, Chris
Christie, and Rick Perry had less than 4% in the straw poll. Paul also
won CPAC contests in 2013 and 2014.
The straw poll highlighted the four-day conference at which conservative
delegates generally agreed they need to elect one of their own to the
presidency in 2016, but disputed the best way to go about it.
Some CPAC delegates said Republicans should nominate a true believer,
someone who can repeal health care, shrink the size of the federal
government and aggressively wage war on the Islamic State militant group.
Others agreed on the need for a conservative nominee but said the GOP
needs to reach out to moderates who may hold different views on
immigration, education and foreign policy and will be needed to win the
presidential vote in 2016.
"I am 60% confident right now," said attendee Brian Long in-between
conference sessions. "I'd like to say I'm 80% confident."
As CPAC members swapped stories and handed out buttons and
pamphlets in the hallways, the longtime tension between "real
conservatives" and "establishment Republicans" surfaced repeatedly.
It could be seen in the reactions to one prospective candidate in particular:
Jeb Bush.
Although some CPAC members applauded Bush's call for "reform"
conservatism, others described the former Florida governor as a dreaded
RINO Republican In Name Only. "He should be a Democrat," said
Christmas Simon, a public speaker from Yorba Linda, Calif.
Bush's name drew boos during some of Saturday's wrap-up sessions.
Noelani Bonifacio, 26, a legislative aide to a state senator in Hawaii, said
conservatives fight each other too much. Bonifacio said she knows people
who backed former Texas congressman Ron Paul during the 2012

Republican primaries, then refused to vote for eventual nominee Mitt


Romney in the general election.
"We have a lot of disagreements which is good but I think we spend
too much time attacking each other," said Bonifacio, who voted for Rubio, a
Florida senator, in the straw poll. "We should be attacking Democrats."
Bonifacio said Bush "is not my first choice," but she would vote for him in
the general election if he is the nominee because "he is better than the
alternative."
Not everyone at CPAC agreed. Some cited Bush's support of a pathway to
citizenship for migrants who are in the country illegally. Others criticized his
support of education standards known as "Common Core."
Simon who cast her straw vote for "hard-core conservative" Cruz, the
Texas senator said voters want people who "really stand firm on what
they believe in."
There's also the fact that the last two Republican presidents were named
Bush.
"The only dynasty that I like is the Duck Dynasty," said radio talk show host
Mark Levin during a CPAC session Saturday, a reference to a television
program featuring a family headed by Phil Robertson, a religious
conservative who spoke here Friday.
CPAC members some of whom spent as much time attacking the new
Republican Congress as President Obama gravitated toward
prospective candidates who say they want to challenge the GOP
establishment in Washington.
That group includes Paul, Walker, Cruz and Carson.
Long, 68, a regional economist from Kalamazoo, Mich., said Republicans
need to attract people who rarely vote, just as the Democratic turnout
machine helped elect Obama twice. "We have to reach out to conservative
voters who stay at home when they see a candidate who does not move
them," he said.
Democrats, meanwhile, watched the proceedings at CPAC with pleasure,
saying conservatives are pushing the Republicans too far to the right to win
a general election.
Jesse Lehrich, spokesman for a Democratic opposition research
organization called American Bridge, noted "the continued divide between
the conservative and establishment wings of the party," exemplified by the
"animosity" toward Bush. He said that "earning the acceptance of
Republican voters is incompatible with being a viable candidate in a
national election."

Republicans said the prospect of a "third Obama term" possibly in the


form of Hillary Rodham Clinton will persuade most Americans to support
a conservative in 2016.
Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said the
different types of conservatives social, economic and national security
agree more than they disagree. They also share one overarching goal,
he said: the desire to win after two terms of Obama.
"They want to win," Schlapp said. "They are ready to win."
There are months to go before any Republican caucus or primary votes are
cast. But by the time CPAC next gathers in March 2016, the identity of the
Republican nominee may be known.
Getting there involves a process, said Roman Buhler, director of a Virginiabased organization called the Madison Coalition.
"What's happening here," he said, "is the beginning stage of a really
important debate to determine what it takes to bring new leadership to the
country.

CPAC Straw Poll


Choosing Among 17
Potential GOP Candidates
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/cpac-straw-poll-potential-presidential/2015/02/28/id/
627484/

Saturday, 28 Feb 2015 02:51 PM


By Sandy Fitzgerald

Conservative Political Action Conference are facing a big decision about who to pick to win their
annual straw poll.
With the campaign season for the 2016 presidential election rapidly approaching, this year's
event attracted 17 names of people who are expected to mount campaigns for the GOP
nomination, reports Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee did not attend the event or speak, but his
name is still on the straw poll ballot, leaving him with the possibility of a win without making the
jaunt to the Maryland venue or mounting a campaign for convention-goers' support.
This year's event also underscored the growing division between the conservative and
moderate factions of the party. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had not missed
the event in years, did not go, nor did House Speaker John Boehner.
This year was the first that McConnell skipped for some time, and comes just one year after he
made headlines for holding up a gun during his speech on the CPAC stage, reports The
Washington Times.
Boehner, though, has not spoken at CPAC since 2010, just months before Tea Party-fueled
elections helped Republicans retake the House.
Following a marathon two-day session of speeches, CPAC attendees will have the following to
choose from, in the order their names appear on this year's straw poll ballot:

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin; Louisiana
Gov. Bobby Jindal; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; real estate entrepreneur Donald Trump;
former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; former ambassador John Bolton; New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie; former New York Gov. George Pataki; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum;
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham;
retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson; Huckabee; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Paul is defending a two-year winning streak, reports The Hill, but several other candidates this
year have organized efforts to take the poll votes and grab this year's headlines.
But how deep other potential rivals most notably Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush cut into his support will show who is on the rise in the 2016 GOP field.
"Every year serious candidates come to CPAC and organize and get people to come here for
the specific purpose of voting for them in the straw poll," said Citizens United President David
Bossie. "Does it at the end of the day really mean anything that you can have the money and an
organization to bus people in? Probably, because that means you have money and an
organization. It's important."
Bush, who is considered a more moderate candidate than most at this week's event, still
brought in hundreds of supporters to help boost his straw poll showing, but Walker's supporters
are also highly vocal this year.
But Paul has been the one who has dominated the libertarian-leaning event for the past two
years, and his speech brought convention-goers to their feet on Friday.
Some watchers, including former Florida GOP Rep. Allen West, say that the poll is just won by
whomever spends the most money bringing in supporters, and doesn't really reflect who will be
on top when it comes time to pick a GOP presidential nominee.
Mitt Romney and former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush have won the CPAC
straw poll, reports The Hill, but there have been other potential candidates including Gary
Bauer, Rudy Giuliani, George Allen, Steve Forbes, and Phil Gramm who either dropped out
early in presidential races or never ended up running.
Bossie is predicting another win for Paul, but still, the CPAC event also allows candidates to
show they are serious contenders.
"You're going to see guys like Scott Walker who didn't have an organization coming here
because he wasn't really planning on coming here in a big way," said Bossie. "This is new for
him. I'm very interested in seeing where Scott Walker is at the end of the day. Where Jeb Bush
falls will be interesting."
And even a good speech does not mean a straw poll win, said GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway,
although it helps.
"Those who win the straw poll traditionally have delivered a strong performance at CPAC but
also fill the room with people who believe in them," said Conway, who runs the straw poll. "You

can convert or persuade some in the audience, but it's also the legwork that's been done up to
that moment in filling a room with your supporters."
There may be some surprises in this year's vote. Cruz finished at a distant second to Paul last
year, but as he showed no organizational effort, his chances at winning aren't good. And Rubio,
whose speech was well-received, also didn't have a team effort showing for his win.
But newcomers like Fiorina and Carson had strong speeches and support, which may work in
their favor in the balloting.
Meanwhile, this year's CPAC event has been more calm than others in recent years, reports
Bloomberg. The event was run by Matt Schlapp, who heads the American Conservative Union
after working with former President George W. Bush's presidential campaign and with Koch
Industries, and as a result, there have been fewer instances of heckling or other mediaheadline-grabbing actions.
Outspoken columnist Ann Coulter, whose speeches have been full of fierce barbs over the years
was not invited this year, reports Bloomberg, and although Schlapp diplomatically said she was
welcome, as she's "a great fit here," still "she wasn't one of the speakers this year."

Walker scores with conservatives;


Bush still has work to do
BY DAVID LIGHTMAN

02/28/2015 11:34 AM 02/28/2015 9:39 PM

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/article11470271.html

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker waves while speaking during the Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26,
2015. Thirteen potential candidates each got 20 minutes before the
Conservative Political Action Conference. Walker got the loudest applause. In
another sign of his potential appeal, Walker came in a strong second in a straw
poll of activists at the conference. CLIFF OWEN AP

OXON HILL, MD.


Scott Walker has momentum with conservatives. Ted Cruz and
Rand Paul have the passion. And Jeb Bush still faces widespread
skepticism thats not going away.
Those were some of the takeaways as thousands of conservatives
ended a four-day conference Saturday with fresh takes on
potential candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential
nomination, impressions that will help shape the early stages of
the wide-open race.
Thirteen potential candidates each got 20 minutes before the
Conservative Political Action Conference. Walker, the Wisconsin
governor, got the loudest applause, with Paul, a U.S. senator from
Kentucky, and Cruz, a senator from Texas, close behind. Retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson was the grassroots champion, as his Tshirted army seemed to be everywhere.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stoked considerable curiosity with
his detailed prescription for derailing the Common Core
educational standards. And former business executive Carly
Fiorina got buzz for her lively zingers aimed at likely Democratic
candidate Hillary Clinton.


None emerged as the clear rising star. Walker came closest. Hes
stoked interest because hes a new face, a 47-year-old just-reelected governor from a nominally Democratic state who took on
labor unions and won.
In one sign of his potential appeal, Walker came in a strong
second in a straw poll of activists at the conference.
Paul won it for the third year in a row, followed closely by
newcomer Walker, then Cruz, Carson and Bush.

Walkers appearance at the meeting was tarnished a smidgeon,


though, when he appeared to liken union protesters in Wisconsin
to terrorists. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, he said, I can
do the same across the world.
Walker nonetheless remained an attractive option to a bloc of
activists frustrated that the last two Republican presidential
nominees, John McCain and Mitt Romney, werent conservative
enough and seemed too tied to the mainstream political
establishment.
Barbara Decker, a San Diego retiree, liked Walker and Cruz,
explaining, Im tired of establishment figures.
That was Bushs burden, and will be for some time. Hes not only
the candidate piling up big donor money and tapping a network of
well-known insiders, hes the son and brother of presidents.
That bothered a lot of people at the conference. Im not a fan of
imperial presidencies, said Travis Murray, a Coast Guard officer
from Shorewood, Illinois. The Founding Fathers never intended
to have a hierarchy handing down the presidency to future
generations.
The Bush name also remains a source of conservative wariness.
Theres a lot of Bush fatigue, said David Keene, former
American Conservative Union chairman, and neither his brother
or father was seen by many conservative as conservative enough.

They disliked President George H. W. Bush for agreeing to a tax
increase after pledging no new taxes. They criticized President
George W. Bush for presiding over huge federal deficits in his
second term.
Jeb Bushs supporters said he did what he needed to do at this
conference. He flooded the convention hall with supporters when

he spoke Friday, making sure cheers drowned out booing for his
immigration and education resume.
Those issues will continue to dog Bush. He maintained Common
Core, which he supports, is not a federal overreach into a local
function, a view not widely shared here. While the standards were
developed by governors and education officials, the Obama
administration has tied some federal funding to acceptance of the
standards.
Bush also reiterated his support for a path to legalization for many
immigrants now in this country illegally. To supporters, thats the
kind of stance that will help him hes the nominee and needs to
woo a wider audience.
He explained himself very well, said Ed Cowling, a Phoenix
public relations executive. The crowd really seemed to quiet
down as he spoke.
Not in the halls. No, a thousand times no, said Nedra Babcock, a
Tulsa prison reform advocate, of Bush. Why not? Common
Core.
The next test for these potential candidates will be pulling away
from the pack.
Some made progress down that road. It was hard to walk down a
hall without someone trying to slap a Run Ben Run sticker
somewhere, or offer a Stand with Rand button. Walker got
positive comments everywhere, notably for fighting the unions.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida got some mention for his
explanations of his views, notably how hes learned a lesson from
his initial stand on immigration, which was protested by
conservatives.
Others were all but forgotten in the Saturday hall chatter. Few
were talking about potentials such as New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas
Gov. Rick Perry or Donald Trump.
Most will appear again next Saturday at the Iowa Ag Forum,
where theyll address rural issues. Theyre also quietly competing

in the money primary, where Bush is expected to wow the


political world with a big fundraising take.
The true gauge of whos up and down will be more subtle and
difficult to measure. Activists headed home Saturday with new
thoughts and feelings about these candidates, ready to share them
with like-minded friends and associates.
Impressions forged here will matter, and thats why Walker
emerged with a slight edge. He seems real, said Babcock.

CPAC: Paul edges Walker in


straw poll
David Jackson, USA TODAY 6:40 p.m. EST February 28, 2015

http://www.portclintonnewsherald.com/story/news/politics/
2015/02/28/conservative-political-action-conference-obama-jebbush-rand-paul-straw-poll/24176749/

!
(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Rand Paul won a high-profile straw poll for a
third straight year Saturday, capping an annual conservative conference at
which delegates argued about how to turn their ideas into a presidential
victory in 2016.

The Kentucky senator carried 25.7% in the Conservative Political Action


Conference poll, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second with
21.4% a closer-than-expected tally in this early test of political strength
among conservative Republican activists.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, finished third with 11.5%, followed closely by
retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4%.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush perhaps the most criticized candidate
at this conservative conclave finished fifth at 8.3%.
Other potential presidential candidates including Marco Rubio, Chris
Christie, and Rick Perry had less than 4% in the straw poll. Paul also
won CPAC contests in 2013 and 2014.
The straw poll highlighted the four-day conference at which conservative
delegates generally agreed they need to elect one of their own to the
presidency in 2016, but disputed the best way to go about it.
Some CPAC delegates said Republicans should nominate a true believer,
someone who can repeal health care, shrink the size of the federal
government and aggressively wage war on the Islamic State militant group.
Others agreed on the need for a conservative nominee but said the GOP
needs to reach out to moderates who may hold different views on
immigration, education and foreign policy and will be needed to win the
presidential vote in 2016.
"I am 60% confident right now," said attendee Brian Long in-between
conference sessions. "I'd like to say I'm 80% confident."
As CPAC members swapped stories and handed out buttons and
pamphlets in the hallways, the longtime tension between "real
conservatives" and "establishment Republicans" surfaced repeatedly.
It could be seen in the reactions to one prospective candidate in particular:
Jeb Bush.
Although some CPAC members applauded Bush's call for "reform"
conservatism, others described the former Florida governor as a dreaded
RINO Republican In Name Only. "He should be a Democrat," said
Christmas Simon, a public speaker from Yorba Linda, Calif.
Bush's name drew boos during some of Saturday's wrap-up sessions.
Noelani Bonifacio, 26, a legislative aide to a state senator in Hawaii, said
conservatives fight each other too much. Bonifacio said she knows people
who backed former Texas congressman Ron Paul during the 2012
Republican primaries, then refused to vote for eventual nominee Mitt
Romney in the general election.

"We have a lot of disagreements which is good but I think we spend


too much time attacking each other," said Bonifacio, who voted for Rubio, a
Florida senator, in the straw poll. "We should be attacking Democrats."
Bonifacio said Bush "is not my first choice," but she would vote for him in
the general election if he is the nominee because "he is better than the
alternative."
Not everyone at CPAC agreed. Some cited Bush's support of a pathway to
citizenship for migrants who are in the country illegally. Others criticized his
support of education standards known as "Common Core."
Simon who cast her straw vote for "hard-core conservative" Cruz, the
Texas senator said voters want people who "really stand firm on what
they believe in."
There's also the fact that the last two Republican presidents were named
Bush.
"The only dynasty that I like is the Duck Dynasty," said radio talk show host
Mark Levin during a CPAC session Saturday, a reference to a television
program featuring a family headed by Phil Robertson, a religious
conservative who spoke here Friday.
CPAC members some of whom spent as much time attacking the new
Republican Congress as President Obama gravitated toward
prospective candidates who say they want to challenge the GOP
establishment in Washington.
That group includes Paul, Walker, Cruz and Carson.
Long, 68, a regional economist from Kalamazoo, Mich., said Republicans
need to attract people who rarely vote, just as the Democratic turnout
machine helped elect Obama twice. "We have to reach out to conservative
voters who stay at home when they see a candidate who does not move
them," he said.
Democrats, meanwhile, watched the proceedings at CPAC with pleasure,
saying conservatives are pushing the Republicans too far to the right to win
a general election.
Jesse Lehrich, spokesman for a Democratic opposition research
organization called American Bridge, noted "the continued divide between
the conservative and establishment wings of the party," exemplified by the
"animosity" toward Bush. He said that "earning the acceptance of
Republican voters is incompatible with being a viable candidate in a
national election."
Republicans said the prospect of a "third Obama term" possibly in the
form of Hillary Rodham Clinton will persuade most Americans to support
a conservative in 2016.

Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, said the


different types of conservatives social, economic and national security
agree more than they disagree. They also share one overarching goal,
he said: the desire to win after two terms of Obama.
"They want to win," Schlapp said. "They are ready to win."
There are months to go before any Republican caucus or primary votes are
cast. But by the time CPAC next gathers in March 2016, the identity of the
Republican nominee may be known.
Getting there involves a process, said Roman Buhler, director of a Virginiabased organization called the Madison Coalition.
"What's happening here," he said, "is the beginning stage of a really
important debate to determine what it takes to bring new leadership to the
country."

The Brit Who Crashed CPAC


Nigel Farage creates a stir among
American conservativesthe wrong kind.
By ADAM B. LERNER February 28, 2015
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/02/whowas-that-brit-at-cpac-115597.html#.VP2_RouIdG4
When Dan Schneider, executive director of the
American Conservative Union, heard Nigel Farage
speak at a dinner last fall, he was entranced by the
maverick British politician. I was very impressed
with his thought process and his ability to captivate
an audience, Schneider told Politico. Schneider
confessed that he couldnt recall exactly what Farage,
the firebrand leader of the United Kingdom
Independence Party (UKIP), had spoken about, but
he decided to invite him to speak at the unions

Conservative Political Action Conference anyway


the only foreign politician to do so this year.
Schneider might have done well to look more deeply
into Farages views, which didnt sit too well with the
CPAC audience only the latest illustration that farright politicians in different lands can travel far
afield from each other, even when their parties are
just across the pond.
Farages speech Thursday night focused largely on
critiques of the European Union and the euro
currencyhardly crowd-pleasers at CPACbut he
really ran into trouble when he came out swinging
against military interventions of all kinds, even those
supported by the Republican Party. We have been
joined at the hip with America and we have been
involved in an endless series of overseas
engagements and foreign wars, Farage said. Every
time we do these things were told by our leaders
that its to make the streets of London and New York
safer. I would claim that weve actually enflamed and
stoked the fires of militant Islam.
{ts '2015-03-09 10:40:25'}

Farages tone was a marked contrast from most


CPAC speakers, who have generally lambasted
President Barack Obamas foreign policy and
employed a hawkish tone in blaming him for the rise

of head-chopping Islamic State militants in the


Middle East.
In Britain, Farages party is known chiefly for its
opposition to immigration an issue that resonates
deeply with an American right that is still livid over
Obamas November executive action providing legal
status to millions of undocumented immigrants. But
conservatives looking to Farage for jabs at the
president left the speech disappointed over that
issue as well. When asked beforehand whether or
not he had an opinion on the executive order, Farage
told Politico, No. Not really.
Even more disruptive to the CPAC narrativewhich
is largely about uniting conservatives under the GOP
banneris the story of Farages UKIP, which is a
right-wing faction of a mainstream party that has
broken away to become that partys biggest electoral
threat. In the UK, Farages party is often likened to a
version of the Tea Party in the United States. But
unlike its American counterpart, it has split from the
party it once identified with, something many Tea
Partiers often threaten to do if the Republican Party
leadership doesnt fall into line. Farages party was
formed by discontented members of the
Conservative Party who left after then-Prime
Minister John Major decided that Britain would join
the European Union, and Farage himself is an oftendisruptive member of the European Parliament.

And today the UKIP has become precisely the sort of


political nightmare that breakaway conservatives
sometimes threaten to become for the GOP: It could
soon cost the mainstream Conservative Party its
majority coalition in Parliament.
In his speech, Farage delivered several pointed
reminders of this very different agenda across the
Atlantic, mentioning two Conservative members of
Parliament that his party had persuaded to defect
and making veiled references to creating an outside
force to challenge the mainstream Republican party
though he refrained from advocating defection
outright.
Farage told Politico before the speech that he hadnt
told CPACs organizers what he planned to discuss,
and that he believed he was invited to speak a bit
about how this insurgent party UKIP has taken off.
He said UKIP should serve as a lesson to rightward
activists in the United States keen to challenge the
mainstream. You can pick up an issue that is deeply
unpopular with the mainstream media, who think
youre terrible people for even discussing it, and
make it a mainstream political debate.
This, too, is likely not welcome advice to party
operatives keen to overcome a view of Republicans
as anti-women, unconcerned with the plight of
minorities, and intolerant of homosexuals.
The English conservative populist also said he wasnt
afraid to condemn the last two Republican

presidents foreign policy even if the people who


championed it were hosting him in the United
States. I think that a lot of people in the audience
will be quite surprised by what Ive got to say this
afternoon, Farage said Thursday morning. They
will think, This Farage bloke, hes like us. He
probably thinks that going to war everywhere is a
good idea. I dont. I dont. I think weve made a mess
of it.
Though CPAC has a history of giving speaking slots
to firebrands and fringe candidates like Donald
Trump, Sarah Palin, and Ann Coulter, it rarely hosts
controversial foreign leaders. In recent years, the
only British politician has been Daniel Hannan, a
member of European Parliament from the UKs
Conservative Party, who spoke in 2012 and 2014. His
speeches have for the most part toed the Republican
Party line.
Farage did manage to fire up the CPAC crowd with a
lengthy tirade against the cowardly and politically
correct practice of multiculturalism that he believes
should rile Americans and Europeans equally. On
Wednesday, appearing on Fox News, Farage said the
two countries have allowed different communities
to develop a different culture within what ought to
be a Judeo-Christian culture.
Upon inspection, Farages invitation seemed to stem
simply from his ability to rile a right-leaning populist
crowd, regardless of what issues he uses to rile them.

Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Alex Marlow


introduced Farage as a resilient family man whose
earned his following through straight-talk against
elites in Parliament and the European Union.
Hes a living, breathing, smoking, drinking protest
to political correctness, Marlowe continued.
Hes very much positioned against the
establishment, said Stan Veuger, a scholar at the
American Enterprise Institute who has worked on
international economics related to the European
Union.
But when faced with the question of why CPAC
would invite such a disruptive figure to speak,
Veuger suggested theres another, far less policyoriented reason Farage may have been invited.
He sounds British, Veuger said, and that adds an
air of sophistication. [Farage] is very different than
someone from Alabama.
As CPAC has since learned.
Correction: A previous version of this story
mischaracterized the coalition's parliamentary
majority.

A More Inclusive CPAC :: Interview with


ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp
by Justin Snow
Metro Weekly
Saturday Feb 28, 2015
http://www.edgeboston.com/news/politics/news/172709/
a_more_inclusive_cpac_::_interview_with_acu_chairman_matt_schlapp


(Source:Gage Skidmore/flickr)
When the Conservative Political Action Conference convened this week, Matt Schlapp
had a message for gay conservatives: You are welcome here.
"To be absolutely crystal clear, if you are a conservative who is gay, you should come to
CPAC - you are welcome to come to CPAC," says Schlapp. "Yes, you are going to
encounter people who disagree with you. My goal is for you to be respected and for them
to be respected and for us all to think about not only the things that we have differences
on, but the things we agree on. We ought to be talking about that as well."
Schlapp was elected chairman of the American Conservative Union in June, and, during
an exclusive interview at the ACU's offices in downtown Washington, promised to "break
from the past" and repair the organization's strained relationship with gay conservatives.
"We have taken rather historic steps to make it very clear that CPAC is welcoming of all
kinds of conservatives, including conservatives who are gay," he says. "We have gay
speakers on the main stage and the break out [panels]. We have made an intentional effort

to make it very clear to people that that is part of what CPAC is going to be about. And
that's important to me."
On Monday, the ACU announced that Gregory T. Angelo, the executive director of Log
Cabin Republicans, would appear on a panel addressing Vladimir Putin's "threatening
actions toward Europe, as well as his tragic human rights record." The announcement
came days after Angelo accused the ACU of excluding the LGBT Republican group as
sponsors of the annual conference - an assertion Schlapp denies.
CPAC, which will be held from Feb. 25 to 28 at the Gaylord National Resort &
Convention Center at National Harbor, Md., has become an obligatory pit stop for
Republican presidential candidates. But the conference has a messy history with gay
conservatives, who have had no official presence at CPAC for several years. The now
defunct GOProud participated in CPAC in 2010 and 2011 to the protests of social
conservatives, but was kicked out of the conference in 2012 after GOProud co-founder
Chris Barron labeled conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell a "nasty bigot," blaming her
for the Heritage Foundation's decision to remove itself from the conference over
GOProud's participation. Despite an apology from Barron, GOProud was not invited
back.
Both the ACU and Log Cabin Republicans blamed last week's dispute on confusion and
miscommunication between the two organizations, and Schlapp doubled-down on his
promise to make CPAC more inclusive going forward.
"This is purposeful - I want to do this," Schlapp says of giving an interview to an LGBT
media outlet. "We want to reach out to every legitimate media outlet and tell our story,
tell them what we're about. People are going to agree with us on some things, disagree
with us on other things. We're going to respect each other and have the conversation."
According to Schlapp, for the conservative movement to be successful politically, its
message must reach all kinds of people.
"Specifically on social issues, we've got a huge contingent of libertarians," he says. "A lot
of young people as well who are more libertarian-minded. They're part of our coalition.
They're awful important to us being successful politically. We are not going to succeed
politically if it's about subtraction and division of our numbers. It's got to be about
addition and multiplication."
Schlapp is the first chairman of the ACU to be born after the organization's founding in
1964. Born in Ohio, the 47-year-old grew up in Texas, New Jersey and Kansas. He
attended the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and graduate school at Wichita State
University. While at Notre Dame, he helped found a conservative magazine called
Dialogue with the help of his roommate that he says infuriated the administration - an
experience that appears to have spurred his vocal support for open debate.
"They took that first magazine, which I had to raise $2,000 from people all over the
country [to produce], and they threw it in the dumpsters all over campus," Schlapp

recalls. "I got up early to see if people were reading this magazine I put my whole heart
into, and I saw some guy throwing it in the dumpster. I tell you, my heart just sank. I was
like, 'This is outrageous. This is not just. Why would someone be so scared to hear
someone's thoughts that they would literally throw it away?' I went through that dumpster
and wiped off every magazine. I put them back in those bins. And from that moment on
they did not throw the next copy away because I think they felt completely foolish. Here I
am, a student who is doing nothing but putting his thoughts down on paper."
After opening a small business after college with his mother, Schlapp went to work on
Capitol Hill and befriended a fellow congressional staffer named Ken Mehlman, who
later recruited Schlapp to work on George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign. That
led to Schlapp becoming an advisor during Bush's first term. After running Bush's 2004
reelection campaign and serving as chairman of the Republican National Committee,
Mehlman came out as gay in 2010.
Schlapp is Catholic. He believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
When asked about an anticipated ruling from the Supreme Court striking down state bans
on same-sex marriage, he draws parallels to the issue of abortion and expresses hope that
a political consensus can be reached that does not divide the country.
"We had people that founded America - came to America - because they had strongly
held religious views that are enshrined in our First Amendment. I don't want to do
anything to ever change that religious zone for those people who have those strongly held
beliefs," he says. "By the same token, we have to figure out, in light of what the court is
going to do and where the American people are on this issue, how we handle those folks
who have strongly held religious beliefs with people that believe strongly in gay marriage
and believe that's a civil right. I think America is big enough and strong enough to figure
out a way to accommodate both."
While Schlapp may personally oppose same-sex marriage, he admits his inclusive tone
has alienated some. Indeed, the same day as his election as ACU's chairman in June,
Cleta Mitchell resigned from the boards of both the ACU and ACU Foundation.
And although some may not like his new approach, Schlapp is okay with the criticism he
may receive. "I am surprised by how many conservative leaders I have talked to have
said, 'You're striking exactly the right tone.' So, I think there are a lot of people who
realize this is the right way to go forward.
"I come from a family of four kids and I have five kids," he continues. "I've not gone
through a dinner table conversation where everyone agreed. There's always disagreement
- I've just been brought up in a way where I understand that to be healthy. You put your
differences on the table and you talk about them. And we're going to do that.
"Some of those differences are on gay issues, some are on regulatory policy, tax policy,
foreign affairs, everything under the sun. That discussion, I believe, will lead us to be
more cohesive, because instead of hiding from our disagreements and sanitizing them, we
put them out there.

Who scored, who didn't at CPAC


conference
By David Lightman
POSTED: 02/28/2015 12:01:00 AM CST

http://www.twincities.com/nation/ci_27618129/who-scored-who-didntat-cpac-conference
OXON HILL, Md. -- Scott Walker has momentum with conservatives.
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have the passion. And Jeb Bush still faces
widespread skepticism that's not going away.
Those were some of the conclusions as thousands of conservatives
ended a four-day conference Saturday with fresh takes on potential
candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination,
impressions that will help shape the early stages of the wide-open
race.
Thirteen potential candidates each got 20 minutes before the
Conservative Political Action Conference. Walker, the Wisconsin
governor, got the loudest applause, with Paul, a U.S. senator from
Kentucky, and Cruz, a senator from Texas, close behind. Retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson was the grass-roots champion, as his Tshirted army seemed to be everywhere.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal stoked considerable curiosity with his
detailed prescription for derailing the Common Core educational
standards. And former business executive Carly Fiorina got buzz for
her lively zingers aimed at likely Democratic candidate Hillary
Rodham Clinton.
None emerged as the clear rising star. Walker came closest. He's
stoked interest because he's a new face, a 47-year-old just-re-elected

governor from a nominally Democratic state who took on labor unions


and won.
In one sign of his potential appeal, Walker came in a strong second in
a straw poll of activists at the conference.
Paul won it for the third year in a row, followed closely by Walker,
then Cruz, Carson and Bush.
Walker's appearance at the meeting was tarnished a bit, though, when
he appeared to liken union protesters in Wisconsin to terrorists. "If I
can take on 100,000 protesters," he said, "I can do the same across the
world."
Walker nonetheless remained an attractive option to a bloc of activists
frustrated with the past two Republican presidential nominees, John
McCain and Mitt Romney, who weren't considered to be conservative
enough and seemed too tied to the mainstream political
establishment.
Barbara Decker, a San Diego retiree, liked Walker and Cruz,
explaining, "I'm tired of establishment figures."
That was Bush's burden, and will be for some time. He's not only the
candidate piling up big donor money and tapping a network of wellknown insiders, he's also the son and brother of presidents.
That bothered a lot of people at the conference. "I'm not a fan of
imperial presidencies," said Travis Murray, a Coast Guard officer from
Shorewood, Ill.
"The Founding Fathers never intended to have a hierarchy handing
down the presidency to future generations."
The Bush name also remains a source of conservative wariness.
"There's a lot of Bush fatigue," said David Keene, former American
Conservative Union chairman, "and neither his brother or father was
seen by many conservative as conservative enough."
They disliked President George H.W. Bush for agreeing to a tax
increase after pledging "no new taxes." They criticized President
George W. Bush for presiding over huge federal deficits in his second
term.
Jeb Bush's supporters said he did what he needed to do at this
conference.

He flooded the convention hall with supporters when he spoke Friday,


making sure cheers drowned out booing for his immigration and
education resume.
Those issues will continue to dog Bush.
He maintained that the Common Core educational standards, which
he supports, is not a federal overreach into a local function, a view not
widely shared here.
While the standards were developed by governors and education
officials, the Obama administration has tied some federal funding to
acceptance of the standards.
Bush also reiterated his support for a path to legalization for many
immigrants now in this country illegally.
To supporters, that's the kind of stance that will help him if he's the
nominee and needs to attract a wider audience.
"He explained himself very well," said Ed Cowling, a Phoenix public
relations executive. "The crowd really seemed to quiet down as he
spoke."
Not in the halls. "No, a thousand times no," said Nedra Babcock, a
Tulsa prison reform advocate, of Bush. Why not? "Common Core."
The next test for these potential candidates will be pulling away from
the pack.
Some made progress. It was hard to walk down a hall without
someone trying to slap a "Run Ben Run" sticker somewhere, or offer a
"Stand with Rand" button.
Walker received positive comments everywhere, notably for fighting
and defeating the unions.
Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida got some mention for his explanations of
his views, notably how he's learned a lesson from his initial stand on
immigration, which was protested by conservatives.
Others were all but forgotten in the Saturday hall chatter.
Few were talking about potentials such as New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Texas Gov.
Rick Perry or Donald Trump.
Most will appear again next Saturday at the Iowa Ag Forum, where
they'll address rural issues.
They're also quietly competing in the "money primary." Bush is
expected to be the leader in fundraising.

The true gauge of who's up and down will be more subtle and difficult
to measure. Activists headed home Saturday with new thoughts and
feelings about these candidates, ready to share them with like-minded
friends and associates.
Impressions forged here will matter, and that's why Walker emerged
with a slight edge. "He seems real," Babcock said.

Ted Cruz Blasts "Unelected Judges"


Ruling in Favor of Marriage Equality
by Justin Snow
Saturday Feb 28, 2015
http://www.edgeprovidence.com/news/politics/172711/ted_cruz_blasts_
%22unelected_judges%22_ruling_in_favor_of_marriage_equality


Ted Cruz(Source:Gage Skidmore)
Sen. Ted Cruz reaffirmed his opposition to marriage equality Thursday, while arguing that
the only way Republicans can win is if they broaden their coalition.
Speaking to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Texas Republican and
likely 2016 presidential candidate argued that the path for victory is dependent on
reassembling the Reagan coalition.
"We bring together fiscal conservatives and social conservatives and national security
conservatives. We stand strong for economic growth, but we also stand for life and
marriage. We defend the constitutional rights, but we also stand and lead the fight against
ISIS and a nuclear Iran," Cruz said. "We need all three legs of the proverbial Republican
stool. Not one leg, not two. But the way we get to 51 percent is we bring together

conservatives and libertarians and evangelicals and women and young people and
Hispanics and Reagan Democrats."
Cruz was one of the few speakers on the first day of CPAC to invoke same-sex marriage,
an issue that Republicans - particularly those with their eyes on higher office - have been
increasingly silent about. During a Q&A session after his speech, Cruz was asked his
thoughts on gay marriage by Fox News and radio host Sean Hannity.
"Marriage is a question for the states and it is wrong for the federal government or
unelected judges to tear down the marriage laws of the states," Cruz said.
Cruz has been one of the most vocal opponents of same-sex marriage in the likely field of
2016 contenders. Earlier this month, Cruz reintroduced in Congress the State Marriage
Defense Act, which would require the federal government to defer to the marriage laws
of the state where a couple resides to determine if the couple is eligible for federal
benefits, in effect invalidating for federal purposes the marriages of same-sex families
living in the remaining 13 states that do not recognize same-sex marriage. Cruz's office
has said the senator will introduce a constitutional amendment later this year to "make
explicit that marriage is a policy question for the democratically-elected legislatures in
each of the 50 states." Cruz vowed to introduce such an amendment last October, when
he lashed out at the Supreme Court for "abdicating its duty to uphold the Constitution" by
allowing rulings striking down same-sex marriage bans in five states to stand, thus
legalizing marriage equality in all states covered by the 4th Circuit, 7th Circuit and 10th
Circuit Courts of Appeals.
While Cruz showed no qualms voicing his opposition, others were less inclined to speak
about marriage equality.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie only spoke about his opposition to abortion when asked
how he might appeal to social conservatives. Although Christie has said he personally
opposes same-sex marriage, he ceased fighting a court decision legalizing same-sex
marriage in New Jersey, has said he does not believe being gay is a choice and banned
"ex-gay therapy" for minors in the state.
CPAC, which is being held from Feb. 25 to 28 at the Gaylord National Resort &
Convention Center at National Harbor, Md., has sought to take a more inclusive tone
compared to past years. Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans,
will speak on a panel Saturday addressing Russian President Vladimir Putin's LGBT
human rights abuses. And during an interview earlier this week, Matt Schlapp, chairman
of the American Conservative Union, which organizes CPAC, told Metro Weekly gay
conservatives are welcome at the conference. "To be absolutely crystal clear, if you are a
conservative who is gay, you should come to CPAC - you are welcome to come to
CPAC," Schlapp said. "We have taken rather historic steps to make it very clear that
CPAC is welcoming of all kinds of conservatives, including conservatives who are gay.

FEBRUARY 28 2015 03:13h

Republican presidential
contenders vying for early
headlines

Photo

Leading candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination are


competing this weekend in an unofficial opening contest that will give the
winner nothing - except valuable publicity.
The straw poll of attendees at the annual Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) has a mixed history of picking eventual nominees.

This year's meeting, held at a resort in National Harbour, Maryland, on the


banks of the Potomac River just south of the US capital, culminates with
the vote Saturday. The meeting, sponsored by the American Conservative
Union, has intermittently held a presidential straw poll since at least 1976.
CPAC gives candidates an opportunity to build connections with
conservative activists, who make up the base of the Republican Party,
which has been in the opposition since Barack Obama became the first
African-American president in January 2009.
With Obama barred by the constitution from seeking a third term, his leftleaning Democratic Party will be seeking his own nominee. His former
secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, wife of ex-president Bill Clinton
(1993-2001), is expected to run and considered a strong favourite.
For a heavyweight Republican contender like Florida ex-governor Jeb
Bush, brother and son of two recent US presidents, a victory would begin to
conjure an air of inevitability.
For outsiders beyond the party establishment, the straw poll may give one
of them a chance to jump from the fringe into the short list of top
candidates.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may qualify as both party outsider and
heavyweight, having won the straw poll in 2013 and 2014 as champion of
the party's libertarian wing, a mantle he took over from his father, retired
congressman Ron Paul.
Like his father, Rand Paul is a free-market absolutist whose social liberal,
anti-war positions clash with traditional conservatives and the religious
right. But his views are attractive to younger Republicans, as well as some
independents and even Democrats, especially on issues such as drug
legalization, civil liberties, government surveillance and free speech.
CPAC attendees are both younger and more conservative than the
Republican Party's primary voters. A significant fraction of the straw poll
vote comes from college students who attend from around the country.
New Jersey's tough-talking Governor Chris Christie, Wisconsin Governor
Scott Walker, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and senators Marco Rubio
of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas are others in the upper tier.

Exploring presidential bids after their past national campaigns are exgovernors Rick Perry of Texas and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas and former
Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
Dr. Ben Carson, a prominent conservative activists, is mounting a possible
presidential campaign with a reported presence at CPAC.

First Day at CPAC 2015

!
By Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh February 27, 2015

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/70118
The biggest conservative conference in the country featured on the first day
many prominent figures and politicians who form the conservative
movement in our country and influence such policies.

Dr. Ben Carson, the first speaker of the day, emphasized the need to reach
minority voters, to return control of education to the local level by abolishing
the federal Common Core standards, and the need to eliminate welfare
dependency. Im not interested in getting rid of the safety net. Im
interested in getting rid of the dependency.
Charlie Kirk, Sen. Sasse (NE) and Mia Love (UT-4) discussed ways in
which the American dream can be reclaimed by millennials who are looking
forward to their future.
Phyllis Schlaffly of the Eagle Forum and Emmett McGroarty of the
American Principles Project looked at the many ways that the rotten
Common Core destroys the American education system, the American
dream, and alters the fundamental make-up and ideals of our nation.
Sen. John Barrasso (WY), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) and Jim Capretta
of Ethics and Public Policy Center offered a concrete conservative
replacement to ObamaCare.

Sen. Joni Ernst (IA) and LTC Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) of the Freedom
Alliance gave speeches in support of our veterans, forgotten and ignored
by this administration.
A debate on Obamas initiative to reduce intellectual property rights
highlighted Adam Mossoff of George Mason University and a panel that
looked at patent trolls who file blanket lawsuits to target small businesses.
Departing from the usual CPAC speeches, Gov. Chris Christie of New
Jersey was interviewed on stage by conservative talk-show host Laura
Ingraham who asked him pointed questions.
In response to Lauras question that he signed New Jersey early onto
Common Core and to Race to the Top grants, Christie avoided a direct
answer by emphasizing that local control, parents, teachers, and others at
the state level should set education standards.
As a pro-life advocate, Christie vetoed Planned Parenthood even though
he is not a social conservative. He has a passion in fighting for the people,
speaking his mind, and often tells people to sit down and shut up. There
is so much ridiculous stuff coming out of the White House, he said. He
wants to reform education and to save the pension system by being fiscally
responsible but the teachers union is fighting him.
He avoided the question on illegal immigration by declaring that we must
create opportunities for unemployed Americans like the people in Detroit,
however, folks want to come here and we have misdirected priorities.
Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, and Chairman of the
American Conservative Union Foundation, made pointed remarks about
Hillary Clintons job performance as Secretary of State. She joked about
her own unmarketable Stanford degree in Medieval History and Philosophy
and how that degree has come in handy recently since the President is
talking about the Crusades. She continued, Yes, Mr. President, ISIS
wants to drive the whole world back to the Middle Ages, but the rest of us
moved on about 800 years ago.
Addressing the Democrat-invented war on women and the faux inequality
cries coming from well-paid liberal academia and from millionaires in
Hollywood, Fiorina explained, and I know that it is only in this country that
a young woman can go from secretary to CEO.

Life has potential, she said, and you have the right and opportunity in this
country to fulfill your potential. But you need a real education to fulfill that
potential, not just a handout and social justice indoctrination.
She advocated ending this administrations destruction of small businesses
that create half of the new jobs in this country; we need more small
businesses, not large crony capitalism. We have to retrain America as
more and more workers lose their jobs.
She criticized the lack of leadership in this country giving as example
Secretary Clintons response to the Benghazi fiasco, who said, What
difference does it make? Fiorina continued, Flying is an activity, not an
accomplishment. Mrs. Clinton, please, name an accomplishment! I have
met Vladimir Putin and I know that his ambitions will not be deterred by a
gimmicky red reset button. Referring to Hillary Clinton, Fiorina concludes,
She does not know what leadership means. Our country is without
equivocation the greatest nation that the world has ever known and it
needs a leader.
We have too many failing high schools in this country, Fiorina said, and the
President is trying to distract us by offering two years of community college
classes free.
Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) rocked the house with his proposal to bring back a
Reagan Coalition, to promote life, marriage, economic growth, to fight ISIS,
and a nuclear Iran. Sean Hannity asked him several questions. America is
in jeopardy and we are gathered here to fight for freedom in our country.
We must reignite America and reassemble the Reagan coalition, he said.
Cruz pointedly remarked that Washington wants ObamaCare but people
want freedom, the people dont want amnesty pushed by Washington, they
want the rule of law. If you like your Internet, you can keep your Internet.
Unfortunately Net Neutrality was approved today and the Internet will be
treated as a utility. Cruz followed with, Hillary Clinton embodies the
corruption in Washington. We need to run a populist campaign, he said,
and bring power back to the American people, away from Washington.
The panel on immigration asked the question if Conservatives can reach a
consensus? I was speechless since the American people do not want
illegal immigration and certainly do not want a consensusthey want the
law enforced and want legal immigrants that are actually assimilating and
contributing to the wellbeing of our exceptional nation.

The discussion centered again on the legal immigration system being


broken, the old tired rhetoric from Washington. When asked what specific
part was broken and why the borders are not enforced, panel members
were unable to give a credible response.
Panel members Alfonso Aguilar with the American Principles Project and
Mario Lopez with the Hispanic Leadership Fund voiced the opinion that
these folks, referring to illegal aliens, come here for work and we
therefore need to bring back a guest worker program similar to the
Braceros in the 1960s that was successful but it was pulled by the Mexican
government.
Some of the audience members disagreed that illegals come here just to
work, they receive full welfare benefits, giving examples of the $4.1 billion
given to ITIN tax filers in earned income tax credit for children who were not
even living in the United States and the 2011-2013 retroactive earned
income tax credit that will be given to illegal aliens who are going to be
amnestied. Representative Jeff Duncan (SC-3) disagreed with the other
two panelists on some issues.
The panel Climate: What Tom Steyer Wont Tell You, focused on the
climate change hoax and the millions of jobs lost due to green energy
legislation, regulations, and subsidies to solar, wind, and biofuel power, and
the billions lost in grants and loans to failed renewables companies.
Representative Bill Flores (TX-17) focused on six points of the climate
change agenda:
1
2
3
4
5
6

It
It
It
It
It
It

kills jobs.
costs trillions of dollars.
is based on junk science.
uses fantasy technology.
manipulates the cost/benefit data.
fails the smell test.

Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute presented charts of


actual temperature data and CO2 data that have been manipulated to fit
the climate change agenda and their outlandish claims. Andrew Langer of
the Institute for Liberty presented more factual information on the true cost
of the faux global warming. Gary Broadband of the Murray Energy
Corporation, a mining company in Ohio that employs 7,500 people,
presented sobering data on the number of coal mines that have been

closed or are in the process of closing due to the EPA excessive and
stringent regulations, leaving thousands of miners without jobs and
contributing to a shortage of electricity and higher utility prices.
When Gov. Scott Walker took the stage, the room went wild. He was
heckled again by a lone person unhappy with his reforms that put
Wisconsin on the path to financial recovery, solvency, tax reductions, and
accountability from unions. Unintimidated, Walker said, those voices cant
drown out the voices of hard-working taxpayers.
The most salient point of the day was Walkers statement that, what made
America exceptional throughout history, were Americans who had cared
more about the future of their children and grandchildren than they cared
about their political careers and re-elections. Today we have Washington,
up the Potomac River, he mused, 68 square miles surrounded by reality.
We should not measure success by how many people are dependent on
government, he said. We celebrate our independence from government,
not dependence on government; that is why we have 4th of July.
We must have a President that understands that radical Islamic terrorism
is a threat to our lives. We must take a fight to them, not wait until they
bring the fight to America. We need a leader who will stand with Israel and
a leader who will show our allies respect.
Gov. Bobby Jindal was received with tremendous enthusiasm and
applause. He focused his speech on the need to fight terrorism. He said,
ISIS fighters must be hunted down and killed. He criticized the
administration severely for failing to recognize the enemy and address the
Islamist problem. He said, We dont need a war on international poverty,
we need a war on the evil radical Islamic terrorism.
Former Gov. Sarah Palin (AK) and Nigel Farage, leader of the United
Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) concluded the lineup of speakers for
day one at CPAC 2015.

Whats in the conscience of todays


conservative?
BY DAVID LIGHTMANMCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU

02/27/2015 5:46 PM 03/02/2015 10:13 AM

http://www.kansas.com/news/nation-world/national/article11381813.html

GALLERY SLIDES

Golden Isles Tea Party activist William Temple from Brunswick, Ga., dressed as
Button Gwinnett, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, turns with his flag
and leaves in protest as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush arrives on stage with
Sean Hannity of Fox News during the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. CAROLYN KASTER AP

OXON HILL, MD.


Defining conservatism today is tough.
Conservatives do remain guided by one firm principle:
Government is too big. But theres no consensus on how to change
it.
Other issues divide as well. Does being conservative mean
accepting or fighting same-sex marriage? Does modern
conservatism accept the long-standing doctrine that the United
States has a moral responsibility to promote democracy and fight
tyranny and terrorism no matter where they breed? Or does the
true conservative think the U.S. is not the worlds policeman?
Were not a church. Its a mistake to somehow think theres a
book of dogma and you accept those teachings if youre a
conservative, and if you dont, youre not, said Matt Schlapp,
chairman of the American Conservative Union, which is
sponsoring the four-day Conservative Political Action Conference
in a Washington suburb.
The underlying conservative philosophy remains unquestioned.
Conservatives want people to do more, said Carter Wrenn, a
Republican consultant based in Raleigh, N.C. We believe
individual responsibility is the key to prosperity and success.
Also unquestioned is what conservatives largely oppose: high
taxes, strict gun control, abortion, too much government
regulation and the 2010 health care law. Obamacare remains a
favorite target, an expensive new bureaucracy thats seen as an
inefficient, outrageous government overreach into peoples lives.
Coming up fast on the hit list is Common Core, the kindergartenthrough-12th-grade standards adopted in 43 states. The

standards, finalized about five years ago by the nations governors


and education commissioners, had their roots in the standards
and accountability movement of the 1990s. States can adopt the
standards voluntarily, though the Obama administration offered
financial incentives to those that did.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called the standards Obamacore. New
Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, once
supporters, made sure the crowd knew they were now opposed.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is and remains a Common Core
supporter, and he was blasted for it.
People who think that way arent conservatives, said Joe
Messina, a Santa Clarita, Calif., radio talk-show host.
Bush argued Friday that while the standards are not a federal
takeover, the administrations involvement in encouraging them
is a danger.
Agreeing on alternatives is tougher. On cutting spending, for
instance, ideas are everywhere while consensus is elusive. House
Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin,
one of the Republican Partys most influential voices on budget
issues, has been pushing for radical changes to Medicare for
years, but has gotten nowhere.
Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon whos considering a
presidential bid, suggested not replacing federal employees who
retire in the next four to five years. His idea has gained no traction
in Congress. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has tried for years and failed
to get balanced budget amendments attached to debt ceiling
increases.

Foreign policy sparks the biggest divide. Potential presidential


candidates dont know where to go. They dont know where that
consensus is, said Schlapp. They dont know which book to pull
off the shelf, to study, to learn what the consensus is. Theres a lot
of diverse opinions on what the consensus should be.
On one side are the libertarians, a sizable bloc led by Paul and his
father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Ron Paul has long been
wary of U.S. intervention in foreign affairs. He noted earlier this
week, It is clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would
not be in its current seemingly hopeless situation.
Rand Paul has been more willing to get the U.S. involved. While
he wants action against the Islamic State, hes said Congress
should formally declare war. And he rails against aid to nations
tied to terrorist acts.
We do not project strength by borrowing money from China to
send it to Pakistan, he said Friday at CPAC. It angers me to see
mobs burning our flag and chanting death to America in
countries that receive our foreign aid. I say it must end. I say not
one penny more to these haters of America.
The divide may not be as sharp on social issues, but the debate is
more passionate. Conservatives understand that Americans are
more willing to accept same-sex marriage, and their views are
evolving.
I see a gay couple and I say, Be happy, said Kevin Jackson, a St.
Louis radio talk-show host. Just stay away from marriage.
If you want to co-opt a word with a biblical backdrop, youre
trying to debase a word with a biblical meaning to it, he said.
Yet gay-rights advocates see some progress in simply being
accepted here. Most potential presidential candidates lauded

traditional marriage and called same-sex marriage a decision for


states.
Gregory Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans,
a gay-rights organization, will speak Saturday on a panel about
Russia. And Schlapp said the group would get together with the
American Conservative Union later and discuss the future.
Its a start, said Angelo. Now is not the time to make the perfect
the enemy of the good, he said.
Nor is it the time to count on consensus on what comes next. On
much of anything.

What were trying to do at CPAC, said Schlapp, is have a


conversation on what we disagree on.

How Jeb BushIs Tryingto Win


OverConservatives
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-02-27/how-jeb-bush-is-starting-to-winover-conservatives

Feb 27, 2015


By: Lisa Lerer & Michael C. Bender

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Likely GOP presidential candidate Jeb


Bush faced down skeptics at the American Conservative Union's
CPAC convention on Friday afternoon, touting his record as
Florida governor as that of a "practicing reform-minded
conservative who has actually done it."
A group of Rand Paul backers booed and walked out of the
auditorium as Bush began to speak, but Bush nonetheless got
plenty of applause during his talk with Fox News' Sean Hannity.
"For those of you who made a "boo" sound, I am marking you
down as neutral and I want to be your second choice," Bush said,
describing his gubernatorial term as marked by tax cuts, low
unemployment and a $9.5 billion state budget surplus.
"Florida is a state where conservative principles have helped not
just Republicans, but everybody," Bush boasted.
Other prospective GOP presidential candidates who addressed the
group Friday included Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen.
Rand Paul, businessman Donald Trump, former Texas Gov. Rick
Perry and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Rubio's address highlighted his origins as the son of Cuban
immigrants. Like other candidates who spoke, Rubio described
Barack Obama as a "failed" president, said he wanted to repeal
Obamacare and described himself as against abortion, gay
marriage and legalizing marijuana.

"The fact that the son of a bartender and maid that worked in a
hotel is sitting on the stage with you today, that is why America is
special," said Rubio.
Perry, whose supporters passed out fake glasses in the style he
wears, criticized Obama's response to ISIS terrorists in the Middle
East and said he was so dismayed by Obama's border security
policies that he used Texas national guard troops to secure the
state's border with Mexico.
Trump told the group nobody would be tougher on ISIS than him.
"I would hit them so hard and fast, they wouldn't know what
happened," said Trump, who promised to use his business
expertise to "make America great again." Trump said there's a 75
to 80 percent chance he'll run for president.
Paul, who has won the past two CPAC straw polls for presidential
contenders, was a favorite of the crowd. Wearing jeans and no suit
jacket, he described the government as the cause of many
problems, rather than the solution, and said liberal policies have
failed the nation's inner cities.
"I believe it's time for a new president," he said, as audience
members chanted "President Paul." "I believe America has much
greatness left."
The crowd cleared out after Paul left and Santorum began
delivering a speech that described himself as a blue-collar
conservative who won several early presidential primaries,
including the Iowa caucuses, in 2012.
"I won because I stood for someone, the little guy, the American
worker," said Santorum. "2016 will be a different election. The
world has changed.

Bush seeks conservative


support at CPAC
David Jackson, Catalina Camia, and Martha T. Moore, USA TODAY 5:20 p.m. EST
February 27, 2015

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/27/cpac-jebbush-rand-paul-rick-perry-marco-rubio/24125539/

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Seeking to soften conservative opposition to


his likely presidential bid, Jeb Bush told an influential group Friday he is a
"practicing reform-minded conservative" on contentious issues like
immigration and education.
"I've actually done it," the former two-term Florida governor said in capping
two days of appearances by presidential aspirants at the Conservative
Political Action Conference.

!
ONPOLITICS

Jeb Bush takes on skeptics, stands firm on immigration at CPAC

!
USA TODAY

The Road to 2016

Not all CPAC delegates seemed convinced by Bush. Some booed or


catcalled his support of a path to legal citizenship for migrants, and a set of
education standards known as Common Core. A few dozen people walked
out on him, but the ballroom remained packed for his question-and-answer
session with conservative talk-show host Sean Hannity.
Bush the son of one president, and the brother of another also
repeated his mantra that he is his "own man" when it comes to domestic
and foreign policies.
Over the last two days, CPAC members expressed support for moreconservative potential candidates like Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Sen.
Ted Cruz of Texas, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.

!
USA TODAY

Walker gets front-runner treatment at CPAC

!
ONPOLITICS

Rand Paul gets another warm reception at CPAC

!
ONPOLITICS

Ted Cruz slams Obama, Clinton in fiery CPAC speech


The conference, the nation's largest gathering of conservative activists,
wraps up Saturday with the results of CPAC's straw poll - a contest Paul
has won two years in a row.
In and around presidential speeches, CPAC attendees attended seminars,
exchanged business cards, and argued about issues that will animate next
year's race for the Republican presidential nomination.
"I was a Bush fan, but I'm not a Jeb Bush fan he's too liberal," said Kim
Garver, 52, of Boonsboro, Md. "He's an establishment candidate."

For his part, Bush echoed other Republican speakers on an array of


issues, including calls to repeal President Obama's health care law,
criticism of the president's Middle East policies, and attacks on 2016
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.
Paul, another CPAC speaker on Friday, drew applause by bashing
government surveillance. "I say that your phone records are yours," said
the libertarian-leaning senator from Kentucky. "I say that the phone records
of law-abiding citizens are none of their damn business."

!
ONPOLITICS

Rick Perry blasts Obama's 'misguided' foreign policy at CPAC

!
ONPOLITICS

Marco Rubio: Hillary is 'yesterday'

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican
presidential nomination in 2012, criticized Obama's foreign policy during his
Friday speech. "Our allies doubt us and our adversaries are all too willing to
test us," Perry said.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., won CPAC applause with cutting one-word
descriptions of Obama ("failed") and Clinton ("yesterday").
On Thursday, CPAC attendees heard from Walker, Cruz, and longer-shot
candidates like surgeon-turned-activist Ben Carson, and former HewlettPackard executive Carly Fiorina. One of the most raucous onstage debates
was over marijuana legalization, with Ann Marie Buerkle of the Consumer
Product Safety Commission warning of dire health consequences and
former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson arguing that debating
legalization is like "debating whether the sun is going to come up.''

!
USA TODAY

CPAC highlights, from the speeches to the swag

!
ONPOLITICS

'Duck Dynasty' star receives free speech award at CPAC

In his interview, Bush acknowledged there is disagreement among


Republicans about a path to legal status for undocumented workers
already in the United States, but he held firm.
"There is no plan to deport 11 million people," Bush said, adding that steps
toward citizenship should include provisions ensuring that immigrants learn
English and don't break the law.
On education, Bush defended his support for high standards but said they
should be made part of a comprehensive program that includes vouchers.
"The role of the federal government, if any, is to create more school
choice," he said.

William Temple, a member of the Golden Isles Tea Party in Georgia, applauds a speaker
at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference on Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo: H. Darr
Beiser, USA TODAY)

The walkout of a few dozen people was led by William Temple, a Tea Party
member from Brunswick, Ga. who is a familiar figure at CPAC because he
wears the costume of a patriot soldier from the Revolutionary War.
"We need a Ted Cruz!" Temple said. "We need a Governor Walker! We
need a Ben Carson! We'd take a Duck Dynasty before we'd take another
Bush!"
The idea of another Bush presidency also drew objections
"America is about personal freedom, not a dynasty," said Allen Skillicorn
from East Dundee, Ill., who is vice chair of the Kane County Republican
Party.
But Robbie Aiken, who works in government relations in Alexandria, Va.,
said he was pleased to see Bush "kept rolling" as the governor's critics tried
to interrupt his CPAC presentation. "He seemed very prepared and he got
across all his points," Aiken said. "I'm not saying Jeb is Ronald Reagan but
he's as close as we can get right now. Jeb is the real deal, in my
opinion.

Jeb Bush tells conservative


activists he hopes to be their
'second choice
BY MICHAEL A. MEMOLI AND KATHLEEN HENNESSEY
Tribune Washington Bureau
February 27, 2015
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/02/27/4156311_jeb-bush-tells-conservativeactivists.html?rh=1

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD. Jeb Bush defended his credentials as a


"reform-minded conservative" Friday, even as he held firm to positions that
threaten to undermine his standing with party activists, telling skeptics at
the Conservative Political Action Conference he hoped to be their "second
choice."
During a question-and-answer session with Fox News host Sean Hannity
before a packed ballroom at the annual gathering of conservative activists,
the former Florida governor acknowledged that many are suspicious of his
potential candidacy. He emphasized that Republicans need to appeal to a
broader audience of people who could become supporters.
"There are a lot of other conservatives that haven't been asked. They don't
know that they're conservative," he said. "If we share our enthusiasm, love
for our country and believe in our philosophy, we will be able to get Latinos
and young people and other people that we need to win," he said.
The crowd's doubts about Bush were evident early. When Hannity
conducted an informal audience poll of potential 2016 candidates, Bush's
name provoked a chorus of boos.
Hours before his speech, Laura Ingraham, the conservative radio host,
launched a broadside against the son and brother of former presidents,
saying he would be better off running on a ticket with Hillary Clinton than
leading the Republican ticket against her.

Questioning Bush, Hannity asked about the gap between him and many
conservatives, particularly on immigration and education policy.
"I read about it," Bush quipped.
Speaking at a rapid-fire pace, Bush offered quick and practiced answers on
most of the topics that have complicated his relationships with
conservatives.
On immigration, he reiterated his support for some kind of path to legal
status for those who have come to the U.S. illegally, saying there "is no
plan to deport 11 million people."
"We should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they
don't receive government benefits, where they learn English and they make
a contribution to our society," he said.
But Bush also said he opposed President Barack Obama's recent
executive actions that would shield up to 5million from deportation. He
supported a congressional effort to try to block the policy, he said, but not if
doing so risked funding for the Department of Homeland Security.
"I'm not an expert on the ways of Washington. It makes no sense to me that
we're not funding control of our border, which is the whole argument," he
said.
He stood by his support for granting driver's licenses and in-state tuition to
some immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. The latter, he noted, was
enacted in Florida just last year "by one of the most conservative state
legislatures, I might add, and a conservative governor ... Not by me."
Bush also defended his support for education standards known as the
Common Core, saying he supported the idea of set standards but
suggesting he was aligned with conservatives on his opposition to
involvement by the federal involvement.
The Obama administration has meddled in the process with its "Race to the
Top" program that ties school money to achievement on standardized tests,
Bush said.
"The federal government has no role in the creation of standards either
directly or indirectly," he said. "The role of the federal government, if there
is any, is to provide incentives for more school choice."
Bush also denied reports that he may be shifting his opposition to samesex marriage as he courts gay donors.
"No, I believe in traditional marriage," he said.
He won cheers by declaring he opposes legalizing marijuana but believes
"states ought to have that right to do it."
The two-day conference, at a hotel just outside Washington, D.C., featured
an opening-day lineup heavy with first-time national candidates eager to

make a strong impression and a Friday agenda that revealed the potential
challenge, and opportunity, of the ideological diversity in the party.
Before Bush spoke, "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson was on stage
delivering a meandering speech that went beyond his allotted time. Earlier,
Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, R-Ky., defended his vision of a more limited
foreign policy only to be followed immediately by Rick Santorum's push for
a more aggressively military response to the militants of the Islamic State.
On the schedule in between was Donald Trump advocating, well, Donald
Trump.
But speeches by Bush and Paul best captured the choice between
establishment favorite and a grassroots-backed wild card.
Paul has traditionally thrived with the CPAC audience - he won the 2014
presidential preference straw poll - and again drew the most enthusiastic
reaction here.
His afternoon speech, delayed by votes in the Senate, was grounded in
libertarian principles. He said conservatives' support for limited government
at home should inform their foreign policy, too.
"Conservatives should not succumb to the notion that a government inept
at home will somehow succeed abroad, that a government that can't even
deliver the mail will somehow be able to create nations abroad," the
Kentucky Republican declared.
His view of national defense - "unparalleled, undefeatable and
unencumbered by nation-building" - was an extension of Ronald Reagan's
advocacy of "peace through strength," he said.
At home, Paul said his travels to communities often ignored by the GOP,
including Detroit and Ferguson, Mo., have shown him that "liberal policies
have failed."
"Those of us who have enjoyed the American dream must break down a
wall that separates us from the other America," he said, before promising to
"cut everyone's taxes, from richest to poorest."
CPAC has long attracted Republican White House hopefuls eager to make
a splash before a conservative audience. But this year, the American
Conservative Union, the event's organizer, has done more to present it as a
presidential audition.
Rather than just allow would-be candidates to deliver a red-meat speech,
the group has required candidates to follow their opening remarks with a
question-and-answer session. Conservative media figures including
Ingraham and Hannity have led the questioning.

Last year, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., delivered a stern speech to CPAC
focused almost singularly on foreign policy. In his opening remarks this
time, Rubio again hewed to his message about the importance of American
leadership on the world stage. He silenced the crowd with an emotional,
personal pitch.
"This is deeply personal," he said. "America doesn't owe me anything. But I
have a debt to America that I will never be able to repay."
Then, however, he sat with Hannity, who peppered him with questions
about more politically difficult parts of his record, particularly immigration.
Rubio's support for a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill in
2013 is extremely unpopular with many conservatives.
Rubio said the lesson he has learned in the two years since he helped write
that legislation was that you can't discuss pathways to citizenship until
Americans believe "that future illegal immigration will be controlled."
Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, said the
changes to the format are about giving conservative activists "the best
experience they can get."
"We're trying to bring the stage out among them to make it less imposing,
to make it easier to interact with the speakers and make the speakers
interact with them," he said.
"The prospects for conservatives to be successful in 2016 are incredibly
high," he added. "And conservatives have a chance to make sure that a
conservative nominee is the standard bearer."

Jeb Bush takes on skeptics, stands


firm on immigration at CPAC
USA TODAY NETWORK Catalina Camia and David Jackson, USA TODAY 3:04
p.m. CST February 27, 2015

http://www.marshfieldnewsherald.com/story/news/nation-now/
2015/02/27/jeb-bush-cpac/24135149/

(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USAT)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Jeb Bush walked into the lion's den Friday,
seeking to quell doubts among conservatives that his views on immigration
and education make him unfit for the presidency.
The former Florida governor told the Conservative Political Action
Conference that he is a "practicing, reform-minded conservative" and
reminded the standing-room-only crowd that he has experience and
achievements in boosting the economy and revamping the way a
government operates.
"I've actually done it," Bush said.
At the beginning of his appearance, Bush was interrupted by shouts and a
small number of people who walked out in protest. Earlier in the day, the
mention of his name sparked booing by an audience that loudly indicated it
preferred Scott Walker, Ted Cruz or Rand Paul as the 2016 Republican
standard-bearer. But as Bush answered questions, he was applauded
several times and drew cheers from the crowd.
Throughout the conference, attendees and speakers criticized Bush's
support for Common Core educational standards and a comprehensive
overhaul of the nation's immigration law, and those issues were at the heart
of his conversation with Sean Hannity of Fox News.

!
Customers browse the selection of buttons at the PC Button booth during theConservative
Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 27.(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA
TODAY)

On immigration, Bush criticized President Obama's recent executive


actions and stuck by his idea that strong border security coupled with a
path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in the USA as the
right approach. "A great country needs to enforce the borders," he said,
adding that there should be a plan so that immigrants can petition to have
their spouse and minor children living abroad to join them.
Bush acknowledged there is disagreement among Republicans about a
path to legal status for undocumented workers already in the United States,
but he held firm. "There is no plan to deport 11 million people," Bush said,
adding the steps toward citizenship should include provisions ensuring that
immigrants don't break the law and learn English.

On education, Bush defended his support for high standards but said they
should be made part of a comprehensive program that includes vouches.
"The federal government has no role in the creation of standards," he said,
adding it also should not be making decisions about what's taught in
schools. "The role of the federal government, if any, is to create more
school choice.

William Temple, a member of the Golden Isles Tea Party in Georgia. (Photo: H. Darr Beiser,
USA TODAY)

William Temple, a Tea Party supporter from Brunswick, Ga., led the walkout
of Bush's remarks.
"The Tea Party wants nothing to do with this man," said Temple, a familiar
sight at CPAC events because he wears a the costume of a patriot soldier
from the Revolutionary War. "We need a Ted Cruz. We need a Governor
Walker. We need a Ben Carson. We'd take Duck Dynasty before we'd take
another Bush.
Bush is perceived as the favorite of the Republican establishment, which
turns off CPAC attendee Kim Garver.
"I'm not a Jeb Bush fan. He's too liberal," said Garver, a Maryland resident
who works for the Defense Department. "He's an establishment candidate
who's being pushed by Fox News and Karl Rove," the strategist behind
George W. Bush's presidential victories.
Allen Skillicorn, vice chairman of the the Kane County (Illinois) Republican
Party, didn't plan to walk out during Bush's remarks but joined the group
because he opposes a third Bush presidency. "America is about personal
freedom, not a dynasty," he said. "I want his donors to realize we can't win
with him.
But Robbie Aiken, who works in government relations in Alexandria, Va.,
said he was pleased to see Bush "kept rolling" as the governor's critics tried
to interrupt his CPAC presentation. "He seemed very prepared and he got
across all his points," Aiken said. "I"m not saying Jeb is Ronald Reagan but
he's as close as we can get right now. Jeb is the real deal, in my
opinion.

PERRY GETS STANDING OVATION AT


NATIONAL CONVENTION


Former Governor Perry back on national stage, speaks to conservatives at CPAC


By Tom Abrahams
Friday, February 27, 2015
http://abc13.com/politics/perry-back-on-national-stage-/537561/

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD (KTRK) -Former Governor Rick Perry took the stage Friday morning and got
straight to his message.
"Here's the simple truth about our foreign policy," he told the
crowd,which gave him a standing ovation as he entered, "Our allies
doubt us and our adversaries are all too willing to test us."
Perry is reintroducing himself to the national stage in his first big speech
since he left the Governor's Mansion he occupied in Texas for fourteen
years. He knew his audience.
"These are conservative Republican voters by and large," he told
Eyewitness News Anchor Tom Abrahams before his twenty minute
speech. "So we need to remind people what we've done in the state of
Texas, we need to remind people about the great economic climate that's
been created in the state of Texas."
Perry, however, was not the only candidates to focus on foreign policy.
Nearly every one of the more than dozen potential presidential candidate
who spoke at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference
placed national security at the top of their agenda. Former U.N.
Ambassador John Bolton said he wasn't surprised.
"Look," he explained, "I think the president's main responsibility is the
defense of the country. There are a lot of important issues that are going
to be debated in the 2016 cycle. but none as important as defense."
It was also the first thing mentioned by former Florida Governor Jeb
Bush, the perceived front runner some 11 months before the primary
season begins. But his message was focused more on convincing the
partisan crowd he is one of them.

"Obviously there are a lot of conservatives in this room," he told the


largest crowd of the three day convention. "And this is why it's such a
spectacular gathering. There are a lot of other conservatives that haven't
been asked. They don't know that they're conservative."
But Bush, whose father and brother both served as president, may face
an uphill battle among the right wing of the party, some of whom believe
he is too moderate to galvanize Republican voters and win back the
White House in 2016.
The chair of the American Conservative Union Foundation, which hosts
CPAC, says it will take a true conservative to win the general election.
"I think we need to unify this party," she said, "because in the last two
elections we've left too many of our own votes on the table."
Celebrity businessman Donald Trump, who told a crowd at a meet and
greet session his potential candidacy is no joke, said being conservative
will be important. "No, I don't think so," he said when asked if a
moderate could win the nomination.
It is, of course, way too early to know which of the potential candidates
here will gain enough money and momentum to seriously challenge for
the nomination. But CPAC and its influence, has proven an enormous
sounding board for those who throw their hats into what looks to be an
incredibly crowded ring.

Jeb Bush says he's not a 'squishy' moderate


as conservative rival for nomination stakes
claim

Mr Bush attempted a swipe at his rivals for proclaiming


conservative values without the track record to prove it
DAVID USBORNE
Friday 27 February 2015
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/jeb-bush-says-hes-not-a-squishy-moderate-asconservative-rival-for-nomination-stakes-claim-10076457.html

With an early, possibly ephemeral front-runner status as the


Republican nomination for president, Jeb Bush, a brother and son
of former presidents, moved yesterday to quiet cries from some on
the right wing of the party that he lacks the conservative
credentials to lead them.
Even before plunging into the lions den that is the annual
Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC, being held in a
resort complex just outside Washington DC, Mr Bush used an
address at the annual meeting of the anti-tax Club for Growth in
Palm Beach, Florida, to assert that his two terms as governor of
the Sunshine State offers proof that he is not the squishy
moderate some claim him to be. I ran as a conservative. I said
what I was going to do. I had a chance to do it, and trust me, I
did, he said at the meeting on Thursday, ticking off milestones
fitting the conservative, small-government worldview including
cutting government payrolls and reducing taxes every year he was
in office.
Mr Bush attempted a swipe at his rivals for proclaiming
conservative values without the track record to prove it. Its easy
to talk about it, he said. I hope you believe that you want
someone who has the proven leadership skills to make it happen.

Scott Walker presents the largest threat to Bush (Reuters)

But at CPAC, Mr Bush face a more sceptical audience who on


Thursday gave standing a ovation to the man who, for now, seems
to present the largest threat to his ambitions, Scott Walker. As the
serving Governor of Wisconsin, Mr Walker has a far fresher
record to delight conservatives, namely his aggressive curtailing of
union powers in a state that has traditionally been more
Democrat-friendly.
Because of reform, our state is a better than the one that [I] grew
up in, Mr Walker declared in a 13-minute speech. Mr Walker
currently leads polling in Iowa, which will be the first state to
choose between rival contenders just under a year from now. Mr
Bush is due to visit Iowa for the first time in 15 years next
weekend for an agricultural summit. Mr Walker will also attend.

Rolling out his record as Florida governor, an office he left in


2007, will do only so much for Mr Bush, said Matt Schlapp,
chairman of the American Conservative Union, which hosts
CPAC. The challenge for him is this isnt about yesterday, its
about tomorrow. The key is, what will he do if hes president of
the United States, and does he have a message that will appeal to
conservatives?
Some delegates at CPAC had said they planned to walk out when
Mr Bush took the podium, to highlight their contention that he
belongs to the RINO class Republican In Name Only. Were
tired of CPAC inviting non-conservatives to come to speak,
William Temple, a Tea Party activist, complained.

Suspicion among conservatives stem from Mr Bushs support for


immigration reform that could give undocumented residents a
path to citizenship and for so-called Common Core curriculum
targets for schools that they believe gives the federal government
say over state education policies.
Mr Bush contributed to the problem when he said last year he
would not be dragged to the right during the primary process just
to appease the conservative wing, something which, he argued,
hurt Mitt Romney in 2012. A Republican might need to lose the
primary to win the general [election], he said.
The restless activists who attend CPAC cannot claim to represent
all grassroots conservatives in the Republican Party. Indeed, polls
suggest that conservatives with less subversive instincts are still
open to a Bush candidacy. But among those stirring passions at
CPAC was Laura Ingraham, a conservative radio host, who said
nothing should be bestowed on him merely because of his family
name.
The idea that we should be conducting any type of coronation in
the Republican Party today because 50 rich families decide who
they think would best represent their interests? No way, she said.

91
0
540

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

SESSIONS VS. JEB: BATTLE FOR THE


SOUL OF THE GOP
by MATTHEW BOYLE
27 Feb 2015
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/27/sessions-vs-jeb-battle-for-the-soul-ofthe-gop/

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland In a surprise speech at the


Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Sen. Jeff

Sessions (R-AL) unloaded on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush


systematically dismantling Bushs push for amnesty and a massive
increase in guest workers from around the world.
Right now, there are two conferencesone of them in public
where candidates are out there having to speak and defend and
answer questions on their views and on their positions on
important issues facing America, Sessions said to open up his
remarks to the Breitbart News-sponsored meet-and-greet with
CPAC activists. Many people at this conference here and
watching it from abroad are evaluating them, judging them and
asking themselves whether or not their visions, their ideas, their
character will be used to advance the interests of the American
people and this republicand thats the way it ought to be.
However, Sessions cited a Washington Times articlesaying Mitt
Romneys former top fundraising aide Spencer Zwick, praised
Jeb Bushs stance on immigration, saying the party should follow
his lead if the party hopes to win back the White House.
If someone wants to be serious about running for president, they
need to be in a similar place [to Bush], Zwick said on a
conference call with GOP donors organized by Americans for Tax
Reform president Grover Norquista key figure at CPAC since he
is a board member of the American Conservative Union (ACU).
The ACU hosts CPAC every year, but the organization under new
chairman Matt Schlapp has seen a shift away from the
establishment wing of the GOP it had under old chairman Al
Cardenas.
Ill tell you one thing: Its the people of this country that run this
country, Sessions responded, pushing back against the donor
communitys push for other Republican candidates to abandon
their constituents in support of Bushs immigration position.
Contributions and supporters are always important in
presidential elections and other elections too, but votes trumps
money.
The crowd in the room cheered for Sessions.

Bush, on the other hand,was booed by CPAC activistsmany of


whom walked out on his speech as he argued that Congress needs
to grant amnesty to the millions of illegal aliens in America right
now.
The president did use authority he didnt have, the courts are
going to overrule that, Bush said, comments in which he was
essentially calling for Congress to stop fighting President Obamas
executive amnesty. But instead of stopping executive amnesty,
Bush wants Congress to pass a legislative amnesty.
There is no plan to deport 11 million people, Bush said, but
callingas the Senate Gang of Eight called for, something that
turned out to not be trueborder security to stop the flow of
illegal immigration first and foremost.
Sessions offered a different vision on immigration that Bush, one
more in line with the Republican base:
I think [people across America] are very ready to abandon this
statist, amnesty and open borders threat to their jobs, wages and
future for themselves and their children. People are worried about
this. Im going to tell you how were going to win this election.
Its a fundamental question of who are our constituents? Who do
we vote for and represent? A CEOs job is to represent
stockholders. Well, a politicians job is to represent the people. We
are not, as National Review said, an economy with a nation. We
are a nation with an economy. People are not commodities.
Bush, during his interview with Fox News Sean Hannity on stage
at CPAC, accused those who have the viewpoint widespread
increases in immigration would hurt American workerspeople
including Sessionsof having liberal viewpoints.
I believe that we we ought to be focused on is growing the
economic pie and growing it in a way that looks more like the 80s
in America, Bush said during remarks.
But Sessions fired back, by noting that the American people want
and rightly believe their federal government should defend their
economic interest on the world stage effectively with passion and

determination. That is an obligation that we have as


representatives of the people to do so, and with regard to
immigration the American people are good and decent. We have
the most generous immigration system in the world.
Sessions detailed how America right now allows in more legal
immigrants than any other nation, and noted, the American
peoples view is right and good and decent.
Theyve pleaded for this, theyve demanded this, Congress has
promised this but never deliveredtheyve asked for a lawful
system of immigration, one that serves the national interest, one
that we can be proud of, Sessions said.
While Sessions said that Romney would have been a great
president, he lost the election because he failed to get lowerincome American workers to vote for him. The way to get those
people to the polls for a Republican, Sessions points out, is to
make it clear to the voters that the Republican nominee whoever
it is will stick up for them over corporatists, special interests and
foreign workers.

Marco Rubio CPAC 2015 Speech:


Republican Florida Senator
Talks Immigration, Potential
2016 Presidential Run at
Conservative Convention
By Michael Oleaga (m.oleaga@latinpost.com)
Posted: Feb 27, 2015 01:34 PM EST

http://www.latinpost.com/articles/40125/20150227/marco-rubio-cpac-2015-speechrepublican-florida-senator-talks-immigration.htm

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, addresses the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) Friday in National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the
annual political conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo : Getty)

Rubio criticized President Barack Obama's immigration executive


actions. He acknowledged the 22 occasions the president said he
holds no legal authority to enact such executive actions on
immigration. He said, "As far as I can tell in the last four years, the
Constitution has not been amended. So I don't know where he
suddenly found the Constitutional power to do this. This is not a
policy debate, it's a Constitutional debate."
In 2013, Rubio co-sponsored a bipartisan comprehensive
immigration reform bill, known as "S.744 - Border Security,
Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act." S.744
passed the Senate with 68 votes in favor and 32 votes in
opposition, but the bill was never picked up for debate in the
House of Representatives. Since his vote in favor of S.744, Rubio
has walked back from his vote.
Like

At CPAC Friday morning, Rubio said immigration is a serious


problem and identified there is no mechanism in place to enforce
current immigration laws. He said the current legal immigration
system is "too generous." While he recognized there are
undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for a
lengthy period of time with no criminal record, Rubio said he has
learned a discussion on immigration cannot take place unless it is
proven the issue can be controlled.
In regards to the 2016 presidential election, Rubio said he has not
made a final decision about running for office, but acknowledged
his intention to run is to give back to the country. Rubio did
announce he does not want to be involved in politics for the rest
of his life.
If he was elected president, Rubio said a healthy economy is
important by initiating tax reform, regulatory reform and repeal
and replace the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as
Obamacare. During his first 100 days in office, Rubio also wants
to focus on fully utilizing the U.S. energy portfolio and balancing

the country's budget. The Republican senator also wants to


address higher education and improve the U.S. foreign policy.
Rubio also reaffirmed his stance on several national issues,
including his opposition to legal marijuana laws, support for
unrestrictive guns laws and "traditional" marriage between a man
and woman. When asked about former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, Rubio referred to her as "yesterday" and Obama as
"failed."
Rubio is not the only potential Republican presidential candidate
attending the four-day CPAC conference, which is being held at
the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National
Harbor, Maryland. Guests at CPAC include former Florida Gov.
Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Louisiana
Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Rand
Paul of Kentucky, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and current
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Nigel Farage Delivers Speech


to Almost Empty Room at
U.S. Conference
BY LUKE HURST 2/27/15 AT 11:06 AM
http://www.newsweek.com/nigel-farage-delivers-speech-almost-empty-room-usconference-310090?piano_d=1

"
Leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) Nigel Farage speaks at the 42nd
annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Maryland February
26, 2015. REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS

Nigel Farage, the leader of the United Kingdom


Independence Party (Ukip), delivered a speech to a largely
empty room last night at the Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) in Washington D.C.

Held at the Gaylord Conference Centre, Farage spoke in the


5,000-seater ballroom which was reportedly packed to the
brim for preceding conservative speakers including Scott
Walker and Sarah Palin. The annual conference - hosted by
the American Conservative Union - attracts big names from
the American political right who use the opportunity to get
their message across to activists and media.

Questions have been raised as to why Farage made the 3,500


mile trip across the Atlantic to speak. One American attendee
who describes himself as a conservative activist says that
Farage is not well-known in the U.S. It is fair to say most
people didnt know who he was.
Andres Taborda - who says he follows American and British
politics - explains it is unusual for speakers to get a lengthy
introduction, and Farage was treated to a four-minute one
from Alex Marlow the editor of Breitbart, a right-wing news
website.

According to Taborda, the timing of Farages speech didnt


help, as he was the final speaker of the night and also had to
follow Tea Party heavy-weight Sarah Palins address.
Taborda says there were around 100 people in the room
when the Ukip leader was speaking, leaving 4,900 empty
seats, although others estimated a slightly higher turnout:

Farage used his speech to advise the Republican Party on the


need to appeal to the grassroots voters, the likes of whom he
said voted for the party 30 years ago.
He received noticeably muted applause when addressing the
subject of joint U.S. and British foreign policy. Britain has

been joined at the hip with America and have been involved
in an endless series of overseas engagements and wars and
the time has come to assess whether that has been
successful, he said, drawing groans from the room
according to Taborda.
Farage also used the opportunity to criticise what he calls
the mistaken policy of multiculturalism, referring to
yesterdays arrest of three terrorism suspects in New York
and Florida before criticising Obamas lack of courage on the
issue.
He added: The message we've got to put out is this - we
must stand firm and defend our Judeo-Christian culture. We
must make it clear that we believe in common law and not
Sharia law. And we must stand up and fight for liberty for
freedom and democracy and not to be cowed by political
correctness and not to be cowed by fear of being criticised.
We should be aware that we know have in our countries,
sadly, an enemy within, a fifth column as I've called it in the
past and we have got to get a grip on this situation.
Newsweek contacted Ukip for comment but has not yet had a
response.

AFTER LAST YEARS SHUTOUT,


PRO-LIFERS TAKE CENTER STAGE
AT CPAC 2015

Dan Fleuette

by AUSTIN RUSE
27 Feb 2015

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/02/27/afterlast-years-shutout-pro-lifers-take-center-stage-at-cpac-2015/
After being largelyshut out last year, pro-life and pro-family advocates are taking a more
prominent role at CPAC, the premier annual gathering of conservatives held outside
Washington, D.C.,from Thursday through the weekend.
At the same event last year,Breitbart reported that not a single panel or specific speaker on prolife issues had been scheduled. Pro-lifers noted panels on the IRS scandal, immigration,
Common Core, privacy, gun control, and criminal justice reform. They saw panels on career
counseling, making friends, pot-smoking, making posts go Upworthy, and even a panel on
Vaccines vs. Leeches. Though there were speakers noted for their pro-life advocacy, they were
speaking on other issues.

A number of pro-life leaders spoke to Breitbart last year and complained about the dearth of
speakers on their issue, including Kristan Hawkins of Students for Life, Troy Newman of
Operation Rescue, Paul Rondeau, then of American Life League, and Ryan Bomberger of the
Radiance Foundation.
This year is different, likely because of the new chairman of the American Conservative Union,
overall sponsor of the event that draws many presidential aspirants. Matt Schlapp and his wife
Mercy have impeccable pro-life credentials since before their time in the Bush White House and
down to today. They are close friends with pro-life activist Reverend Pat Mahoney in the work he
does.
Schlapp told Breitbarts Matt Boyle last week that they are making a deliberate attempt to
embrace social conservatives this year.
Though still largely about economic, regulation, and national security issues, this year, pro-lifers
have two panels. Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life is hosting a panel on how to
confront the abortion industry as a big business. And a number of pro-life advocatesMarjorie
Dannenfelser and Darla St. Martinare speaking at a panel on pro-life success stories.
Two panels will even touch on something of a third rail for libertarian conservatives: gay
marriage. Tony Perkins of Family Research Council is hosting a panel on religious freedom,
something social conservatives see as under assault in the gay marriage debate. And the
American Principles Project is hosting a panel about the future of marriage in America.
The LGBT issue may get an airing out when Breitbart News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon gives
the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award to Duck Dynasty star Phil
Robertson, who quite famously stood up for traditional marriage and came under sustained
attack from gay marriage supporters. They tried to get him to apologize under threat of losing
his highly popular show. He refused and backed them down.
All the possible presidential candidates who are speaking this week will likelymention the prolife issue. Social conservatives are seen as one of the important pillars of the conservative
three-legged stool.

!
Donald Trump speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Feb. 27,
2015 in National Harbor, Md. Conservative activists attended the annual political conference to discuss
their agenda. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

What's in the conscience of today's


conservative?
http://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/newsheadlines/
s-1621699?fs
Feb 27, 2015
David Lightman, McClatchy
Washington Bureau
OXON HILL, Md. -- Defining conservatism today is tough.
Conservatives do remain guided by one firm principle: Government is
too big. But there's no consensus on how to change it.
Other issues divide as well. Does being conservative mean accepting
or fighting same-sex marriage? Does modern conservatism accept the
long-standing doctrine that the United States has a moral
responsibility to promote democracy and fight tyranny and terrorism

no matter where they breed? Or does the true conservative think the
U.S. is not the world's policeman?
"We're not a church. It's a mistake to somehow think there's a book of
dogma and you accept those teachings if you're a conservative, and if
you don't, you're not," said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American
Conservative Union, which is sponsoring the four-day Conservative
Political Action Conference in a Washington suburb.
The underlying conservative philosophy remains unquestioned.
"Conservatives want people to do more," said Carter Wrenn, a
Republican consultant based in Raleigh, N.C. "We believe individual
responsibility is the key to prosperity and success."
Also unquestioned is what conservatives largely oppose: high taxes,
strict gun control, abortion, too much government regulation and the
2010 health care law. Obamacare remains a favorite target, an
expensive new bureaucracy that's seen as an inefficient, outrageous
government overreach into people's lives.
Coming up fast on the hit list is Common Core, the kindergartenthrough-12th-grade standards adopted in 43 states. The standards,
finalized about five years ago by the nation's governors and education
commissioners, had their roots in the standards and accountability
movement of the 1990s. States can adopt the standards voluntarily,
though the Obama administration offered financial incentives to those
that did.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called the standards "Obamacore." New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, once supporters,
made sure the crowd knew they were now opposed. Former Florida
Gov. Jeb Bush is and remains a Common Core supporter, and he was
blasted for it.
"People who think that way aren't conservatives," said Joe Messina, a
Santa Clarita, Calif., radio talk-show host.
Bush argued Friday that while the standards are not a federal
takeover, the administration's involvement in encouraging them is a
"danger."
Agreeing on alternatives is tougher. On cutting spending, for instance,
ideas are everywhere while consensus is elusive. House Ways and
Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, one of the
Republican Party's most influential voices on budget issues, has been
pushing for radical changes to Medicare for years, but has gotten
nowhere.

Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who is considering a presidential


bid, suggested not replacing federal employees who retire in the next
four to five years. His idea has gained no traction in Congress. Sen.
Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has tried for years and failed to get balanced
budget amendments attached to debt ceiling increases.
Foreign policy sparks the biggest divide. Potential presidential
candidates "don't know where to go. They don't know where that
consensus is," said Schlapp. "They don't know which book to pull off
the shelf, to study, to learn what the consensus is. There's a lot of
diverse opinions on what the consensus should be."
On one side are the libertarians, a sizable bloc led by Paul and his
father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Ron Paul has long been wary of
U.S. intervention in foreign affairs. He noted earlier this week, "It is
clear that without foreign intervention Ukraine would not be in its
current seemingly hopeless situation."
Rand Paul has been more willing to get the U.S. involved. While he
wants action against the Islamic State, he's said Congress should
formally declare war. And he rails against aid to nations tied to
terrorist acts.
"We do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send it
to Pakistan," he said Friday at CPAC. "It angers me to see mobs
burning our flag and chanting 'death to America' in countries that
receive our foreign aid. I say it must end. I say not one penny more to
these haters of America."
The divide may not be as sharp on social issues, but the debate is
more passionate. Conservatives understand that Americans are more
willing to accept same-sex marriage, and their views are evolving.
"I see a gay couple and I say, 'Be happy,'" said Kevin Jackson, a St.
Louis radio talk-show host. Just stay away from marriage.
"If you want to co-opt a word with a biblical backdrop, you're trying to
debase a word with a biblical meaning to it," he said.
Yet gay rights advocates see some progress in simply being accepted
here. Most potential presidential candidates lauded traditional
marriage and called same-sex marriage a decision for states.
Gregory Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay
rights organization, will speak Saturday on a panel about Russia. And
Schlapp said the group would get together with the American
Conservative Union later and discuss the future.
It's a start, said Angelo. "Now is not the time to make the perfect the
enemy of the good," he said.

Nor is it the time to count on consensus on what comes next. On much


of anything.
"What we're trying to do at CPAC," said Schlapp, "is have a
conversation on what we disagree on."

Indiana's Pence among the


few to deflect 2016 GOP
question
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/politics/Indiana-s-Pence-among-the-fewto-deflect-2016-GOP-question-5293250
March 02, 2015 2:15 AM

By THOMAS BEAUMONT, Associated Press


PALM BEACH, Florida Some Republicans meeting conservatives in Washington
and Palm Beach, Florida, in the past few days have spoken openly about possible
presidential campaigns. Not Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Pence tells about 200 fiscal conservatives at a Club for Growth luncheon on
Saturday: "I'm always very humbled to be asked...my focus today, in this moment,
is Indiana."
The former congressman could still explore running after his legislature adjourns
this spring.
Pence spoke to the influential anti-tax group at its annual winter meeting.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush spoke to the group Thursday. On Friday, Texas Sen.
Ted Cruz took his turn. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were scheduled, too.
The six also spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington
this past week.

Rand Paul wins


CPAC straw poll,
Scott Walker close
second
http://www.journalgazette.net/news/politics/Rand-Paul-wins-CPAC-straw-poll-Scott-Walker-close-second-5299046
March 02, 2015 1:39 AM

By JILL COLVIN, Associated Press


OXON HILL, Md. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has won the Conservative Political
Action Conference's annual presidential preference straw poll.
Pollsters announced Saturday that Paul won 25.7 percent of the votes in the annual
survey, giving Paul his third consecutive win in as many years.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second, with 21.4 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz
came in third in the contest with 11.5 percent, followed by retired neurosurgeon
Ben Carson with 11.4 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 8.3 percent.
All of the other names listed received under 5 percent.
The three-day CPAC conference in suburban Washington draws many libertarianleaning college students whose views and priorities differ significantly from the

Republican Party at large. But it is nonetheless seen as a barometer of certain


conservative activists' early leanings.
Pollsters said just over 3,000 attendees voted. Nearly half identified as between the
ages of 18 and 25.
Respondents said economic issues, like jobs and taxes, were most important to
them in deciding whom to support as the Republican nominee for president in
2016.
What near-miss on a Department of Homeland Security shutdown?
To hear Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers address activists at the annual Conservative
Political Action Conference on Saturday, there were no hints of an intraparty fight
the night before that led to the brink of a partial shutdown of the agency tasked
with border control and anti-terrorism. In her remarks, the Republican Conference
chairwoman made no mention of the standoff that split conservatives from
establishment Republican lawmakers.
"I've lived the American Dream, but, sadly, for too many, the American Dream is
fading," said McMorris Rogers, the fourth-ranking Republican in the House
leadership and the top House lawmaker to appear on CPAC's main stage.
In her remarks, she reminisced about her childhood on a Washington state orchard
and spoke of her disagreements with President Barack Obama. She was silent on
the drama that unfolded nearby a day earlier, perhaps because it's unclear whether
the GOP has an answer to avoid a repeat of what Congress and the nation had
just weathered.
Late Friday, the House Republicans refused to adopt a three-week spending bill for
the Department of Homeland Security. Many conservatives insisted that no cash
would go to the department unless Obama's executive orders on immigration were
voided.
A stopgap, one-week accord won last-minute passage, and Obama signed it into
law. But that sets up a similar showdown in less than a week.
McMorris Rogers was asked after the speech if the process would improve next
week. "I don't think it will be any worse," she said.
She also said it is important for House Republicans to work with Senate
Republicans to avoid a similar crisis.
Even though House Republicans have large numbers on their side, they aren't
enough to ensure the party can line up a majority on contentious issues. The GOP
advantage is 245-188 with two vacancies.

No Rootin'-Tootin' Solution For


GOP's Immigration Woes
BY PAUL WALDMAN
POSTED MARCH 2, 2015
http://prospect.org/waldman/no-rootin-tootin-solution-gops-immigration-woes


(Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP via AP Images)

Former Governor Rick Perry (Republican of Texas) speaks at the


Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord
National at National Harbor, Maryland on Friday, February 27, 2015.


If you want to understand the challenge Republicans face in their two
goals for the next two yearsto keep their control of Congress from
turning into a disaster, and to win back the White Houseall you have
to do is look at the way they've handled the issue of immigration.
They've spent the last few years trying to find their way to a coherent
policy consensus that helps, not hurts, their electoral fate in the near and
far future. It isn't as though no Republicans have any ideas. But every
time it comes up, they just seem to be digging themselves into a deeper
hole.
The explanation has to do with where the party's center of gravity lies.
As Tom Schaller details in his new book The Stronghold: How
Republicans Captured Congress But Surrendered the White House, the
GOP's agenda, image, and character are now largely determined by its
representatives in Congress, and more specifically, its House members.
Whereas the Democrats used to have a stranglehold on the House while
Republicans had an advantage in presidential elections, we now see the
reverse: Republicans hold a structural advantage in congressional
districts (a product of both gerrymandering and where Americans of
different ideologies choose to live), while Democrats start presidential
campaigns with a leg up.
And in the House, the typical Republican is one who hails from a
conservative district, has constituents who are overwhelmingly white,
and only worries about a challenge from the right. He may understand
full well what party leaders mean when they say that the GOP needs to
reach out to Latinos, and that comprehensive immigration reform has to
be a part of that process. But when he goes home, he gets an earful from
constituents who want him to know how ticked off they are about the
foreign tide coming across the border and changing the character of their
America.
So look what happened just in the last few days. On Capitol Hill, House
Republicans demanded that continued funding for the Department of
Homeland Security be tied to a reversal of President Barack Obama's
executive actions on deferred deportations for undocumented

immigrants. Senate Republicans were prepared to fund the Department


of Homeland Security and hold a separate vote protesting the president's
immigration actions, but that wasn't good enough for Republicans in the
House, who want no compromise in their effort to strike back at Obama.
Fifty-two of them revolted against Speak John Boehner's attempt to fund
DHS for three weeks, evidently believing that was too long to wait for
another shutdown showdown; now we'll be doing it again at the end of
this week.

Rick Perry, former governor of the Lone Star State,


repeated one of his favorite rootin'-tootin' lines
Meanwhile, just a few miles away, Republican presidential hopefuls
were telling conservative activists at the Conservative Political Action
Conference of their unadulterated zeal for "securing the border." Rick
Perry, former governor of the Lone Star State, repeated one of his
favorite rootin'-tootin' lines, about how he told Barack Obama, "If you
won't secure the border, Texas will." (Perry has been saying that for a
while, yet he managed to leave office without actually securing the
border.) Senator Marco Rubio, who not only used to be a supporter of
comprehensive immigration reform but just three years ago proposed his
own version of the DREAM Act, has seen the light. He told CPAC the
crowdthat figuring out what to do about the undocumented immigrants
who are already here is all well and good, "But what I've learned is you
can't even have a conversation about that until people believe and know
not just believe but it's proven to themthat future illegal
immigration will be controlled." So he, too, now says that securing the
border first is the most important thing.
Fresh from his successful appearance at CPAC, Scott Walker appeared
on Fox News Sunday yesterday, where he was questioned on the fact that
he used to support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,
but no longer does. "My view has changed. I'm flat-out saying it," he
said, adding, "We need to secure the border."
Walker may be wondering why his change of heart should be a big deal,
because the truth is that most of the 2016 candidates have at one time or

another said positive things about a path to some kind of legal status for
the undocumented. But with one exception, they've now agreed that the
answer to any question about immigration is "Secure the border first."
Which is a way of saying that we shouldn't actually do much of
anything, forever.
You may have noticed that you never hear a Republican describe exactly
what a "secure" border would look like. Zero undocumented
immigration? Fences across all 1,933 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border?
The Border Patrol's budget has doubled over the last decade, even as the
number of illegal crossings plunged after the Great Recession. But no
matter what happens, Republicans can always say that we can't have
comprehensive reform yet, because the border is not secured.
Rubio shouldn't feel alone either, because there's a time-honored
tradition of Republican candidates changing their position on
immigration once they enter the presidential race. Mitt Romney once
supported a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants; by the
time his 2012 campaign came around, he was talking about "selfdeportation," a euphemism for making life so miserable for them that
they'd return to the countries they fled from. Before running for
president in 2008, John McCain wrote a comprehensive reform bill;
during the campaign, he declared his opposition to his own bill.
The only Republican candidate who seems unwilling to jump with both
feet into the quadrennial immigration pander-fest is Jeb Bush. Whether
out of conviction or the calculation that he has gone way too far to flipflop now, Bush still maintains his support for a path to legal status for
undocumented immigrants. But he, too, has moved right: He once
supported a path to complete citizenship, but no longer does.
That doesn't mean his opponents won't go after him on the issue, and
hard. All the candidates know that for Republican primary voters,
immigration is a cultural issue, every bit as much as abortion or gay
marriage. The question is whether the eventual nominee can get through
the primary telling Republican voters he sees America the same way
they do without telling general election votersboth the growing Latino
population and moderate voters as a wholethat his perspective is

dramatically different from theirs. Previous nominees couldn't do it, and


with congressional Republicans waging an endless battle with the
president over the immigration issue, it's going to be hard for the next
nominee to fare much better.

Wisconsin Governor Walker,


American workers and terrorism
2 March 2015
Patrick Martin
http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/03/02/pers-m02.html
On three separate occasions in the past four days, Wisconsin Governor
Scott Walker, one of the frontrunners for the Republican presidential
nomination, has stressed the close connection between the struggle
against the working class at home and Washingtons militarist policies
internationally.
Linking the suppression of workers protests to the fight against terrorism,
he has presented his success in defying mass demonstrations that broke
out in 2011 in Wisconsin against his attacks on workers social and
democratic rights as proof of his ability to take on and defeat ISIS.
Speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
in suburban Washington DC, Walker cited his experience in pushing
through anti-worker legislation as proof of his fitness for the presidency. If I
could take on 100,000 protesters, I could do the same across the world, he
boasted, effectively comparing throngs of state workers and students to
ISIS terrorists.
The next day, speaking before the Club for Growth, an assembly of
billionaires and their political advisers meeting in Palm Beach, Florida,
Walker returned to the theme. He declared that the most significant foreign
policy decision of my lifetime was President Ronald Reagans smashing of
the 1981 PATCO strike and mass firing of 11,000 air traffic controllers. It
sent a message not only across America, it sent a message around the
world, he said, that the Reagan administration was serious about
confronting its enemies and we werent to be messed with.
Appearing two days later on Fox News Sunday, Walker repeated his claim
that defeating public employee unions in Wisconsin was relevant to fighting
ISIS terrorists, while pretending to disavow a direct comparison. I want to
make it clear right now. Im not comparing those two entities, he said, and
then proceeded to do just that.

What I meant was, it was about leadership, he declared. The leadership


we provided under extremely difficult circumstances, arguably, the most
difficult of any governor in the country. He added that if I were to run, and
if I were to win and be commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership
is whats necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.
Walkers initial statement at CPAC was widely described in the media as a
gaffe. The problem, however, was not his implicit equation of working-class
opposition with terrorist organizations that have been targeted for
extermination, but rather his indiscretion in blurting out publicly what the US
corporate-financial oligarchy thinks and discusses internally.
In the event, comparing public employees to ISIS terrorists has not
disqualified Walker in the eyes of the media. If anything, it appears to have
enhanced his stature as a serious presidential candidate.
This is certainly the case among the so-called base of the Republican
Party that attended CPAC. Walker won the loudest ovations of any of the
13 potential candidates who addressed the group. In the CPAC straw poll,
Walker vaulted from sixth place in 2014 to second place, with 21.4 percent
of the vote, only narrowly behind Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.
As the WSWS noted Saturday, Walker is not the first US political figure to
equate the struggle against popular opposition at home with the wars
waged by American imperialism overseas. In the American ruling elite,
whether among Republicans or Democrats, there is less and less of a
distinction made between domestic and foreign policy. The financial
aristocracy increasingly sees itself besieged and compelled at home as
well as abroad to resort to force and violence.
Events of the past several years demonstrate that for the American ruling
class, the main enemy is at home: the jailing of protesters on terrorism
charges, such as the NATO Three; the lockdown of Boston after the 2013
Marathon bombing; the militarized response to protests in Ferguson and
other cities over police violence; the constant invocations of home-grown
terrorism as the pretext for the dismantling of democratic rights and the
buildup of a police state.
There has been comparatively little media attention given to Walkers open
linkage of suppressing strikes and protests at home with waging war for
imperialist interests abroad. The television networks and national
newspapers prefer to leave such discussions to in-house assemblies of the
ultra-right and conclaves of the corporate elite.
There was one revealing commentary, however, posted by right-wing
columnist Peggy Noonan, on the web site of the Wall Street Journal.
Noonan, a White House speechwriter in the Reagan administration,

responded to Walkers invocation of the PATCO strike as a historic turning


point that showed the Soviet Union Reagans determination to smash
opposition to his policies.
She noted that the PATCO strike had a direct international dimension, since
Canadian air traffic controllers carried out job actions in sympathy with their
American colleagues and there was widespread support among European
workers. The Reagan administration bullied the Canadian government to
force a return to work.
Noonan then wrote: Sen. Edward Kennedy and Lane Kirkland of the AFL
CIO played helpful and constructive roles in support of Reagans handling
of the PATCO strike.
What Noonan noted in passing was a devastating admission, confirming
what the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party, and
our newspaper, the Bulletin, explained throughout the 1981 strike: the
outright hostility of both the Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO officialdom
to the struggle of the 11,000 strikers, who had enormous support in the
working class.
Kennedy had spearheaded the deregulation of the airline industry in the
late 1970s and it was one of his aides, working in the Carter administration,
who drew up the plans for strikebreaking and mass firings in the event of
an air traffic controllers strike, eventually implemented under Reagan.
Kirkland played the central role in the AFL-CIOs deliberate isolation of the
strike. After a mass rally brought 500,000 workers to Washington on
September 19, 1981, the biggest labor demonstration in US history, led by
thousands of PATCO strikers, the unions shut down all support, blocked
any solidarity strike action by airline or airport workers, and tacitly
supported the jailing of strikers and the outlawing and destruction of
PATCO.
It is critical that workers entering into struggle, such as the US oil refinery
workers now in the second month of a bitter strike, carefully consider the
significance of Walkers statements as well as the record of the Obama
administration in overseeing the buildup of the forces of state repression.
The ruling class will stop at nothing to defeat the resistance of workers to
its assault on living standards and social conditions. It recognizes in the
working class its irreconcilable enemy.
The working class must respond with the same degree of consciousness,
determination and ruthlessness.
The PATCO precedent remains of decisive importance today because the
twin obstacles of the AFL-CIO and the Democratic Party remain the
decisive barriers that the American working class must overcome in order

to build a mass independent political movement that will challenge the profit
system and advance a socialist and revolutionary program.

College Republicans attend


CPAC, hear from potential
presidential candidates
http://www.diamondbackonline.com/news/article_513e65ea-c083-11e4-901f-e7d09327fc6f.html
Posted: Monday, March 2, 2015 12:45 am | Updated: 11:47 pm, Mon Mar 2, 2015.
By Josh Magness



Photo courtesy of Breyer Hillegas

Elizabeth Pickens had always heard about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker from
family who lived in the state, but attending the Conservative Political Action
Conference gave her the chance to hear the potential presidential candidate speak
in person.
About 25 members of the UMD College Republicans, most of them college-aged,
attended the annual four-day convention for conservative activists, held in Gaylord
National Convention Center at National Harbor. The students attended lectures and
heard top Republican politicians address their stances on issues such as
immigration and fiscal policy.
High-profile speakers this year included Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Gov.
Walker (R-Wi.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kn.) and Sarah
Palin. While Pickens, a sophomore history major, said all the speakers did well, she
said seeing Walker in person reaffirmed why she liked him, and that Bushs
demeanor on stage showed he could be a front-runner.
I was wary of Jeb Bush, but he was a good speaker and he had a really good
explanation for why he was in favor of immigration reform, Pickens said. Finally
seeing Scott Walker reinforced what I liked about him and why I wouldnt mind
him running for president.
Sen. Paul won his third consecutive CPAC presidential preference straw poll with
25.7 percent of the votes, edging out Walker, who came in second place with 21.4
percent. Skyler Golt, vice president of UMD College Republicans, said Sen. Pauls
speech was one of the more memorable events of the conference.
Rand Paul really hit on the reason why many people arent conservative, which is
because people only hear from the media about what its like to be conservative,
which tells it wrong, the junior environmental science and policy major said. He
said we are in favor of protecting all rights, not just the first and second, and thats
what it means to be conservative.
Pauls speech was also the most attended and well-received, said UMD College
Republicans President Breyer Hillegas, reflecting his popularity with young
people, who make up the majority of the conference.
The conference showed the Republican Partys growing divide on social issues,
with Bush speaking about his support of immigration reform and Jamila Bey

becoming the first openly atheist speaker at the conference. Duck Dynasty star Phil
Robertson also accepted the Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment
Award for his comments against same-sex marriage.
Golt said a main theme connecting many of the speeches was the idea that fiscal
conservatism brings together conservatives who are divided on social issues.
A lot of speakers talked about uniting the party because we have a diverse group
with a lot of different voices and opinions, which is good because more ideas are
better, he said. We may disagree on social issues, but we can all agree on
lowering taxes and respecting states rights.
Hillegas said the conference, which he says is comprised of around 90 percent
college-aged conservatives, is important because it lets both the current and
upcoming leaders of the Republican Party discuss issues.
If you want to change the future you should invest in young people, and young
people are the future of the party, the junior biology major said. Young people
are also very energized and passionate, so its good to have something like this for
them.
Pickens agreed, saying the conference gives conservatives on both sides of
contentious social issues a place to hold very constructive disagreements.
CPAC is great because it lets young people, who are more open to things like gay
marriage, and old people, who are more likely to be against it, come together to
exchange our ideas, Pickens said. Everyone just wants to understand what the
other side believes in, and why they do.

Their View: Pandering


politicians flip-flop on Common
Core
http://www.centredaily.com/2015/03/02/4628149_their-view-panderingpoliticians.html?rh=1
March 2, 2015
BY CAMPBELL BROWN

At the Conservative Political Action Conference last week, the supposed


evils of the Common Core educational standards were front and center. So,
too, was an unmistakable case of pandering.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared, We need to remove Common Core
from every classroom in America. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blamed
his predecessor for forcing his state to adopt the standards and said that he
is now deeply concerned about the heavy foot of the federal government
coming in.
Both now preach this opposition message with the zealous conviction of
converts because they are converts, having carried until recently a very
different message. And their explanations for their flip-flops border on the
absurd.
In April 2013, I interviewed Jindal at an education conference in Baton
Rouge, La. Back then, Jindal was a passionate proponent of Common

Core, whose development was driven by the nations governors and which
had been adopted by most every state, including Louisiana. Jindal made a
strong case that day for how vital the standards were to improving
education in his state.
His big reversal came when he began openly exploring a presidential run.
Now he calls the standards a top-down, meddlesome approach that is
terrible for public education. His beef, like that of many Republicans
opposed to Common Core, is that the Obama administration ruined a good
idea when it tied federal dollars to the voluntary standards. Jindal has gone
so far as to sue the federal government for offering financial incentives to
states that sign up.
A basic lesson in recent history shows why Jindals conversion appears so
disingenuous. The Obama administration announced in the summer of
2009 that federal dollars would be available to states that embraced
Common Core, yet Jindal remained a champion until late 2013. Did it really
take him more than four years to discover that the federal government was
involved? Maybe that alone should disqualify him from being a serious
presidential candidate.
Christies inartful attempts to disguise his flip-flop have been no better. In
2013, he was also a big Common Core proponent, saying, This is one of
those areas where Ive agreed more with the president than not. Last year,
he blasted other Republicans for opposing the standards, saying they care
more about their primaries than they care about anything else. Yet, lo and
behold, Christie has developed grave concerns, as he told Iowa voters in
January, because the federal government is tying federal funds to the
initiative. He has even asked a commission to reexamine New Jerseys
implementation in light of these new developments from the Obama
administration developments that were announced five years earlier.
All this, of course, is not about education. Or facts.
Jindal and Christie are running from Common Core with an eye on the
presidential primary, where attacking any intrusion into local affairs is an
applause line for conservatives. And they are not the only Republicans
backtracking all over themselves.
How about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker? He was an early supporter of
implementing Common Core in his state but, during a tough re-election
campaign in 2014, he abruptly called for its repeal. Now his position is
mush; he says he supports high standards but wants school districts to
know they can opt out if they want.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has also flip-flopped. In 2013, he
was still willing to admit that high standards across the states were a good

thing but suggested a name change to solve the standards branding


problem. Now he, too, is withdrawing his support and blaming the feds.
Indeed, some states such as Arizona have dealt with the backlash against
Common Core by keeping the standards but changing the name. We are
reduced to sleight of hand. Meanwhile, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has
become a target for standing by Common Core as a voluntary minimum
level of rigor for all states. His message to governors: Go ahead and set
your own standards if you want; just make them at least as rigorous.
Lets be clear about what Common Core is. It spells out what students
should know at the end of each grade. The goal is to ensure that our
students are sound in math and literacy and that our schools have some
basic consistency nationwide. But the standards do not dictate a national
curriculum, and teachers are not told how or what to teach.
The unpopularity of the initiative with segments of the public has been
caused by rough implementation in some states and the tests linked to the
standards. That frustration is legitimate and can be addressed. But
abandonment of the initiative for political reasons is craven.
Those running from Common Core may find that the political risks have
been overstated. A recent NBC/Marist poll of Iowa, New Hampshire and
South Carolina Republicans found that the number of people willing to back
a pro-Common Core candidate was greater than the number who said
support for Common Core was a deal- breaker.
Education never quite gets the attention it deserves in presidential
campaigns, but monster flip-flops surely do. So heres some advice for
people running for office: If you want to campaign against core standards,
perhaps you should try having core standards of your own first.
Campbell Brown is founder of the Partnership for Educational Justice and a former CNN
and NBC News anchor. She wrote this for The Washington Post.

Peter Funt: Donald Trump rides in the


GOP clown car
http://www.hpenews.com/opinion/x1271337716/Peter-Funt-Donald-Trump-rides-in-theGOP-clown-car
Mar. 02, 2015 @ 12:10 AM

By: Peter Funt


Well, the joke's on us. Remember during the recent "Saturday Night Live"
anniversary special when Sarah Palin conducted a faux Q&A with Jerry
Seinfeld? It went like this:

Palin: "How much do you think (producer) Lorne Michaels would pay me if I
were to run in 2016?" (Big laugh.)

Seinfeld: "Run for president, Sarah? I don't think there's a number too big!"

Palin: "Okay, just hypothetically then, what if I were to choose Donald Trump as
my running mate?" (Even bigger laugh.)

Seinfeld: "Sarah, you're teasing us! That's not nice."

Mind you, this was the funniest, most outrageous political joke the writers at
SNL could conjure: that Palin and/or Trump would have the audacity to make
another run for the White House.

Less than two weeks later, Trump in all apparent, bombastic seriousness
tells the Washington Post that he has hired staers in key states to lay plans for
a presidential run. He met with GOP National Committee Chairman Reince
Priebus, and appearred with early front-runner Jeb Bush before the
Conservative Political Action Conference.

Let's be clear: Donald Trump isn't just a political laughingstock a "celebrity


bomb-thrower" as the Post referred to him he's generally hated by his own
party. A Des Moines Register poll showed Trump with a 68 percent unfavorable
rating among Iowa Republicans, with half adding "very" before "unfavorable."

A University of New Hampshire poll has it about the same, with 69 percent
viewing Trump unfavorably.

"The last thing we need is another Bush," Trump bellowed earlier this year. It's
probably the most astute observation the ego-driven wannabe has made,

considering that until recently the sentiment was echoed by none other than Jeb
Bush's mom.

Trump claims allegiance to the so-called Tea Party wing of the GOP, a sector
that stirs passion among some voters during primaries and debates, further
fractionalizing the party. And that makes it virtually impossible for a more
mainstream candidate, like Mitt Romney, to get elected.

With all its troubles, why does GOP leadership persist in allowing someone like
Trump to appear at events with its legitimate contenders? One obvious reason is
that Trump writes a lot of large checks to GOP campaigns, which buys him
access.

Another possibility is that other potential candidates like to be seen as relatively


normal and tame when positioned alongside the likes of Trump or Rudy Giuliani
("I do not believe the President loves America").

Even without Trump, the Republican clown car has plenty of occupants, with
Wisconsin's Scott Walker ("I don't know" if President Obama is Christian),
Louisiana's Bobby Jindal ("We have a president right now who is not qualified to
be our Commander in Chief") and Texas' Rick Perry ("genetic coding" makes
homosexuals similar to alcoholics), all staking out more than their share of
outrageous positions.

Republicans should remember that Trump proved to be the party's worst


nightmare in 2012, blasting Romney, the eventual nominee, and embarrassing
even Tea Party stalwarts by flogging the "birther" issue long after most people
gave up on questioning where the president was born. Trump insists he has no
regrets.

If Republicans hope to regain the White House they should start by curbing the
trash talk and barring the door to publicity-seeking pretenders like Donald
Trump.

"People around the world are laughing at us," Trump told the Post. He didn't
clarify whether that was before or after he said he was interested in running for
president.

________________________________________________________

Jeb Bush Runs Conservative


Gatekeeper Gauntlet
Michael Scherer @michaelscherer March 1, 2015
http://time.com/3727966/jeb-bush-grover-norquist/

#
Mark PetersonRedux for TIME

Jeb Bush speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md. on Feb. 27, 2015.

Jeb Bush made headlines Friday when he used wit to parry


the boos of college-age conservatives at a conference
outside Washington, D.C. For those who made an ooo
sound is that what it was? Im marking you down as
neutral and I want to be your second choice, he told the
crowd, in what sounded like a prepared line.
But the moment may not have been the most
consequential conservative test he passed last week. Just a
day earlier, Bush addressed and largely won over a crowd
of strict fiscal conservative donors off camera and
thousands of miles away at a gathering of wealthy donors
at a Club for Growth confab in Palm Beach, Fla.
David McIntosh, the groups president, who interviewed
Bush on stage, said his members, who tend to be wealthy
fighters for strict fiscal conservatism, had been wary
before Bush appeared, wondering who they would meet,
the old Governor or a new Bush, a reference the raw
feelings many conservatives still have against Jebs father
and brother, who both enraged conservatives during their
administrations.
But Bush made a forceful case for himself, McIntosh said.
I got to be governor of this state this purple state, this
wacky, wonderful state for eight years, Bush told the
group, according to an account from the Washington Post.
I ran as a conservative, I said what I was going to do, and
I had a chance to do it. And trust me, I did. By the time it
was over, McIntosh was all praise. Bush impressed
people, he said.

BEHIND THE SCENES OF CPAC

#
Mark PetersonRedux for TIME

Peter Dudziak of John, Minnesota attends CPAC in National Harbor,


Md. on Feb. 27, 2014.
1 of 22

That seal of approval could prove huge dividends as the


establishment frontrunner works to avoid a movement
backlash to his nascent presidential effort. The man who
once said Republicans should lose the primary to win the
general election is nonetheless aiming to establish his
credentials in a way that minimizes the ideological protest
against his candidacy from the right. But the fight is far
from over. Other conservative activists have been far more
skeptical. Grover Norquist, who runs another fiscal
conservative group, Americans for Tax Reform, has been
critical of Jeb Bush for refusing to sign his pledge, during
his gubernatorial campaigns and now, to oppose all
increases in taxes.
My concern is that he has not made a commitment to the
American people that he will not raise taxes when all the
other candidates have done so, Norquist said at the
Conservative Political Action Conference outside
Washington. I think Jeb will take the pledge at the end of
the day because both his father and his brother said I
dont know and then when they realized what the pledge
was and what it actually meant and that it was a pledge to
the American people and not to me or Americans for Tax
Reform, and that they had no intention of raising taxes,
and that everyone else was doing it, they said yes,
absolutely.

Bush has so far refused to budge, and on Saturday his


spokesman dismissed Norquists organization as just
another lobbying group. If Governor Bush decides to
move forward, he will not sign any pledges circulated by
lobbying groups, Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell,
told ABC News. President George H.W. Bush famously
signed Norquists pledge and then broke it by supporting a
tax increase as part of the 1990 budget, a move that hurt
his reelection effort in 1992. President George W. Bush
signed and honored the pledge as president, and his White
House worked closely with Norquist to rally support for
tax cuts in his first term.
One reason for Jeb Bushs reluctance may be his desire to
strike a bargain to reform entitlements if he became
president. In 2012, he said in a congressional hearing that
he would accept a theoretical deal to raise $1 of tax
revenue for every $10 in spending cuts, a position that had
been rejected by that years Republican presidential
contenders, in large part because of Norquists pledge.
Like Norquists group, the Club For Growth also has a
reputation for taking a hard line against any candidate
who either raises taxes or leaves the door open to tax
increases. But so far this cycle, there are no signs that the
Club will target Bush. In 2008, the Club for Growth played
an aggressive role in opposing Mike Huckabees
presidential campaign, attacking him for some tax

increases he pushed as governor of Arkansas. In 2012, the


group released research papers on the candidates, but did
not spend money or offer endorsements in the primary.
This year, the group could be more agressive. There is no
decision on an endorsement, McIntosh said.
But Bush is not seeking an endorsement as much as a lack
of opposition. If the Club simply concludes that Bush can
be seen in the same category as other Club for Growth
favorites, including Ted Cruz, Scott Walker and Rand Paul,
that would be victory enough for his presidential effort.

UT/TT POLL: Guns, pot and


the next president
Mark Wiggins, KVUE 10:47 p.m. CST March 1, 2015
http://www.kvue.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/01/ut-tt-poll-guns-pot-and-the-nextpresident/24148603/

!
UT/TT POLL: Guns, pot and the next president

AUSTIN -- Walking on stage Friday to AC/DC's "Back in Black," Former


Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) was one of many GOP presidential contenders
hoping to rock the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
"Let's revive this great nation again!" Perry closed his address, which within
hours became part of a new campaign video posted on YouTube by
RickPAC. But is Texas' longest-serving governor still a rockstar among
Republicans at home?
A new survey conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune
shows Perry's presidential preference among Texas Republicans at eight

percent. The biggest chunk, 20 percent, listed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) as
their top choice for 2016. Cruz is in a statistical dead heat with Wisconsin
Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) at 19 percent.
"I think it's partly Scott Walker is kind of the hot ticket right now, and let's
see what it looks like as this thing rolls out," said Texas Tribune executive
editor Ross Ramsey. "But if I'm Cruz, I'm looking at this and saying, 'This is
competitive."
Voters are split over several hot-button issues before the Texas Legislature.
On college tuition rates for undocumented students brought to Texas as
children, 43 percent believe they should pay the out-of-state rate and 42
percent believe they should pay the in-state rate.
It's a similar story on the issue of concealed handguns on college
campuses, where 47 percent support and 45 percent oppose the idea. Both
are within the survey's margin of error. Legislation allowing "campus carry"
and open carrying of handguns passed out of a Senate committee in early
February.
It turns out just 32 percent of Texans say they want open carry. Twenty-two
percent support licensed open carry and only 10 percent believe it should
be allowed without a license. A full 45 percent believe handguns should be
carried concealed with a license, which is the current law. Perhaps
surprisingly, 23 percent of Texans responded that handguns should not be
carried in public at all.
But there's one issue on which the vast majority of Texans seem to agree.
An overwhelming 76 percent support some form of legal marijuana. Broken
down, 16 percent support any amount for any purpose, 26 percent support
small amounts for any purpose, and 34 percent support allowing marijuana
to be used solely for medical purposes.
Even if marijuana rolls through the legislature, it's unclear whether it would
get the governor's blessing.
"Whether you want to be the governor who signs this or lets it become law,
that's going to be the calculation Greg Abbott has to make," said Ramsey.
"And I think he's going to look at subgroups really carefully, and see where
his Republicans are, see where his voters are, and examine his own
feelings about it.

Can Rush Limbaugh Make This Man President?


http://dailycaller.com/2015/03/01/can-rush-limbaugh-make-this-man-president/
Posted 2015-03-02
By: W. JAMES ANTLE III

You may have noticed that the media likes to run critical stories about Wisconsin Gov.
Scott Walker sometimes without doing much checking first.
As the Walker for president talk gains steam, you can expect to see more media
attempts to break him in. Thats to be expected. But for now, that might be less
important than the media he does have in his corner.
Mobile_Inline
Consider how rapid Walkers rise has been. As late as November, he usually polled in
the single digits. Public Policy Polling had Walker at 5 percent last March, compared to
25 percent in its latest poll.
The turnaround in Iowa is even more pronounced. Walked typically polled around 5
percent of the vote last year, with his best performance in a survey of possible GOP
caucus-goers 8 percent. In late January, he broke into the double digits for the first time.
Two February polls had him in first place with more than 20 percent of the vote, which
happens to be his Real Clear Politics polling average in the state.
Ditto New Hampshire, where Walkers best performance last year was just 7 percent.
Hes been pretty consistently in the double digits since then, even though Jeb Bush,
Rand Paul and Chris Christie are all strong in the first-in-the-nation primary too. Gravis
Marketing had Walker as high as 23 percent in February.
In the Conservative Political Action Conferences (CPAC) straw poll, Walker saw his
support triple from 7 percent last year to a little over 21 percent Saturday. The governor

vaulted from fifth place to a close second behind Paul, who had a better organization
and is in synch with the younger conservatives who dominate the conference.
Walker was the biggest beneficiary of the Iowa Freedom Summit, an early cattle call for
Republican 2016 aspirants. There he bucked the perception that he was too boring a
speaker to compete for president in the television and Internet era, where coverage is
ubiquitous and charisma is king.
It cant hurt that Walker has another secret weapon: Rush Limbaugh, the biggest name
in conservative talk radio, has been touting him even before that breakthrough speech.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Republican Party has a genuine star, Limbaugh said on his
radio program the day after Walker a second term in November. In case you missed the
point, the transcript ran on Limbaughs website under the headline Scott Walker
Superstar.
Rush raved about Walkers Iowa speech, praising its pedal-to-the-metal, wall-to-wall
conservatism.
If you have spent any time listening to this program in the last two years, you know that
I believe Scott Walker is the blueprint for the Republican Party if they are serious about
beating the left Scott Walker has shown how to do it, he said.
Conservative medias track record in swaying the Republican presidential primaries isnt
good. Outlets like National Review certainly boosted Barry Goldwater and Ronald
Reagan in the pre-talk radio era. Other than that, theres not much.
Sometimes the candidates boosted on conservative magazine covers dont do well with
grassroots conservatives (otherwise we would have gotten much closer to a President
Brownback) while some candidates who do connect with the rank and file arent
favorites of the conservative elites (think Pat Buchanan, Mike Huckabee).
Other times, the candidates themselves havent given conservative talkers much to
work with. Laura Ingraham gave a barnburner of a speech introducing Mitt Romney at
CPAC in 2008. Romney followed her out and promptly suspended his campaign,
endorsing John McCain.
While Limbaugh hasnt formally endorsed anybody, he does seem to be rallying early.
National Journal tracked how often Rush has mentioned Walker on his show: 200 times
just over the last week of January and the first week of February alone.
National Journals headline? Scott Walker Is Winning The Rush Limbaugh Primary.
Meanwhile, The Hill described Jeb Bush as having a conservative media problem.
How much this would help in the general election if Walker was the nominee remains to
be seen. But it cant hurt in the Republican primaries and seems to have helped raise
Walkers profile.
Limbaugh has long joked about fighting with half his brain tied behind his back, just to
make it fair. Maybe thats all the fairness Walker needs.

Imitation Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery:


Fiorina Responds To Hillary Copying Speech Lines
Posted 2015-03-02 03:07:49 - by Admin

Note to Hillary Clinton: Carly Fiorina is not going anywhere any time soon.
With a campaign on the horizon, few people were more visible at the Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC) last week than Fiorina, the former HP CEO-turnedpolitical candidate. During her multiple appearances at the conference and on cable
news, Fiorina amped up her rhetoric of the former secretary of state, setting herself up
as anti-Hillary Clinton in the process.
However, one thing she does appreciate about Clinton, is who the former secretary of
state has been looking to on occasion as she prepares to right the wrongs of her losing
2008 presidential bid.
That would be Fiorina.
In an interview on Saturday at CPAC, Fiorina told The Daily Caller she is flattered that
Clinton looks to her for campaign tips, after the former first lady began using one of
Fiorinas primary speech lines at a womens conference in Silicon Valley on Tuesday.
During her address, Clinton called on women to unlock their full potential, a message
Fiorina has spread ahead of her probable campaign.
I might say what difference does it make at this point, Fiorina said, mocking Clintons
statement during a hearing on Benghazi in January, 2013. I guess imitation is the
sincerest form of flattery, but eventually if Hillary Clinton runs, shes going to have to
have a clear message about what she stands for and what shes accomplished.
Prior to snagging the Fiorina line as her own, there were also striking resemblances
between books released by the two women, with the political media pointing out that

Clintons 2014 memoir Hard Choices bears an eerie similarity to Fiorinas 2006
memoir Tough Choices.
Her lack of accomplishment at the State Department is a legitimate and real issue,
Fiorina said. I think Benghazi is turning into a bigger and bigger issue every day. The
emails we saw released this week are pretty shocking actually. I think that the donations
that the Clinton Foundation has taken are a real issue as well.
I think theres just this whole pattern which many Democrats have, in fairness, not just
Hillary Clinton, she said. This whole pattern of, sort of, Do as I say, not as I do that
leaves them vulnerable.
In her CPAC speech on Thursday, Fiorina issued a scathing rebuke of Clinton, asking
the former secretary to name an accomplishment while, just as broadly, telling her you
dont know what leadership means.
However, while the former business executive continues to harp on Clinton for missteps
at the State Department and elsewhere, she aimed criticism at the GOP for its own
issues. Specifically, Fiorina offered a harsh critique of the GOPs strategy to counteract
the presidents executive order on immigration, after Congress passed a seven-day
stop-gap bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security until Friday.

Jackson: Christie's pension plan aims high


http://www.northjersey.com/news/jackson-christie-s-pension-plan-aimshigh-1.1280647
MARCH 1, 2015, 9:47 PM

LAST UPDATED: MONDAY, MARCH 2, 2015, 1:26 PM

BY HERB JACKSON

RECORD COLUMNIST |
THE RECORD

FILE/TYSON TRISH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER


Governor Christie

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was interrupted by cheers and


applause several times at a conservative pep rally Thursday when
he talked about his successful attack on public employees
bargaining rights and job security, which propelled him into the
spotlight from political obscurity.
A few hours earlier at the same Conservative Political Action
Conference, New Jerseys governor, Chris Christie, was more
nuanced. He and the states largest teachers union fought
furiously in his first term but now are trying together to tackle a
huge shortfall in state pension funds because, as Christie
portrayed it, they learned he plays hardball. The crowds response
was tepid, which might be expected for a politician from a liberal,
northeastern state who was already seen as suspect by many at
the gathering of the partys far-right wing.
But a review of whats happened around the country with public
employee benefits shows that what Christie wants to do far
exceeds what Walker and nearly every other governor has done.
In his budget speech last week, Christie endorsed a plan that he
said could be a national model. It was developed by a special
study commission he appointed, and now his office is trying to
negotiate details with worker unions.
The plan would have New Jersey freeze the traditional defined
benefit pensions workers have and launch whats known as a
cash balance pension, a hybrid between traditional pensions
and 401(k)-type plans that tie benefits to how much the pooled
worker and employer contributions grow when invested.
More than a dozen states have frozen their traditional pensions,
including eight of them since the Great Recession put a strain on
budgets, according to the National Conference of State
Legislatures.
But nearly all of them chose only to put new employees in the new
plans, while keeping existing workers in the traditional pension.
Only Rhode Island and Puerto Rico did what Christie is proposing

and froze the current pension system for existing workers, too,
and required everyone to go into a new plan after a cutoff date.
Its unusual to switch employees midcareer, said Keith Brainard,
research director of the National Association of State Retirement
Administrators. A key reason why, he said, is that courts have
overturned efforts to change benefits that employees had
previously been promised.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, another potential presidential
candidate who spoke at CPAC, tried to put new employees hired
after mid-2013 in a cash-balance plan. That law was overturned
by a court that said Louisianas constitution required such a
change to be approved by a super majority of the Legislature
instead of the simple majority that did approve it.
Under Christies proposal, whatever benefit a worker has earned
up to a cutoff date would be guaranteed. After the cutoff date,
further benefits would be paid from the new system.
No decisions have been made about when the switch would
happen, how generous the new benefit program would be, or how
employer and employee contributions would change.
To address potential legal challenges, Christie is also proposing a
two-pronged amendment to the state constitution. One part
would spell out that the changes cannot be overturned on
constitutional grounds. The other would require the state to make
regular cash contributions to the frozen pension plan so that
guaranteed benefits can be paid.
That would make it more difficult for governors to skip or
shortchange payments into the pension system, as Christie and
most of his predecessors have done, creating a shortfall in the
system of $40 billion to $83 billion.
Christie and Walker could end up battling for some of the same
voters in Republican primaries if they both decide to seek the
presidency, and they took different tacks last week to appeal to
self-described conservatives at the conference outside
Washington.

Walker described how his fight with unions led liberal special
interests to make him their top enemy, and finance an
unsuccessful recall.
We showed them we could fight and win for the hardworking
taxpayer, Walker said. We did it without compromising. We
stood up and said what we were going to do, and then we did it.
Christie did not use the word compromise, something he has
described as a virtue in political speeches in the past. The whoops
that Walker got from the crowd showed that touting an ability to
compromise might not have played well with a CPAC audience.
But Christie also showed that just as the next president will
he has to get adversaries and the opposing party to go along with
changes he wants to make, while Walker only had to persuade
fellow Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature to get his changes
through.
And the changes Walker has made to worker benefits increased
how much workers had to contribute, just as laws Christie signed
did. One reason why Walker may not have tried to change the
benefit package was because his states system was reasonably
well financed, unlike New Jerseys.
New Jerseys system is in such bad shape, the head of the teachers
union, Wendell Steinhauer, said hes willing to negotiate a freeze
and create a new system with Christie because hes worried the
checks will run out someday.
But Christies failure to make payments required by the 2011 law
that passed with bipartisan support could also be what dooms his
effort to get even more significant changes to benefits. Other
public employee union leaders have already said he hasnt lived
up to his promises in the past.
But if Christie does win this pension round, it would offer a
chance for him to boast to conservatives that he cowed the unions
not only on retirement benefits but also health care. And he did it
by getting the opposing party to climb on board.

Rand Paul Wins Cpac Straw Poll, Scott


Walker Close Second
http://hamodia.com/2015/03/01/rand-paul-wins-cpac-straw-poll-scott-walker-close-second/

Sunday, March 1, 2015 | '

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gestures while speaking during the Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. (Reuters) - Senator Rand Paul won a straw poll of conservative
activists on Saturday, giving his potential bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016
a boost, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came in second in a surprising show of strength.

Whether the victory for Paul will have long-lasting benefit is unclear since his libertarian views
may not have broad appeal in the Republican Party.
Paul, a 52-year-old Kentucky Republican, outdistanced most other potential candidates by
taking 25.7 percent of the vote at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering of
activists on Washingtons outskirts of Washington.

Walkers second-place showing at 21.4 percent represented a significant show of support


among conservatives and suggested his potential candidacy will have real staying power as he
seeks to remain among the front-runners for the nomination.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz came in third with 11.5 percent of a total of 3,007 who registered votes
at the CPAC gathering.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, an establishment candidate who is amassing millions of
dollars for a campaign should he decide to run, took fifth place with 8.3 percent of the vote, a
not-unexpected showing given conservative opposition to some of his moderate stances.
Boos rang out in the audience when Bushs tally was announced. The Bush camp made clear
that he did not compete in the straw poll, which is a survey of people attending the conference.
The straw poll concluded the four-day conference at a hotel along the Potomac River, where
conservatives heard from more than a dozen potential contenders for the chance to represent
the Republican Party in the November 2016 election.
Walker, 47, was clearly among the most popular at the event.
The CPAC straw poll, however, does not necessarily identify the next Republican presidential
nominee. Mitt Romney won the straw poll in 2012 and went on to win the nomination. But the
2008 nominee, John McCain did not win the poll.

A principled path to defeat: EJ. Dionne Jr.


http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2015/03/
a_principled_path_to_defeat_ej.html
March 01, 2015 at 5:00 PM, updated March 01, 2015 at 5:01 PM

By E.J. Dionne Jr.


WASHINGTON -- It's a daunting challenge to spin the word "no"
into a hopeful and forward-looking political battle cry.
There are, of course, circumstances when negative arguments can
work. In obviously terrible times, voters are often content to take
a chance on a barely sketched-out alternative. In midterm
elections, which are like midsemester report cards, voters often
protest against what they don't like. "No" was a successful pitch in
three straight midterms going back to 2006. The GOP's 1946
slogan, "Had Enough? Vote Republican," was a model of simple
and clever effectiveness.
But the evidence of the moment is that "had enough" will not be
enough for the GOP in 2016. Of course we cannot know from
Hillary Clinton's current leads of around nine or 10 points over
her major Republican competitors that she will ultimately prevail.
Still, her advantage owes at least in part to unease about where
Republicans would take the country if they won both the
presidency and Congress. For now, voters don't want to go there.
Events of the past week underscore why. The absurdity of going to
the wire on funding the Department of Homeland Security tells us
that many in the party, particularly right-wingers in the House, do

not care about how their inability to govern in an orderly fashion


looks to citizens outside the conservative bubble.
For the more radical members of Speaker John Boehner's caucus,
this is all about high principle. Since most of them come from very
conservative districts, they will only strengthen their own political
situations by continuing to link DHS funding to overturning
President Obama's executive actions on immigration. They have
nothing to lose.
But collectively, their party has a lot to lose. To win the presidency
and to improve their chances of holding the Senate in 2016,
Republicans will have to do far better with Latino voters than Mitt
Romney did in 2012. This fight will only make that harder. And
middle-of-the-road voters don't like this sort of brinksmanship, as
well they shouldn't.
The way Republicans are behaving could thus turn one of the
party's assets, the likelihood that they will hold their House
majority for some time, into a liability. This argument is advanced
forcefully by political scientist Thomas Schaller in his new book,
"The Stronghold."
Schaller describes the potential of a vicious cycle: As the party has
become more conservative, it has become more Congresscentered, "anchored to and defined by its congressional wing, and
its House caucus in particular." But a majority of its House
members are either extremely conservative or fearful of primaries
from the right. This makes the House highly sensitive to rightwing donors, right-wing media and right-wing voters -- and far
less responsive to those middle-ground citizens who usually
decide presidential elections. The danger, says Schaller, is that the
GOP's congressional stronghold could become a "chokehold."
The doings at the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) that closed on Saturday only reinforced the point.
Republican presidential candidates worry about those very
conservative primary voters too, and CPAC was an excellent
opportunity for the hopefuls to show how well they can dance to

the oppositionist tune, a chorus of "no's" to Obama, Clinton,


liberalism and "big government."
Jeb Bush, who is actually very conservative, has put up some
resistance to the spirit of negativity. "We shouldn't be the
reactionary party to how bad things are," he told a Club for
Growth gathering in Florida on Thursday.
When he appeared at CPAC on Friday, he did declare that "we
have to start being for things again," but only after praising
Republicans in Congress for standing up to Obama. He
sidestepped when Fox News' Sean Hannity asked about the House
Republicans' approach to DHS funding though he did speak of his
party's need to win more Latino votes.
Bush would clearly like to take a cue from his brother who, before
the 2000 election, occasionally distanced himself from an
unpopular right-wing Congress. But Jeb is orchestrating his
independence with great caution and some ambivalence. The GOP
is well to the right of where it was 15 years ago and also much
more insulated. It's worth remembering that Fox didn't become
the largest cable news network until 2002.
In my experience, the people who see Jeb Bush as the most
electable nominee tend to be Democrats, not Republicans. This
may prove his general election strategy is working, but it also
shows his party may not let him get there because it's quite happy
being reactionary."

Jeb Bush: Marching forth to


defeat the conservative base
By J.E. Dyer on March 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm

http://libertyunyielding.com/2015/03/01/jeb-bush-marching-forth-todefeat-the-conservative-base/

#
(Image via Politico)
Remember five months ago, when nobody was sure Jeb Bush was
going to run for president in 2016?
It seems longer ago than it actually was. The drumbeat started in the
media well before that about a possible Bush candidacy. But Jeb

himself was on the fence, at least as regards his public statements,


until just a few weeks ago.
Mark Halperin, writing in October, pointed out the absence of any
serious Bush organization:
The second group [of observers], meanwhile, insists Jeb Bush will
once again sit out the presidential race, this time scared off by the
lethal-looking twin buzz saws of Common Core and immigration. Even
more lethal, there are enduring murmurs that Jebs irrepressibly
formidable mother, his wife, and his daughter are dead set against a
run. Members of Group Two clock the echoing absence of the
courtship of aggressive bundlers, interest-group activists, and Iowa,
New Hampshire, and South Carolina kingmakers, and concludethat
there is no candidacy brewingjust a guy with a great rsum, a
substantive agenda, and a brand name, stirring the pot.
The organization began to coalesce only after the new year, when
observers still spoke of Jebs moves as hinting at a run.
By late January, all that had changed. One of the signs came with the
blip of Mitt Romneys brief resurgence. There was a lot of talk about
the real potential for another Romney candidacy in January. But as
the month drew to an end, reports began to surface that many of
Romneys big donors and bundlers were defecting to Jeb along with
top players from the 2012 campaign like Dave Kochel, Romneys chief
Iowa advisor.
A few weeks later, Chris Christie, long in the running to be the GOP
establishment favorite, was reported to be losing donors to Jeb Bush
as well.
But Christies support wasnt being siphoned off only by Jeb. Scott
Walker made a big splash at the Iowa Freedom Summit in late
January, and in recent weeks has topped the Iowa polls by an
increasing margin. Donors have noticed.
An aside on Walker, for comparison
Walker has been hard for both the left and the GOP establishment to
pigeonhole. He hasnt made his political name on social conservatism,
like Rick Santorum or Mike Huckabee. But he is an evangelical
Christian and the son of a Baptist minister, and he doesnt go out of
his way to make socially-liberal gestures, with either policy ideas or
personnel choices.

Walker has an impressive record of defeating the organized,


entrenched forces of the left, meanwhile, with his path-breaking
victory for restrictions on public-union bargaining in Wisconsin. Few
voters might be able to give chapter and verse on what the controversy
was all about, back in 2011. But most could recite the basics: Walker
and the GOP legislative majority were beset with weeks of theatrical,
highly unpleasant mob fury from leftist organizers, and yet Walker
didnt cave, and ultimately prevailed. (He has also prevailed in each of
the incessant attempts made since 2011 to unseat or hamstring him
and his supporters. Most voters know little about the recall elections
and nuisance-indictment efforts. But the media are well aware of
them.)
Its not clear where or how things are going to shake out for Scott
Walker, although its clear that he is being taken seriously, by the left
as well as by GOP donors and voters. The left has gone into overdrive
in the last month trying to trip him up and give the public a false
impression of him.
Jeb, bannerman for the establishment
The reason I go through this litany is to contrast it with what were
seeing from Jeb Bush. As he soaks up donors, hes bringing onboard
usual-suspect advisors (see here as well), and in particular, bringing
them on with no regard to how theyll come off to conservative voters,
or what their value will be to thinking strategically about policy and
platform.
Forming his initial PAC team, for example, Jeb tapped high-profile
backers of amnesty for illegals and Common Core. He has also taken
on advocates for gay issues and same-sex marriage, like consultant
Tim Miller of America Rising and David Kochel (mentioned above).
The selection of Tim Miller may carry a separate and more significant
portent, however, relating to the focus and tone of the impending Jeb
Bush campaign. National Journals Emma Roller pointed out that
Millers specialty is opposition research. She called his hiring by the
Bush campaign a big move against Hillary Clinton which may
indeed be how Jeb and his advisors see it.
Frankly, thats a fatally conventional and rearward-looking focus for a
Republican eying 2016. Regardless of who the Democratic frontrunner is by next years primary season, the real issue for the GOP is
its internal divisions.

Theres no lack of policy ideas on the right; in fact, every governor and
every third congressman has his or her package of policy ideas, bulletpointed and posted on a website. What the party lacks is a unifying
view of more basic things: what America is, what were supposed to be,
and where were heading.
More and more voters feel this as either a depressing void, or a reason
why participating in the political process, as it operates today, is futile,
and their hopes lie in something more politically disruptive, such as a
convention of the states. Scott Walkers unusual record in Wisconsin
may or may not be relevant to addressing that shortfall; the jury is still
out. We know already that Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, to differing
extents and from different perspectives, are prepared to at least talk
explicitly about the problem.
But Jeb Bush doesnt mean to even acknowledge it.
Hammering the base
Which is what throws into such strong relief his take-no-prisoners
approach to this early stage of the campaign. Alert readers will recall
his anti-pandering pledge in early December 2014, when he
promised not to run to the right just to win the primaries:
Mr. Bush said at The Wall Street Journals CEO Council in
Washington that Republican candidates must be willing to lose the
primary to win the general, without violating your principles.
Its not an easy task, to be honest with you, he added.
Well, no considering that you do have to win some primaries in
order to get to the general election.
But the Jeb campaign created a stir this past week by busing
supporters to the CPAC venue in Maryland lively interest, as you
might say, from such a dead cat. Setting up buses to ensure Jeb
supporters are in the audience argues something beyond a mere
willingness to have the candidate speak in less-friendly venues. The
product of this effort appeared to be the audience applause for one of
Jebs tiredest lines about there being no plan to deport 11 million
people a line with a prejudicial premise that the average CPAC goer
would not, in fact, clap and cheer for.
Theres a whiff in this, not so much of trying to stack the CPAC straw
poll, as of being unwilling to let the conservatives have their assembly
on their own terms. It looks like using tactics to try to dilute the
conservatives message. People who dont think about it very hard

may well take at face value the apparent favorable reaction from the
audience to Jebs not deporting 11 million people line.
Add to that the recent revelations about the Bush campaigns demand
for exclusivity with political consulting firms a year before the
primaries even start.
Their message, according to dozens of interviews, is blunt: They want
the top talent now, they have no interest in sharing, and they will
remember those who signed on early and, implicitly, those who did
not. The aim is not just to position Mr. Bush as a formidable frontrunner for the Republican nomination, but also to rapidly lock up the
highest-caliber figures in theRepublican Partyand elbow out rivals by
making it all but impossible for them to assemble a high-octane
campaign team.
In the same article, the New York Times quotes donors describing
Team Jebs hard-sell tactics to get them onboard:
Mr. Bush does not take maybe for an answer. When major party
contributors are on the fence, he pressures, and flatters, them with
questions about what it would take to win them over.
How can I earn it? he asks. Give me milestones, he suggests,
according to people told of the conversations.
Those who hold out can sense a distinct chill. When a policy expert
was not ready to commit to Mr. Bush, there was a long, pregnant
silence on the other end of the telephone from Bill Simon, a former
Walmart executive who is assembling Mr. Bushs team.
Donors, in other words, arent being left to come to their own
conclusions over time, any more than the CPAC conservatives are
being left to put out their own message.
Theres nothing illegitimate about playing political hardball. But its
informative that Jeb has gone from maybe to damn the torpedoes
in the space of about three months, and is so aggressively pushing his
advantages as an organizational juggernaut at this stage.
Shallow elitism
With all of that in mind, consider his somewhat impatient and
dismissive attitude about the voters in general not just conservatives
in particular. As noted by Mark Krikorian at National Review, for
example, Jeb is on record as comparing native-born Americans
unfavorably to immigrants:

[Immigrants are]more entrepreneurial, they set up more business,


they buy more homes, theyre more family-oriented, they work in jobs
that in many cases are jobs that have gone unfilled
Jeb is quite explicit that the native-born citizen is not the future of
America:
The one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a
broken immigration system. . . . If we do this, we will rebuild our
country in a way that will allow us to grow. If we dont do it, we will be
in decline, because the productivity of this country is dependent on
young people that are equipped to be able to work hard.Immigrants
create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last
20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families and
theyhave more intact families.
Even if these things were true, what does saying them in this way
mean about Jeb Bushs perspective and thought patterns?
It means he sees people as lab rats, not as moral actors, and he thinks
the remedies we need involve rearranging our demographics, not
changing our environment of education, regulation, or entitlement.
It doesnt seem to occur to him to ask why Americans who used to be
stunningly entrepreneurial, and so family oriented that Europeans
have for decades made fun of us, are markedly less so today. As a
statesman and public policy-maker, that ought to concern him. He
ought to have a moral perspective on it, a perspective that entails
caring about the people who may have lost their drive and their first
love a perspective that asks what is wrong with government and
institutions, when people who used to be such a colossal engine of
hope and ingenuity for the world have lost their edge.
Aside from the manifest reality that America is still stuffed to the gills
with native-born entrepreneurs and strong families, Jebs lack of
interest in moral causes and actual people is a red flag for me.
If he thinks native-born Americans are irredeemable, what does he
expect to do with all of us, after he brings in the immigrants? And
whats he going to do when the same educational and regulatory
impediments that discourage many of our native-born Americans
today discourage the immigrants themselves tomorrow?
Hand those immigrants children over for 12-16 years to the scions of
the Frankfurt School, Jeb, and see how they turn out.

Americas comparative advantage today is real, if limited: were still a


bit more consistent than the rest of the world in terms of government
transparency and the rule of law. The American people are open,
generous, and tolerant, not clannish, nepotistic, or stratified.
Immigrants feel all that as an advantage when they get here.
But the main thing the most productive, family-oriented of nativeborn Americans feel today is our loss of freedom. The day is rapidly
approaching when the two trajectories will intersect, and even
immigrants wont, on average, be coming here to be entrepreneurs.
You cant have that discussion with Jeb Bush, though. He seems to be
a nice enough guy, but for political purposes which is what counts
here he appears to be the ultimate establishment guy: uninterested
in how the boutique policies of special interests have brought about
the dismantling of the middle class, and determined to simply import
a new, lower middle class one that starts with lower expectations
so that nothing has to change for the institutional managers.
Put this all together, and recognize that Jeb Bush is pursuing an
aggressive, hardball campaign to get the nomination next year, in
order to push what he seems to see as a form of pragmatism. He, or at
least those running his campaign, clearly wants this to be the banner
of the Republican Party. The enemy they see is the conservative base
and thats who theyre going after.

Attacks on Common Core


are driven by pandering
http://www.centralctcommunications.com/bristolpress/article_156e9930c075-11e4-8609-6ff07f8629c2.html
Posted: Sunday, March 1, 2015 7:43 pm
By Campbell Brown, Partnership for Educational Justice

At the Conservative Political Action Conference this last week, the supposed evils of the
Common Core educational standards were front and center. So, too, was an
unmistakable case of pandering.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared, We need to remove Common Core from every
classroom in America. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blamed his predecessor for
forcing his state to adopt the standards and said that he is now deeply concerned about
the heavy foot of the federal government coming in.
Both now preach this opposition message with the zealous conviction of converts
because they are converts, having carried until recently a very different message. And
their explanations for their flip-flops border on the absurd.
In April 2013, I interviewed Jindal at an education conference in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana. Back then, Jindal was a passionate proponent of Common Core, whose
development was driven by the nations governors and which had been adopted by
most every state, including Louisiana. Jindal made a strong case that day for how vital
the standards were to improving education in his state.
His big reversal came when he began openly exploring a presidential run. Now he calls
the standards a top-down, meddlesome approach that is terrible for public education.
His beef, like that of many Republicans opposed to Common Core, is that the Obama
administration ruined a good idea when it tied federal dollars to the voluntary standards.
Jindal has gone so far as to sue the federal government for offering financial incentives
to states that sign up.
A basic lesson in recent history shows why Jindals conversion appears so
disingenuous. The Obama administration announced in the summer of 2009 that federal
dollars would be available to states that embraced Common Core, yet Jindal remained

a champion until late 2013. Did it really take him more than four years to discover that
the federal government was involved? Maybe that alone should disqualify him from
being a serious presidential candidate.
Christies inartful attempts to disguise his flip-flop have been no better. In 2013, he was
also a big Common Core proponent, saying, This is one of those areas where Ive
agreed more with the president than not. Last year he blasted other Republicans for
opposing the standards, saying they care more about their primaries than they care
about anything else. Yet, lo and behold, Christie has developed grave concerns, as
he told Iowa voters last month, because the federal government is tying federal funds to
the initiative. He has even asked a commission to reexamine New Jerseys
implementation in light of these new developments from the Obama administration -developments that were announced five years earlier.
All this, of course, is not about education. Or facts.
Jindal and Christie are running from Common Core with an eye on the presidential
primary, where attacking any intrusion into local affairs is an applause line for
conservatives. And they are not the only Republicans backtracking all over themselves.
How about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker? He was an early supporter of implementing
Common Core in his state but, during a tough reelection campaign in 2014, he abruptly
called for its repeal. Now his position is mush; he says he supports high standards but
wants school districts to know they can opt out if they want.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has also flip-flopped. In 2013, he was still willing
to admit that high standards across the states were a good thing but suggested a name
change to solve the standards branding problem. Now he, too, is withdrawing his
support and blaming the feds.
Indeed, some states such as Arizona have dealt with the backlash against Common
Core by keeping the standards but changing the name. We are reduced to sleight of
hand. Meanwhile, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has become a target for standing by
Common Core as a voluntary minimum level of rigor for all states. His message to
governors: Go ahead and set your own standards if you want; just make them at least
as rigorous.
Lets be clear about what Common Core is. It spells out what students should know at
the end of each grade. The goal is to ensure that our students are sound in math and
literacy and that our schools have some basic consistency nationwide. But the
standards do not dictate a national curriculum, and teachers are not told how or what to
teach.
The unpopularity of the initiative with segments of the public has been caused by rough
implementation in some states and the tests linked to the standards. That frustration is
legitimate and can be addressed. But abandonment of the initiative for political reasons
is craven.
Those running from Common Core may find that the political risks have been
overstated. A recent NBC/Marist poll of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina
Republicans found that the number of people willing to back a pro-Common Core
candidate was greater than the number who said support for Common Core was a dealbreaker.
Education never quite gets the attention it deserves in presidential campaigns, but
monster flip-flops surely do. So heres some advice for people running for office:

If you want to campaign against core standards, perhaps you should try having core
standards of your own first.

Rand Paul wins CPAC straw


poll, Walker close second
Jill Colvin, Associated Press 6:41 p.m. CST March 1, 2015

http://www.htrnews.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/01/rand-paulwins-cpac-straw-poll-walker-close-second/24234825/

!
OXON HILL, Md. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has won the Conservative
Political Action Conference's annual presidential preference straw
poll.
Pollsters announced Saturday that Paul won 26 percent of the votes in the
annual survey, giving Paul his third consecutive win in as many years.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second, with 21 percent. Sen. Ted
Cruz came in third in the contest with 11.5 percent, followed by retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb

Bush with 8.3 percent. All of the other names listed received under 5
percent.
The three-day CPAC conference in suburban Washington draws many
libertarian-leaning college students whose views and priorities differ
significantly from the Republican Party at large. But it is nonetheless seen
as a barometer of certain conservative activists' early leanings.
Pollsters said just over 3,000 attendees voted. Nearly half identified as
between the ages of 18 and 25.
Respondents said economic issues, like jobs and taxes, were most
important to them in deciding whom to support as the Republican nominee
for president in 2016.

What near-miss on a Department of Homeland Security shutdown?


To hear Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers address activists at the annual
Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday, there were no hints
of an intraparty fight the night before that led to the brink of a partial
shutdown of the agency tasked with border control and anti-terrorism. In
her remarks, the Republican Conference chairwoman made no mention of
the standoff that split conservatives from establishment Republican
lawmakers.
"I've lived the American Dream, but, sadly, for too many, the American
Dream is fading," said McMorris Rogers, the fourth-ranking Republican in
the House leadership and the top House lawmaker to appear on CPAC's
main stage.
In her remarks, she reminisced about her childhood on a Washington state
orchard and spoke of her disagreements with President Barack Obama.
She was silent on the drama that unfolded nearby a day earlier, perhaps
because it's unclear whether the GOP has an answer to avoid a repeat of
what Congresswdcpho and the nation had just weathered.
Late Friday, the House Republicans refused to adopt a three-week
spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. Many conservatives
insisted that no cash would go to the department unless Obama's
executive orders on immigration were voided.
A stopgap, one-week accord won last-minute passage, and Obama signed
it into law. But that sets up a similar showdown in less than a week.
McMorris Rogers was asked after the speech if the process would improve
next week. "I don't think it will be any worse," she said.
She also said it is important for House Republicans to work with Senate
Republicans to avoid a similar crisis.

Even though House Republicans have large numbers on their side, they
aren't enough to ensure the party can line up a majority on contentious
issues. The GOP advantage is 245-188 with two vacancies.

E.J. Dionne: The Republican Partys loud


yes to no
POSTED: 03/01/15, 7:19 PM EST |

By: E.J. Dionne


http://www.dailylocal.com/opinion/20150301/ej-dionne-the-republican-partysloud-yes-to-no

Its a daunting challenge to spin the word no into a hopeful and forwardlooking political battle cry.
There are, of course, circumstances when negative arguments can work. In
obviously terrible times, voters are often content to take a chance on a
barely sketched-out alternative. In midterm elections, which are like midsemester report cards, voters often protest against what they dont like.
No was a successful pitch in three straight midterms going back to 2006.
The GOPs 1946 slogan, Had Enough? Vote Republican, was a model of
clever effectiveness.
But the evidence of the moment is that had enough will not be enough for
the GOP in 2016. Of course we cannot know from Hillary Clintons current
leads of around nine or 10 points over her major Republican competitors
that she will ultimately prevail. Still, her advantage owes at least in part to
unease about where Republicans would take the country if they won both
the presidency and Congress.
Events of the past week underscore why. The absurdity of going to the wire
on funding the Department of Homeland Security tells us that many in the
party, particularly right-wingers in the House, do not care about how their

inability to govern in an orderly fashion looks to citizens outside the


conservative bubble.

For the more radical members of Speaker John Boehners caucus, this is all
about high principle. Since most of them come from conservative districts,
they will only strengthen their own political situations by continuing to link
DHS funding to overturning President Obamas executive actions on
immigration. They have nothing to lose.
But collectively, their party has a lot to lose. To win the presidency and to
improve their chances of holding the Senate in 2016, Republicans will have
to do far better with Latino voters than Mitt Romney did in 2012. This fight
will only make that harder. And middle-of-the-road voters dont like this
sort of brinksmanship.
The way Republicans are behaving could thus turn one of the partys assets,
the likelihood that they will hold their House majority for some time, into a
liability. This argument is advanced forcefully by political scientist Thomas
Schaller in his new book, The Stronghold.
Schaller describes the potential of a vicious cycle: As the party has become
more conservative, it has become more Congress-centered, anchored to
and defined by its congressional wing, and its House caucus in particular.
But a majority of its House members are either extremely conservative or
fearful of primaries from the right. This makes the House highly sensitive to
right-wing donors, right-wing media and right-wing voters -- and far less
responsive to those middle-ground citizens who usually decide presidential
elections. The danger, says Schaller, is that the GOPs congressional
stronghold could become a chokehold.
The doings at CPAC only reinforced the point. Republican presidential
candidates worry about those very conservative primary voters too, and
CPAC was an excellent opportunity for the hopefuls to show how well they

can dance to the oppositionist tune, a chorus of nos to Obama, Clinton,


liberalism and big government.
Jeb Bush has put up some resistance to the spirit of negativity. When he
appeared at CPAC on Friday, he did declare that we have to start being for
things again, but only after praising Republicans in Congress for standing
up to Obama. He sidestepped when Fox News Sean Hannity asked about
the House Republicans approach to DHS funding though he did speak of
his partys need to win more Latino votes.
Jeb is orchestrating his independence with great caution and some
ambivalence. The GOP is well to the right of where it was 15 years ago and
also much more insulated. Its worth remembering that Fox didnt become
the largest cable news network until 2002.
In my experience, the people who see Jeb Bush as the most electable
nominee tend to be Democrats, not Republicans.

Gov. Walker grabs attention on


state, national level
By Mark Leland
Published: March 1, 2015, 6:14 pm Updated: March 1, 2015, 9:19 pm
http://fox11online.com/2015/03/01/gov-walker-grabs-attention-on-state-national-level/

MADISON Governor Scott Walker is experiencing politics on the fast track.


In the past week alone he was a speaker at the Conservative Political Action
Conference outside Washington, D.C., talked in front of conservative donors at
the Club for Growth meeting in Florida, attended the National Governors
Association and then sat down for a one-on-one interview with FOX News
Sunday.
Walker addressed several key issues making headlines at the state and national
level.
Walker did not actively push for the Right-To-Work legislation in Wisconsin, but
hes supporting it and plans to sign in into law this week.
The protests in Madison surrounding the Right-To-Work legislation is making
national headlines, but nothing like the protests in 2011 when he pushed
legislation stripping collective bargaining for public employees. Walker came
under fire by his critics this past week for compared facing 100,000 protesters
then, with how he might be able to handle confronting international terrorists if
elected president.
I think its absolutely stunning that by Scott Walkers standards that he would
compare the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin, or working families, to radical
and violent terrorists, said Melissa Baldauff with the Democratic Party of
Wisconsin.
Walker clarified his original response, about dealing with massive protests, to
FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace.
The leadership we provided under extremely difficult circumstances, arguably,
the most difficult of any governor in the country, and maybe in in recent times.
To me, I apply that to saying if I were to run and if I were to win and be

commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is whats necessary to take


on radical Islamic terrorism, said Walker.
Walker also made it clear he wouldnt rule out putting troops on the ground to
fight ISIS.
I believe we should not take any option off the table, explained Walker.
Also on the presidential front, Walker addressed a change in his position on
amnesty for those in the country illegally.
And my view has changed. Im flat out saying it. Im candidates can say that.
Sometimes they dont. Im saying my said Walker.
Wallace countered: So youve changed from 2013?
Absolutely, confirmed Walker, explaining he has spoken to governors in those
border states. And the concerns I have is that we need to secure the border.
We ultimately need to put in place a system that works, a legal immigration
system that works. And part of doing this is put the onus on employers, getting
them E-Verify and tools to do that. But I dont think you do it through amnesty.
Walker will remain in the national headlines this week as the state Assembly is
expected to vote on the Right-To-Work legislation on Thursday. Walker has
indicated hell sign it into law by weeks end.

My reflections on CPAC
http://www.examiner.com/article/my-reflections-on-cpac
March 1, 2015
By: James Simpson


CPAC/Washington Times Poll
The Washington Times

I attended the last two days of CPAC. Missed the first two because of
pressing deadlines on other work. However, I did get to see some key
speakers and caught the overall flavor of the event. A few observations
follow.

Phil Robertson
Duck Dynastys politically incorrect Godfather, Phil Robertson was my
favorite. I will state right off that anyone who dismisses Phil for his
dress and style, in my mind displays the shallow hypocrisy of todays
culture. His fashion is his choice, his words are what count. His speech
was priceless. Most important was his emphasis on the Bible and the fact
that our Constitution was based on Biblical principles and written by
devoutly faithful men. He quotes John Adams telling words, Our
Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is
wholly inadequate to the government of any other.
It is a truth too often overlooked, except by the Left, which has
assiduously sought to destroy the Christian underpinnings of this nation
precisely for that reason. They know that only when Christianity is
destroyed and discredited will our people willinglyor maybe
ignorantly would be a better way to describe itsubmit to Socialism.
The Marxist Frankfurt School, of which Obama is a well-versed student,
made that goal explicit. I recommend you watch Phils speech, it is
insightful and entertaining in a way only he can deliver. I only wish
there were a viable candidate that would speak as plainly, honestly and
insightfully as old Phi.
Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush managed to get his message delivered at CPAC despite pretty
widespread conservative opposition to his prospective presidential
candidacy. Instead of a speech, which would doubtless have been met
with a lot of booing, he staged a tightly-controlled, scripted, on-stage
interview conducted by Sean Hannity. That the two conspired to keep it
controlled is beyond dispute. Hannity served up key questions that
allowed Bush to answer his critics on all fronts in a manner that could
not be challenged.
The questions and answers were delivered in machine-gun fashion with
no breathing room in between for opponents in the crowd to voice their
displeasure. Bush bussed in hundreds of supporters, who clapped and
roared their approval every time he raised a controversial issue, like his
support for illegal alien amnesty. He made it all sound as reasonable as

he couldseal the borders first, and then provide a pathway to


citizenship for the 11 million here. After all we cant send them back
now, can we? Yes, I would say we can. Furthermore, it is not 11 million,
but more like 30 million or morevirtually all prospective future
Democrats.
How Republican politicians refuse to understand that amnesty is the
death-knell for the GOP is beyond me. I suspect it is a measure of just
how powerful Chamber of Commerce and National Association of
Manufacturers money can be. It appears political genocide can be
bought. During the speech, conservatives staged a walkout, led by CPAC
regular, William Temple, dressed in his usual patriotic garb and carrying
a large Gadsden flag.
A breaking news story reveals just how serious it is that we get Obamas
amnesty outrage stopped in its track. Mark Levin interviewed a
Maryland conservative activist who recently penetrated a White House
Task Force on New Americans conference call on amnesty that was
supposed to be private. You can read about that and more, and listen to
the interview at Ann Corcorans great Refugee Resettlement Watch blog.
Wayne La Pierre
NRA President Wayne La Pierre talked tough on the 2nd Amendment
but conspicuously absent was any reference to Obamas illegal amnesty
efforts. As Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea has pointed out, illegal
alien amnesty is the greatest threat to the 2nd Amendment because
Obamas goal is to get them voting. With the 30 million or so illegals
poised to obtain legal status (not the 5 million repeatedly hyped),
Democrats will capture the permanent progressive majority they have
been seeking since the Democratic Party was captured by communists.
As we know, the NRA frequently talks out of both sides of its mouth. It
has been an effective voice for the 2nd Amendment, but sometimes
makes compromises that threaten the 2nds long-term viability. This is
one of those instances. Supporting Democrats and RINOs who later
show their true colors is another. Failing to support strong 2nd
Amendment defenders in some states is a third. For example, their
opposition to former Maryland Governor OMalleys 2013 gun grab was

virtually non-existent. Back then they promised a court challenge to the


blatantly unconstitutional law. We are still waiting.
Straw Poll
With the exception of 2012, when Mitt Romney won, the straw poll has
gone to Rand Paul or his father every year since 2010. The poll is
somewhat biased by the youthful CPAC attendance demographic, but
Paulies also swarm the voting booth every year. Noteworthy was
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walkers close second. Cruz came in a distant
third and Bush was number five, so apparently his Astroturf messaging
method didnt work. Chris Christie was near the bottom, earning only 2
percent support. Rick Perry tied for last with Sarah Palin. Here are the
results:
Given the poll bias, in my mind, Scott Walker was the true winner. I did
not see his speech, but the poll suggests Walker left CPAC in the
strongest position with the party faithful of any prospective future GOP
presidential candidate. Washington insider The Hill newspaper agrees,
writing:

His performance didnt have the same fervor as


his acclaimed speech last month to the Iowa
Freedom Forum, but it didnt matter. Walkers
CPAC straw poll placing a close second
behind the favorite Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
shows he got the most bounce out of the event.
His showing was especially impressive given
that he lacks the organizational muscle of the
likes of Paul and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
(R), who finished fifth.

And he deserves it. While from a messaging and charisma standpoint,


my personal favorite is Ted Cruz, Walker has been tested in an
unprecedented, relentless, vicious, four-year trial by fire from
Democrats, unions and the media. He is the first governor ever to
survive a recall election, and despite a national effort by unions and
Obamas Left, won handily. Same with his re-election. Walker has
survived unsullied by a four year secret probe which vies with the IRS
scandal as one of the greatest systematic abuses of governmental power
in recent memory. Corrupt prosecutors used the power of the bizarre
John Doe law in a vicious attempt to shut down the GOP throughout
the entire state and destroy Scott Walkers reelection prospects. The only
mystery is why Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm and his assistant,
Bruce Landgraf, are not in jail. Against all these odds, Walker has
governed effectivelyintroducing changes and reforms that have
reversed the states downward economic slide, balancing the budget and
cutting taxes.
The poll revealed some other interesting characteristics about CPACs
conservatives. As mentioned, it was a youthful crowd. Fifty percent were
25 or under and 42 percent were students. Sixty-four percent believe that
illegal aliens should be either deported and not allowed to return (37%)
or encouraged to return home to apply for citizenship (27%). Twentynine percent believe illegals should be allowed to stay. Of these, 18
percent thought they should be allowed to apply for citizenship.
Seventy-seven percent believe Congress should use its power of the
purse to defund Obamas unconstitutional amnesty.
Again reflecting the dominant age group, 41 percent believe that
marijuana should be legalized for medicinal and recreational purposes.
Only 27 percent believe it should remain illegal. The crowd was largely
pro-life. Depending upon the questions asked, between 68 and 74
percent were pro-life, while between 18 and 25 percent were proabortion. Of the issues that would dissuade poll participants from
supporting a candidate, i.e. deal breakers, people were all over the map
when allowed multiple responses:
Expanding Medicaid under Obamacare 40%

Supporting Gay Marriage 18%


Immigration Amnesty 35%
Supporting Common Core 37%
Being Pro-Choice 31%
Foreign Policy of Disengagement 32%
Taken alone however 58 percent said they would never vote for a
candidate who supported Common Core.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: GOP says


'yes' to 'no'
E.J. Dionne Jr., The Washington Post
3:01 p.m. PST March 1, 2015

http://www.desertsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/
2015/03/01/dionne-gop-political-strategy/24150021/
It's a daunting challenge to spin the word "no" into a hopeful and forwardlooking political battle cry.
There are, of course, circumstances when negative arguments can work. In
obviously terrible times, voters are often content to take a chance on a
barely sketched-out alternative. In midterm elections, which are like
midsemester report cards, voters often protest against what they don't like.
"No" was a successful pitch in three straight midterms going back to 2006.
The GOP's 1946 slogan, "Had Enough? Vote Republican," was a model of
simple and clever effectiveness.
But the evidence of the moment is that "had enough" will not be enough for
the GOP in 2016. Of course we cannot know from Hillary Clinton's current
leads of around nine or 10 points over her major Republican competitors
that she will ultimately prevail. Still, her advantage owes at least in part to
unease about where Republicans would take the country if they won both
the presidency and Congress. For now, voters don't want to go there.

Events of the past week underscore why. The absurdity of going to the wire
on funding the Department of Homeland Security tells us that many in the
party, particularly right-wingers in the House, do not care about how their
inability to govern in an orderly fashion looks to citizens outside the
conservative bubble.
For the more radical members of Speaker John Boehner's caucus, this is
all about high principle. Since most of them come from very conservative
districts, they will only strengthen their own political situations by continuing
to link DHS funding to overturning President Obama's executive actions on
immigration. They have nothing to lose.
But collectively, their party has a lot to lose. To win the presidency and to
improve their chances of holding the Senate in 2016, Republicans will have
to do far better with Latino voters than Mitt Romney did in 2012. This fight
will only make that harder. And middle-of-the-road voters don't like this sort
of brinksmanship, as well they shouldn't.
The way Republicans are behaving could thus turn one of the party's
assets, the likelihood that they will hold their House majority for some time,
into a liability. This argument is advanced forcefully by political scientist
Thomas Schaller in his new book, "The Stronghold."
Schaller describes the potential of a vicious cycle: As the party has become
more conservative, it has become more Congress-centered, "anchored to
and defined by its congressional wing, and its House caucus in particular."
But a majority of its House members are either extremely conservative or
fearful of primaries from the right. This makes the House highly sensitive to
right-wing donors, right-wing media and right-wing voters -- and far less
responsive to those middle-ground citizens who usually decide presidential
elections. The danger, says Schaller, is that the GOP's congressional
stronghold could become a "chokehold."
The doings at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that
closed on Saturday only reinforced the point. Republican presidential
candidates worry about those very conservative primary voters too, and
CPAC was an excellent opportunity for the hopefuls to show how well they
can dance to the oppositionist tune, a chorus of "no's" to Obama, Clinton,
liberalism and "big government."
Jeb Bush, who is actually very conservative, has put up some resistance to
the spirit of negativity. "We shouldn't be the reactionary party to how bad
things are," he told a Club for Growth gathering in Florida on Thursday.
When he appeared at CPAC on Friday, he did declare that "we have to
start being (BEG ITAL)for(END ITAL) things again," but only after praising
Republicans in Congress for standing up to Obama. He sidestepped when

Fox News' Sean Hannity asked about the House Republicans' approach to
DHS funding though he did speak of his party's need to win more Latino
votes.
Bush would clearly like to take a cue from his brother who, before the 2000
election, occasionally distanced himself from an unpopular right-wing
Congress. But Jeb is orchestrating his independence with great caution
and some ambivalence. The GOP is well to the right of where it was 15
years ago and also much more insulated. It's worth remembering that Fox
didn't become the largest cable news network until 2002.
In my experience, the people who see Jeb Bush as the most electable
nominee tend to be Democrats, not Republicans. This may prove his
general election strategy is working, but it also shows his party may not let
him get there because it's quite happy being "reactionary."

Scott Walker admits to


changing stance on
immigration, rejects Rudy
Giuliani comments about
Obama
BY ADAM EDELMAN
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/scott-walker-admits-changing-stanceimmigration-article-1.2133729
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, March 1, 2015, 5:53 PM

By: Scott Walker

Scott Walker On Amnesty: 'My Views Have Changed'


Daily Caller

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, days removed from a glowing reception at


the Conservative Political Action Conference, is now admitting to changing
his stance on the hotbed issue of immigration to a position more palatable
to conservatives.
Walker, in an interview with Fox News Sunday that was taped Friday but
aired Sunday, acknowledged that he, at one point, supported
comprehensive immigration reform that would have allowed undocumented
immigrants to remain in the U.S. and granted them a pathway to
citizenship.

My view has changed. I'm flat out saying it, Walker said. I don't believe in
amnesty.
Walker has emerged as a favorite among conservative Republicans and is
widely expected to run for President in 2016, but as attention over a
potential candidacy has grown, so, too, has scrutiny on a slew of comments
hes made over his political career.
Walker, who finished a close second in the CPAC straw poll Saturday night,
said he now supports immigration measures that are typically more popular
among conservative voters, like securing the border with Mexico.
But in 2013, he told the Wausau Daily Herald, when asked if he could
envision a system where undocumented immigrants could become U.S.
citizens by paying penalties and observing waiting periods, that he thought
it makes sense.
Walker, in his Fox News interview, also rejected controversial comments
made by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani at a fundraiser held for him,
questioning President Obamas patriotism and love for America.

!
JOE SKIPPER/AP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was received warmly by attendees of the this
years Conservative Political Action Conference a summit typically used
by politicians to gauge interest in a possible presidential campaign.

I think, in the end, (Obama) and anybody else who is willing to put their
name on the ballot certainly has to have the love for country to do that,
said Walker, who had been criticized for not speaking out against Giulianis
comments.

In addition, the Badger State Republican backed away from yet another set
of comments that ignited controversy at CPAC he compared taking on
protesters in Wisconsin to being able to fight ISIS terrorists if he were
elected President clarifying that he was not comparing those two
entities.
What I meant was, it was about leadership, he said. The leadership we
provided under extremely difficult circumstances, arguably, the most difficult
of any governor in the country, and maybe, in recent times, in taking on the
challenge of not just the protesters, but everything we had to do the last
four years in stepping up and fighting the leadership to move our state
forward.
To me, I apply that to saying if I were to run and if I were to win and be
commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is what's necessary to
take on radical Islamic terrorism, Walker said.

DONALD TRUMP
SLAMS LIBERALS IN
DISHONEST
PRESS: IM GOING
TO START NAMING
NAMES
http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2015/03/01/donald-trump-slams-liberalsin-dishonest-press-im-going-to-start-naming-names/
March 1, 2015

by MATTHEW BOYLE

Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

Real estate magnate and reality television star Donald Trump


shredded liberals in the media who are dishonest on a
conference call with grassroots activists nationwide from Tea
Party Patriots on Sunday night, saying hes planning to start
calling out specific reporters for their inaccurate articles.
One of the things that the Tea Party has to be careful of is the
dishonest press, Trump said on the call, which is closed to media
but Breitbart News was providing exclusive access to it.
Its so dishonest. They dont cover certain people accurately. We
had something with Citizens United and David Bossie and it was
the biggest thing they ever hadand they [the media] dont even
report on it.
I walked into the roomyou couldnt even walk in the hallway, it
was so crowded, and he said there has never been anything like it.
Frankly, it was incredible in a certain way. But the media didnt
report it. You have to be really, really careful with the pressnot
all of them, because I know some great reporters. But Im going to
start naming names because it really is incredible how dishonest
the press is.
Trump added that he doesnt think the Tea Party movement has
gotten a fair shake in the press, and thats why hes stood up for
conservatives for years.
Ive always been the biggest advocate and a person whos stuck
up for the Tea Party to this day and I view it as just amazing
people who work hard and want to see this country be great
again, Trump said. I feel very strongly about that, Ive been a
long time fan and I think you know that better than anybody
Jenny Beth [Martin].
Yes I do and we certainly appreciate that very much, Martin, Tea
Party Patriots co-founder, said in response during the call. And
we all have learned you certainly have to be careful with the press

because they take things and they twist it and there are other
times when they just make things up to suit their own agenda.
In response to that, Trump said some in the media will make
things upor twist them out of contextto attack conservatives.
Thats true. They will literally make things up, Trump said.
They will take things out of context. Report a quarter of a sentence
when you have a qualification on a long-running sentencetheyll
take just the part that theyre talking about and wont put a
qualification in. These are really dishonest people.
Now, again, not in all casesbut in many cases, really dishonest
people. Ive dealt with the press all my life and Ive done fine with
the press. Ive known that theyre dishonest, and Ive known about
some high-quality people also, but I think in the world of politics
Ive met the most dishonest reporters Ive met in any place. I think
the Tea Party has been treated very, very unfairly over the years
and I think that your strength is greater than even you know
theres a great, great strength.
Martin introduced Trump, a potential 2016 presidential candidate
who just hired one of the top grassroots activists in IowaChuck
Laudneras the very definition of the American success story.
After walking through his business background and all his
bestselling books, she noted that Trumps first book, The Art of
the Deal, is considered a business classic and one of the best
books of all time.
Trump kicked off the conference call by mocking the left for
pushing Global Warming.
Its snowing in New York and the airports are all closed and
despite all of this global warming we are all hearing aboutwhich
is absolutely wildthe airports are just freezing, Trump said.
Some cities are snowed in and more snow is coming. Theyre
setting a record for cold, so theyre lucky they changed the term
for Global Warming to something else as you know because whats
going on now is incredible.

He also discussed the recent Conservative Political Action


Conference, which he spoke at, taking some more jabs at former
Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
I really enjoyed it [CPAC]. They worked very hard, Trump said.
I think thatI was very surprised at Bush because he got a modest
set of applause and hes very much in favor of educations
Common Core and hes very weak on immigration, and I was
actually surprised that he wants to give people who come into the
country illegally Social Security and he wants to give them
education.
The whole thing is ridiculous. If youre coming to other places,
they throw you out of the country but if youre coming here they
want to give you all sorts of advantages that will obviously lead
ultimately to citizenshipthatll be the next thing.
Later, Trump noted that Bushs place in the straw pollfifth place
with 8.3 percentcame largely because of the fact he had to bus
people in from K Street to vote for him and cheer for him in the
crowd when he was getting booed. Trump finished eighth with 3.5
percent of the vote.
I didnt have buses all over the placewe didnt do anything
and I came in ahead of a lot of the other primary candidates,
Trump said.
Trump also called on Republicans in Congress to hang tough to
block funding for President Barack Obamas illegal and
unconstitutional executive amnesty. The Republicans are soIm
a Republican and Im a very conservative person, and I wrote the
book The Art of The Deal, Trump said.
Ive made a lot of money making deals. Im very good at making
deals, including deals against China and other countries that are
just ripping us off. Ive make a lot of money against China which
youll see as I go along in this process because as far as Im
concerned its one of my greatest qualifications but the whole
DHS funding and the whole illegal executive order, the

Republicans should not fund unless they get rid of this executive
order.
People are pouring across the border by the thousands, by the
hundreds of thousands, and theyre just pouring acrosswe dont
know who they are, we dont know where they come from, we
know nothing about them.
Trump said hes upset Republicans in Congress are seeming to
cave again, though.
Im so disappointed that the Republicans seem to be once again
cratering on the whole thing with the funding because this is the
one timewe have only a short period of time [to stop this]and
believe me the last thing the president wants is to go to war on
this thing, Trump added. I think the Republicans have all the
cards and theyre not using them and theyre being conned by the
Democrats.

Paul Wins Again, Walker Finishes


Strong Second, in CPAC Straw
Poll
http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/20234-paul-wins-againwalker-finishes-strong-second-in-cpac-straw-poll
Sunday, 01 March 2015
Written by Jack Kenny

!
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky came in first for the third straight year and Governor
Scott Walker of Wisconsin made a strong second-place showing Saturday at the end of
the three-day Conservative Political Action Conference in the Washington, D.C., suburb
of National Harbor, Maryland. Paul, whose supporters have adopted a Stand with
Rand theme, hailed the constitutional conservatives who chose to stand with him at
the CPAC event.
Our party is filled with constitutional conservatives who have chosen to stand with me
for a third consecutive straw poll victory, the Kentucky Republican said. Since
President Ronald Reagan, the (conference) has been the gold standard on where

conservatives stand. The constitutional conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud
and clear voice today.
Paul captured 26 percent of the votes cast by the 3007 conference attendees who
participated in the poll. Walker, the Republican governor whose controversial curbing of
the bargaining power of public employee unions has won the admiration of many of the
partys grassroots conservatives, came in second with 21 percent. His victory in
Wisconsin in a recall vote as well as his election triumphs in a blue state have
impressed some GOP strategists for his ability to attract working class and middle
income voters from among Democrats as well as Republicans. Walker, who received
some flak for his refusal to discuss foreign policy or answer a question about evolution
during a visit to London last month, said during his appearance at the conference on
Thursday that the massive protest demonstrations in Madison during the labor unrest
had prepared him for dealing with foreign crises, including the conflict with the ISIS
terrorists in the Middle East.
If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world, he said. Asked
about that comment on Saturday, Walker likened his battle with public employees to
President Reagans 1981 firing of striking air traffic controllers.
Candidly, I think foreign policy is something thats not just about having a PhD or talking
to PhDs. Its about leadership, he told a gathering of GOP donors in Palm Beach,
Florida. I would contend the most significant foreign policy decision in my lifetime was
made by a president who was previously a governor. A president who made a decision
that wasnt even about foreign policy. It was in August of 1981, when Ronald Reagan
fired the air traffic controllers.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz finished in third place with 11.5 percent of the vote, followed by
retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson in fourth with 11 percent. Former Florida GOP
Governor Jeb Bush, considered by some to be the early front-runner and a favorite of
the GOPs Washington establishment and deep-pocket donors, finished fifth at 8
percent of the vote.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey finished near the bottom of the
pack, in 10th place with 2.8 percent of the vote. Christie, who declined to run for
president in 2012 despite the urging of a number of party leaders and conservative
pundits, had been considered a formidable candidate for the 2016 nomination. His
reputation has since suffered, due in part to the Bridgegate scandal of September
2013 when three traffic lanes from Fort Lee, New Jersey, were shut down for four days,
cutting off access to and from the town via the New York-New Jersey George
Washington Bridge. Christie claimed he knew nothing about it and vigorously denied
allegations that the lanes were closed as retribution against Fort Lees Democratic
Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing the Republican governor in his 2013 reelection
campaign.
Three Christie appointees to the New York-New Jersey Port Authority resigned over the
scandal, which became the subject of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney for New
Jersey, the Port Authority and the New Jersey Legislature. The state has been billed
nearly $9 million in legal fees by lawyers representing the Christie administration in the
investigations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Christie has also been criticized for an apparent shortness of temper. At the CPAC
conference he defended his conduct at a public event last fall when he told a heckler to
sit down and shut up, suggesting that kind of bluntness is needed in the nations
capital.
Yeah, well, sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up, Christie said,
drawing laughs and applause from the audience. Some more of that stuff should be
happening in Washington, D.C. because there's so much ridiculous stuff being spewed,
especially out of the White House. Someone should say it's time to shut up.
Others receiving votes were former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, in sixth place
with 4.3 percent of the vote; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in seventh with 4.3 percent;
Donald Trump in eighth place with 3.5 percent; and former Hewlett Packard executive
Carly Fiorina in ninth with 3 percent. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry finished in 11th
place, with 1.1 percent, just ahead of the decimal point contingent, led by Louisiana
Gov. Bobby Jindal, in 12th with .9 percent. Former GOP vice presidential candidate and
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin finished 13th with .8 percent.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who won the Republican caucuses in Iowa
in 2008 with a strong pro-life and defense of traditional marriage theme, finished last in
the voting with just .3 percent.
Fiorina, the only woman written and talked about as a potential GOP contender, formed
a political action committee two weeks ago to raise money for a possible presidential
campaign. Despite her loss to veteran Senator Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate race in
California in 2010, Fiorina at the CPAC gathering sounded eager to take on the widely
anticipated Democratic nominee for president in 2016.
If Hillary Clinton had to face me on a debate stage at the very least she would have a
hitch in her swing, Fiorina said, employing a baseball analogy. Like Mrs. Clinton, I too
have traveled the globe. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an
accomplishment, Fiorina said to roars of applause. Mrs. Clinton, name an
accomplishment.
Fiorina also called on Clinton to explain how her acceptance of donations from foreign
governments to the Clinton familys foundation, the non-profit Clinton Global Initiative,
would not be a conflict of interest if she runs for president. The foundation has received
millions from foreign governments, the Washington Post reported last week, including
some with intricate diplomatic, military, and financial relationships with the United
States. Contributing nations include Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Australia, Norway, and the
Dominican Republic.
She tweets about womens rights in this country and takes money from governments
that deny women the most basic human rights," Fiorina said. She tweets about equal
pay for women, she added, "but wont answer basic questions about her own offices
pay standards and neither will our president.

An Atheist at
Conservative
Woodstock
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/01/an-atheist-atconservative-woodstock.html
03.01.15
Jack Holmes

Conservative evangelicals dominate the base of the


Republican Party. Is there room for non-believers, too?
It wasnt a coveted time slot, but Jamila Bey was happy to have it.
It was Day Two of the Conservative Political Action Conference,
and she been allotted a small window in the early afternoon to
address the assembled politicos at the conservative schmoozefest
in Maryland. Bey is on the board of the group American Atheists,
an advocacy group fighting for the civil liberties of atheists and
the total, absolute separation of government and religion. It was
born in 1959, out of the court case Murray v. Curlett, which
challenged prayer in public schools.

It doesnt seem like a faction that would be particularly welcome


at CPACs shindig, or, indeed, in the Republican Party. Until
Thursday, they werent.
On Feb. 24, 2014, a spokesman for the group told CNN that
American Atheists would have a booth at CPAC 2014 in an effort
to bring conservative atheists out of the closet. But the next day,
Mediaite reported that they had been pulled from the event, with
CPAC organizer Meghan Snyder explaining that American
Atheists misrepresented itself about their willingness to engage in
positive dialogue.
While it seems incredible that the CPAC organizers could mistake
the aims of the group, considering its name, it surprised few at the
time that it would not feature in a conservative eventand with
good reason.
To begin with, American evangelical Christianswho make up 18
percent of Americans but 36 percent of Republicanshave a very
frosty view of atheists. The evangelical section of the GOP base
exercises considerable power, especially in the tone and
messaging at an event like CPAC. But the issue is broader.
A May 2014 Pew Research poll asked respondents to rate the
desirability of certain traits in a presidential candidate. Their
responses indicated whether a trait made them more likely to vote
for a candidate, less likely, or it wouldnt matter. Fifty-three
percent of respondents said they would be less likely to support a
candidate if they were atheist, a metric worse than for a
hypothetical candidate who had never held elected office, had an
extramarital affair, or was gay.
This actually constituted a mellowing of the sentiment toward
atheists. A 2007 poll showed that more than 6 in 10 Americans
were less likely to support a nonbeliever. In June 2012,
respondents to a Gallup poll were more likely to support a
Muslim, a gay or lesbian, a Mormon, or someone of any race or
Judeo-Christian denomination.

Nevertheless, the very notion


that she was invited to speak
represents progress.
The modest uptick in atheist presidential fortunes coincides with
a growth in the countrys atheist population, from 1.6 percent to
2.4 percent from 2007 to 2012. The percentage of religiously
unaffiliated has also grown to around 20 percent of the
population.
The trend toward secularization is especially prevalent among
Millennials, an idea that Bey seized on in her CPAC speech: As of
the last census, we have about 68 million Millennial voters, about
the age of 18 to 34. Of these 68 million, nearly 40 percent identify
as secular. The future, she was arguing, was with a group of
people in whose lives religion plays an increasingly diminished
role.
Bey might have expected a less than enthusiastic reception, but
her speech was greeted with (very tiny) smatterings of applause
and virtually no howling or booing, perhaps because the room was
nearly empty. Theres a reason that time slot went to the godless
heathens.
Nevertheless, the very notion that she was invited to speak
represents progress, first and foremost because of the daunting
numbers cited above. Beyond that, there has never been a nonChristian, much less completely unaffiliated, president. No one in
the 114th Congress identifies as an atheist, and just one is
unaffiliated.
In addition, those evangelical Christians with such a dim view of
the non-religious essentially call the shots in modern movement
conservatism. As Frank Bruni illustrates, they make up a third of
the Republican base but essentially determine GOP policy.

Support for gay marriage and access to abortion runs about even,
and immigration reform enjoys strong support, among nonevangelical Republicans, while white evangelical Republicans are
strongly against all three. The GOP platform is against all three
strongly.

And yet, there was Bey, perched at the podium at CPAC talking
about the value of conservative secularists. There are atheist
libertarians and unaffiliated fiscal conservatives with, in her
words, no place to call home. She was looking to find them one
in the party of George H.W. Bush, who once opined: I dont know
that atheists should be regarded as citizens, nor should they be
regarded as patriotic. This is one nation under God.
Most atheists align with the Democratic Party, precisely because
the religious right exercises such power over the GOP ticket. But
nonbelievers have no representation in Congress, and receive
little or no recognition politically beyond the odd Barack Obama
State of the Union call out. He has referenced protections for
those who dont believe, but no president has ever used the
word atheist in the address to Congress (Obama was the first to
use lesbian, bisexual, and transgender).
Liberals have fought to keep religionnamely Christianity and its
symbolsout of government and public institutions, but
maintaining the separation of church and state is not an atheist
battle but a democratic one. Religious non-belief is essentially an
unrecognized phenomenon in presidential campaigns, which are
often littered with instances of candidates from both parties trying
to out-Christian each other to no productive end.
Atheists are perhaps the most politically underrepresented group
in America, but they, along with the larger umbrella of the
unaffiliated, are a growing constituency. Will they find a home in
the GOPs mythical Big Tent? Will the Democrats make a

concerted effort to reach out to them, rather than sit by and watch
as they normally dowhile the ACLU tries to keep statues of the
Ten Commandments out of courthouses?
Bey was the first atheist to knock on the GOPs door, but so far no
one is listening. The Kirk Cameron movie is on the TV, and the
volumes turned up high.

Hillary 5.0
http://nypost.com/2015/03/01/hillary-5-0/
March 1, 2015 | 4:26pm

By Post Editorial Board


Hillary Clinton
Photo: WireImage

The Republicans are turning out to be a feisty bunch. Over the past few
days, thousands of activists gathered just outside Washington for the
annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference.
There, delegates heard from Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Jeb
Bush, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson to
name just some of those hoping to carry the Republican standard into the
2016 election.
From taxes to education, from health care to energy, and from
entitlements to foreign policy, they laid out their differences not only
with President Obama but with one another.
Those who followed CPAC saw a truly vigorous debate. Whoever
eventually emerges with the Republican nomination will be stronger for
having gone through these repeated engagements with a cross-section of
the partys best and brightest.
Wheres the equivalent for Hillary and the Democrats?
At a time when events overseas are demanding American attention, you
would think Mrs. Clinton would be out defending her record. And that
she would have to do so not just against just Republicans but against
other Democrats.
After all, from Russias growing aggression and the rise of the Islamic
State to Irans nuclear ambitions, as a former secretary of state, Mrs.
Clinton bears much responsibility for having shaped the world we now
face. But among Democrats, beyond former Maryland Gov. Martin
OMalley and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, theres barely anything
going on.
So while Republicans fiercely debate our future, the only debate going
on within the Democratic Party seems to be how to once again rebrand
Hillary Clinton.

Scott Walker on
immigration: "My
view has changed
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/scott-walker-flips-immigration-view-haschanged/
March 1, 2015, 4:24 PM
By: REENA FLORES CBS NEWS

Now that he's gearing up for a possible presidential


campaign,Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is already walking
back beliefs he held just two years ago, on the flashpoint
subject that has Congressional Republicans -- including the
party's leadership -- in knots.
"My view has changed. I'm flat out saying it," Walker said on
FOX News Sunday, addressing progressive immigration
policies that he once favored. "Candidates can say that."
Walker was responding to a grainy Wausau Daily Herald
video from two years ago showing the young governor, shirt
sleeves rolled up, answering a pointed question about a path
to legal status for undocumented immigrants.
"Can you envision a world where with the right penalties and
waiting periods and meet the requirements, where those
people can get citizenship?" a reporter asks off-screen.
In the clip, the governor responds simply: "Sure, yes. I mean, I
think it makes sense."
Walker rejected the idea that he was supporting "amnesty" at
the time.
Obama says he expects to win court fight on immigration
order
Jeb Bush clings to unpopular views on immigration,
Common Core
"I don't believe in amnesty," Walker said. "And part of the
reason why I made that a firm position is I look at the way
that this president has mishandled that issue."
Against pointed questioning, Walker continued his defense by
mentioning his record challenging the constitutionality of
Obama's immigration order.
"I was one of the first governors that joined the lawsuit that
has been successful, at least on this initial technicality," the

Wisconsin governor said. "And I hope we prevail ultimately


throughout the courts."
Walker's appearance on the cable show followed the
weekend's close second-place finish in the annual
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll.
The conference -- a three-day conclave that gathers together
the more grassroots wing of the Republican party -- chose, for
the third year in a row, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul as its clear
favorite. But Walker, the crown prince of CPAC to Rand Paul's
king, didn't do too shabby: the 2016 hopeful raked in just over
a fifth of the votes, and jumped 7 percentage points from last
year's ranking.
Though his performance reviews weren't all overwhelmingly
positive -- he suffered a setback after comments that
seemingly compared terrorist threats like ISIS to the union
protesters he fought during his time as Wisconsin's chief
executive -- he came out of the Maryland weekend as more a
conservative darling than a dud.
Bloomberg Politics' Mark Halperin on "Face the Nation"
Sunday declared Walker one of the leaders in an otherwise
wide-open Republican nominee field.
"I learned talking to people at CPAC -- I think there's two
frontrunners now: Walker and Bush," Halperin said.

Another View: Political attacks


on Common Core are driven by
pandering
http://www.nhregister.com/opinion/20150301/another-view-politicalattacks-on-common-core-are-driven-by-pandering
By Campbell Brown, Special to The Washington Post
POSTED: 03/01/15, 4:09 PM EST |

At the Conservative Political Action Conference this last week, the supposed
evils of the Common Core educational standards were front and center. So,
too, was an unmistakable case of pandering.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared, We need to remove Common Core
from every classroom in America. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie blamed
his predecessor for forcing his state to adopt the standards and said that he
is now deeply concerned about the heavy foot of the federal government
coming in.
Both now preach this opposition message with the zealous conviction of
converts because they are converts, having carried until recently a very
different message. And their explanations for their flip-flops border on the
absurd.
In April 2013, I interviewed Jindal at an education conference in Baton
Rouge, Louisiana. Back then, Jindal was a passionate proponent of
Common Core, whose development was driven by the nations governors
and which had been adopted by most every state, including Louisiana.
Jindal made a strong case that day for how vital the standards were to
improving education in his state.

His big reversal came when he began openly exploring a presidential run.
Now he calls the standards a top-down, meddlesome approach that is
terrible for public education. His beef, like that of many Republicans
opposed to Common Core, is that the Obama administration ruined a good
idea when it tied federal dollars to the voluntary standards. Jindal has gone
so far as to sue the federal government for offering financial incentives to
states that sign up.
A basic lesson in recent history shows why Jindals conversion appears so
disingenuous. The Obama administration announced in the summer of
2009 that federal dollars would be available to states that embraced
Common Core, yet Jindal remained a champion until late 2013. Did it really
take him more than four years to discover that the federal government was
involved? Maybe that alone should disqualify him from being a serious
presidential candidate.
Christies inartful attempts to disguise his flip-flop have been no better. In
2013, he was also a big Common Core proponent, saying, This is one of
those areas where Ive agreed more with the president than not. Last year
he blasted other Republicans for opposing the standards, saying they care
more about their primaries than they care about anything else. Yet, lo and
behold, Christie has developed grave concerns, as he told Iowa voters last
month, because the federal government is tying federal funds to the
initiative. He has even asked a commission to reexamine New Jerseys
implementation in light of these new developments from the Obama
administration developments that were announced five years earlier.
All this, of course, is not about education. Or facts.
Jindal and Christie are running from Common Core with an eye on the
presidential primary, where attacking any intrusion into local affairs is an
applause line for conservatives. And they are not the only Republicans
backtracking all over themselves.
How about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker? He was an early supporter of
implementing Common Core in his state but, during a tough reelection
campaign in 2014, he abruptly called for its repeal. Now his position is
mush; he says he supports high standards but wants school districts to
know they can opt out if they want.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has also flip-flopped. In 2013, he


was still willing to admit that high standards across the states were a good
thing but suggested a name change to solve the standards branding
problem. Now he, too, is withdrawing his support and blaming the feds.
Indeed, some states such as Arizona have dealt with the backlash against
Common Core by keeping the standards but changing the name. We are
reduced to sleight of hand. Meanwhile, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has
become a target for standing by Common Core as a voluntary minimum
level of rigor for all states. His message to governors: Go ahead and set your
own standards if you want; just make them at least as rigorous.
Lets be clear about what Common Core is. It spells out what students
should know at the end of each grade. The goal is to ensure that our
students are sound in math and literacy and that our schools have some
basic consistency nationwide. But the standards do not dictate a national
curriculum, and teachers are not told how or what to teach.
The unpopularity of the initiative with segments of the public has been
caused by rough implementation in some states and the tests linked to the
standards. That frustration is legitimate and can be addressed. But
abandonment of the initiative for political reasons is craven.
Those running from Common Core may find that the political risks have
been overstated. A recent NBC/Marist poll of Iowa, New Hampshire and
South Carolina Republicans found that the number of people willing to
back a pro-Common Core candidate was greater than the number who said
support for Common Core was a deal- breaker.
Education never quite gets the attention it deserves in presidential
campaigns, but monster flip-flops surely do. So heres some advice for
people running for office: If you want to campaign against core standards,
perhaps you should try having core standards of your own first.

Wheres your loyalty? Rick Perry


disses Hillary Clinton over family
foundations reported acceptance of
foreign money
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rick-perry-questions-clinton-foundationforeign-money-article-1.2133658
BY ADAM EDELMAN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Sunday, March 1, 2015, 4:18 PM

!
CAROLYN KASTER/AP

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry gives the thumbs up as he leaves the stage
after speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)
on Friday.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, fresh off a well-received appearance at the
Conservative Political Action Conference, continued to assert a honed
campaign-like message Sunday, taking aim at Hillary Clinton for her family
foundations acceptance of foreign donations.
I think most Americans realize that a phone call at 3:00 in the morning to
the President of the United States about an issue that deals with a foreign
country, that has given maybe tens of millions of dollars to the foundation
that she oversees is not right and its not only the appearance of
impropriety, its also the ethical side of this that I think most Americans
really have a problem with, Perry, who has hinted at 2016 presidential bid
in recent months, said Sunday on CNNs State of the Union.
The comments refer to reports that the Clinton Foundation accepted
millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments, posing a potential
conflict of interest for the former Secretary of State and her husband,
former President Bill Clinton, should they return to the White House in
2016.
Im really concerned that, not just going forward, what has been received
at the Clinton Foundation over the course of the years and how that affects
this individuals judgment, Perry added, repeating a theme hit on multiple
times at this weekends CPAC in Washington.
"Are you going to trust an individual who has taken that much money from
a foreign source? Wheres your loyalty? Perry asked.
A Washington Post report from last week disclosed that the Clinton
Foundation accepted tens of millions of dollars in donations from at least
seven foreign governments. One of the donations violated an ethics
agreement between Clinton and the Obama administration, The Post
claimed.

Walker: 'My view


has changed' on
immigration reform
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/01/walker-my-view-haschanged-on-immigration-reform/
Published March 01, 2015
FoxNews.com

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a presumptive 2016 Republican


presidential candidate, says he has changed his immigration
stance and no longer backs comprehensive reform that
would allow illegal immigrants to be penalized but remain in
the country.

My view has changed, Walker said in a Fox News Sunday


interview taped Friday. Im flat out saying it.

Walker in 2013 said a plan in which illegal immigrants can


become United States citizens by first paying penalties and
enduring a waiting period makes sense.

However, he is now saying such a plan is tantamount to


amnesty, amid criticism that he has flip-flopped on that issue
and others -- including right-to-work legislation in his home
state.

I dont believe in amnesty, said Walker, who finished


second Saturday in the Conservative Political Action
Conferences straw poll for potential 2016 Republican
presidential candidates. We need to secure the border. We
ultimately need to put in place a system that works -- a legal
immigration system that works.

Walker also is among the 25 Republican governors who have


joined in a lawsuit challenging the presidents 2014 executive
action that defers deportation for millions of illegal
immigrants.

After calling the right-to-work bill in the Wisconsin Legislature


a distraction during his 2014 re-election season, Walker
now touts the GOP-backed plan, which essentially stops
unions from collecting dues from non-union workers.

On Sunday, Walker said that now is the perfect time for the
bill to be passed and for him to sign it.

Walker also attempted to further clarify comments he made


Thursday during his speech at CPAC, the countrys largest
annual gathering of conservative activists, in which he
seemed to compare the Islamic State and union-backed
protesters he has faced.

I'm not comparing those two entities, Walker said. What I


meant was, it was about the leadership we provided under
extremely dicult circumstances, arguably, the most dicult
of any governor in the country, and maybe in recent times.To
me, I apply that to saying if I were to run and if I were to win
and be commander in chief, I believe that kind of leadership
is what's necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.

Scott Walker: I wasnt


comparing terrorists to
Wisconsin protesters
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/03/01/4159399_scott-walker-i-wasntcomparing.html?rh=1
BY DAVID LIGHTMAN
McClatchy Washington Bureau
March 1, 2015

!
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the winter meeting of the free market Club for
Growth winter economic conference at the Breakers Hotel Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, in
Palm Beach, Fla.
JOE SKIPPER AP

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday he wasnt trying to compare


state protesters to terrorists.
If I could take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,
he told the Conservative Political Action Conference last week. He was
referring to Wisconsin protests four years ago against his challenges to
public employee unions.
Sunday, he explained to Fox News Sunday that I'm not comparing those
two entities. What I meant was, it was about leadership.
He called that leadership arguably, the most difficult of any governor in the
country, and maybe in -- in recent times, in taking on the challenge of not
just the protesters, but everything we had to do the last four years in
stepping up and fighting the leadership to move our state forward.
Whats that have to do with fighting terrorists and the Islamic State? To
me, he said, I apply that to saying if I were to run and if I were to win and
be commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is what's
necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.
Walkers comments didnt appear to hurt him among those who attended
the CPAC conference. He finished a strong second in its straw poll
Saturday, as audience members praised his challenges to unions.
Sunday, Fox host Chris Wallace also asked for an example of leadership.
Would you commit U.S. ground forces to combat ISIS in any way, shape or
form? Wallace asked.
I believe we should not take any action off the table, he said.
So does that mean ground forces?
For me to do something like that would require a number of things, Walker
said. Listening to the chain of command, particularly the Joint Chiefs, your
national security advisers and others, as to what's necessary and listening
to the people who are actually out in the field is the best way to do that.
But then also bring together a coalition. Certainly, reaffirming our major
asset, our major ally in the region, that being Israel, but also our other allies
around the world.

Ted Cruz comes in behind


Rand Paul and Scott
Walker in CPAC straw poll
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2015/03/01/ted-cruz-comes-in-behindrand-paul-and-scott-walker-in-cpac-straw-poll/
Published March 01, 2015

Fox News Latino

!
NATIONAL HARBOR, MD - FEBRUARY 26: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) addresses the
42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) February 26, 2015 in
National Harbor, Maryland. Conservative activists attended the annual political
conference to discuss their agenda. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) (2015 GETTY
IMAGES)

Sen. Ted Cruz came in third place behind Sen.


Rand Pual and Gov. Scott Walker in the Conservative Political
Action Conferences annual presidential preference poll.
Pollsters announced Saturday that Paul won 25.7 percent of the
votes in the annual survey, giving the Kentucky senator third
consecutive win in as many years.
The Wisconsin governor came in second, with 21.4 percent while
Cruz received 11.5 percent. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson
with 11.4 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 8.3
percent. All of the other names listed received under 5 percent.
The three-day CPAC conference in suburban Washington draws
many libertarian-leaning college students whose views and
priorities differ significantly from the Republican Party at large. But
it is nonetheless seen as a barometer of certain conservative
activists' early leanings.
Pollsters said just over 3,000 attendees voted. Nearly half
identified as between the ages of 18 and 25.
Respondents said economic issues, like jobs and taxes, were
most important to them in deciding whom to support as the
Republican nominee for president in 2016.
OXON HILL, MD.

Ben Carson Defends Obama


But Not Evolution
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/01/bencarson-2016_n_6779138.html
Posted: 03/01/2015 1:51 pm EST
By: Christina Wilkie

WASHINGTON -- Dr. Ben Carson defended President Barack Obama


Sunday against criticism that he was too inexperienced to be
president. Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," Carson went on to
suggest that certain scientific ideas, like evolution, are "just
propaganda."
The retired surgeon and possible long-shot for the Republican
presidential nomination challenged the familiar Republican critique
that Obama was too inexperienced to lead the country when he was
elected. "I'm not sure that the criticism of President Obama is
accurate," Carson said, adding that the president "wanted to
accomplish fundamental change in America, [and] I think he's done
quite a bit of that and he seems to know how to execute these
missions."
The praise for Obama was clearly tactical: Carson has never run for
elected office, which makes him vulnerable to similar criticisms. But a
lack of experience hasn't stopped Carson from making inroads into the
national political landscape, emerging in recent years as a conservative
darling of the GOP. On Saturday, Carson received 11.4 percent of the
vote in a straw poll at the annual Conservative Political Action
Conference, placing fourth overall and besting former Florida
Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, the presumed 2016 frontrunner, by more
than 3 points.
"If I were to run [for president] and were to win, I would have very
different vision" than Obama, Carson said Sunday. "It would be a
vision of putting the Constitution back on the top shelf. It would be a
vision of making our government understand that it works for the
people. And that the government responds to the will of the people,

and not picking and choosing who should win and lose, what laws we
want to enforce." Carson added that "our laws that we enforce have
nothing to do with our own personal beliefs."
Carson also defended his belief in creationism, telling host Chuck
Todd, "I find a very good measure of correlation between my religious
beliefs and my scientific beliefs. People say, 'How can you be a
scientist, how can you be a surgeon if you don't believe in certain
things?' Maybe those things aren't scientific, maybe it is just
propaganda."
Despite a career in medicine, Carson, a Seventh-day Adventist, is an
outspoken creationist who openly questions evolutionary theory. He
also denies that climate change is real, a view that puts him at odds
with the vast majority of the scientific community.

Ben Carson on ISIS:


'Eradicate them now
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/234261-ben-carson-on-isiseradicate-them-now
March 01, 2015, 02:13 pm
By Jesse Byrnes

Dr. Ben Carson said on Sunday that the United States should move to
immediately defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and other
extremist terrorist groups.
"We can sit back and say, 'Nah, they're not that big a deal,' or we can
recognize that the longer we allow them to grow, to spread, to root

get their roots well established the more difficult it will be to


eradicate them," Carson said on NBC's "Meet the Press."
"We have to eradicate them now," he said. "We have to use every
means possible to do that."
Carson, the former Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon and
potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate, slammed biggovernment programs and policies in a speech opening the
Conservative Political Action Conference last week.
"There's no question our standing in the world has changed very
dramatically," he told NBC on Sunday. "There's no question that the
leadership sets a very good measure of what kind of country we're
gonna be and whether our allies should trust us and whether our
enemies should test us."
Should Carson decide to launch his own Republican presidential bid in
2016, he vowed Sunday that he "would have a very different vision"
from President Obama, one focused on supporting the Constitution.
Asked if he would face similar criticisms of inexperience Obama faced
when he ran for the White House, Carson suggested those criticisms
were unfair.
"I'm not sure that the criticism of President Obama is accurate,"
Carson said. "You have to decide what it is that he wanted to
accomplish. He wanted to accomplish fundamental change in
America. I think he's done quite a bit of that."
Carson said he would decide not to run for the White House "if I found
there was really no support for it. that would cause me not to run."
For now, Carson said, "I'm seeing a very substantial amount of
support across the country in red states, blue states north, south,
east, west.

Fournier on Trump: 'He's a


Carnival Barker, Shouldn't
Take Him Seriously'
http://insider.foxnews.com/2015/03/01/media-buzz-kirsten-powers-agrees-antigop-bias-ron-fournier-calls-donald-trump-carnival
Mar 01, 2015 // 1:57pm

On "Media Buzz" today, Howard Kurtz and his guests reacted to


the 2015Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC),
which included a hefty amount of press-bashing.
Mary Katharine Ham said a candidate professing his dislike for
the media has become "a part of the primary process." She
added that right-wing candidates have a legitimate reason to
complain about their treatment in the press.
Kirsten Powers agreed that,"There is a real bias that we've seen
against Republicans in the media. And I think it's gotten worse."
Ron Fournier asserted that to some degree the media deserves to
be slapped around a bit at conservative events.
"The folks who try to be in the middle, the folks who aren't
working for a partisan outlet, if you look at those groups of
reporters, we do tend to skew to the left," Fournier said. "And
sometimes we're not very good about both being accurate, being
accountable and being objective."

As for specific candidates at CPAC, they agreed that it was


important for candidates like Jeb Bush and Chris Christie to face
some of the tough questions, even if the event wasn't necessarily
"their crowd."
Kurtz mentioned Donald Trump, who has been flirting with a
presidential run dating back to 1999. Trump has said that he's
more serious this year and has even hired political staff.
"He may be more serious, but he's not a serious man," Fournier
said. "If he runs for president, he's not going to be president.
He's a carnival barker. We shouldn't take him very seriously ...
He's not a serious presidential candidate."
Watch more from "Media Buzz" above.

Rick Perry: America


Needs Boots on the
Ground to Defeat ISIS
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Rick-Perry-fight-ISIS-boots/
2015/03/01/id/627578/
Sunday, 01 Mar 2015 01:22 PM
By Sandy Fitzgerald

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Sunday he is not mincing words:
The United States needs boots on the ground in the fight against ISIS,
and he believes Americans would thank a president who stood up for
their values in the fight on terrorism.
"We are going to have to have our military actively engaged with those
special operators from those other countries to eliminate the ISIS
threat," said Perry on CNN's "State of the Union" program, during
an interview recorded with host Dana Bash just after his Conservative
Political Action Conference speech late last week.
The likely repeat candidate for the GOP presidential nomination next
year confirmed that those words do mean he backs putting boots on
the ground in Syria and Iraq. But Perry, demurred when it came to the
numbers or battle strategy he'd advocate.
"I've written too many letters to moms, dads, spouses, next of kin for
almost a decade of people we've lost in Texas during this war on terror,
and to be sending information to the enemy, whether it's through the

media or any other source I will suggest to you is irresponsible," Perry


said.
But Perry said it's time to look back and see the opportunities that
were missed, such as "funding and giving weapons to the Syrian
rebels."
"We could have stopped ISIS before they ever got out of Syria," said
Perry. "Then as they moved into Iraq we had the opportunity with the
Peshmerga to fund them and we failed at that. So the options we have
left are not the best ones, but having a coalition with the Jordanians,
with the Saudis, with the other middle eastern countries...but they're
the lesser of options."
And as a potential candidate, Perry said he'd answer concerns from
voters about a Texas governor who wants to send U.S. troops to the
Middle East by stressing his background.
"I would suggest to them that I have the background and the ability to
make decisions on my own," said Perry. "I think if American and
western values are in jeopardy and U.S. troops working with a
coalition force is how you stop ISIS, I think the bulk of the American
people are going to say, thank you, 'Mr. President, for standing up for
our values.' Thank you for stopping this face of evil."
Also on Sunday, Perry told CNN that he supports the upcoming visit
this week by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who House
Speaker John Boehner invited to speak to Congress, noting that the
Obama administration has many issues with the Israeli government.
"If this was the first issue with Israel it would be that maybe we could
have some questions about, but it's not, said Perry. "We've seen the
Secretary of State [John Kerry] make the comparison between the
apartheid south Africa regime and Israel, you've heard varying
individuals in this administration criticize the prime minister, criticize
Israel."

To Perry's perspective, the Obama administration is not sending clear


messages that it respects Israel and will stand with the nation.
"Israel feels very vulnerable at this particular point in time because of
the feckless foreign policy we've seen out of this administration," said
Perry. "So I totally understand why Prime Minister Netanyahu feels
it's important for him to come and to express his concerns about
what's going on in front of the United States Congress. I'm glad he is."

Rand Paul Wins This Years


Republican CPAC Straw Poll,
Beats Out Scott Walker
http://www.inquisitr.com/1885769/rand-paul-wins-cpac-straw-poll/
Posted: March 1, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul won the Conservative Political Action


Conference straw poll Saturday for the third year in a row with
25.7 percent of the vote, according to the USA Today.

Saturdays CPAC straw poll ended the conference in


Maryland where Republicans tried to determine the best way
to win the presidency in 2016. Paul spoke to CBS News after
the announcement of his victory.

Since President Ronald Reagan, the Conservative


Political Action Conference has been the gold standard on
where conservatives stand. The constitutional
conservatives of our party have spoken in a loud and clear
voice today. I plan on doing my part, and I hope you will
join me as I continue to make the GOP a bigger, better
and bolder party.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second in the survey of
CPAC attendees with 21.4 percent, up from last years finish
of fifth place.
Echoing last years straw poll results Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,
finished third with 11.5 percent, followed closely by retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4 percent, while former
Florida governor Jeb Bush finished fifth at 8.3 percent.
Bush, who didnt take part in last years CPAC straw poll and
was booed at this years conference, came out as a strong
moderate candidate in the survey. He voiced support for his
policies of improved legal status for illegal immigrants and
Common Core education standards.
The CPAC straw poll results show former Sen. Rick Santorum
in sixth place with 4.3 percent while Sen. Marco Rubio
received 3.7 percent for seventh followed by Donald Trump in
eighth with 3.5 percent.

More than 3,000 people participated in this years CPAC straw


poll of 17 political candidates with a plurality of young people
aged 18 to 25 years old.
Divisions inside the party where readily apparent during the
conference with disagreements breaking out over whether to
elect a hard core conservative who appeals to party values or
a more moderate candidate more acceptable to moderate
voters.
In fact Rand Paul, the CPAC straw poll winner may face more
of an uphill climb for the Republican nomination than he
expected with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and
Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson vowing to campaign
against him, as reported by the Inquisitr.
Although not a great predictor of a candidates ultimate
success or failure, the CPAC straw poll is important as a way
for candidates to field test campaign ideas.
We have a lot of disagreements, which is good, but I think we
spend too much time attacking each other, Noelani Bonifacio,
a legislative aide to a state senator in Hawaii, who voted for
Rubio, a Florida senator, in the straw poll, told the USA Today.
We should be attacking Democrats.

Can Scott Walker ride unionbusting to the White House?


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made a big impression at the
Conservative Political Action Conference, and hes leading
among Republicans in several polls. His fight with unions, he
says, makes him like Ronald Reagan.
https://news.yahoo.com/scott-walker-ride-union-busting-white-house-170256407.html

By Brad Knickerbocker

March 1, 2015 12:02 PM

View photo

Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, MD, February 26, 2015. Potential Republican
presidential candidate Walker told grassroots conservatives on Thursday that his battle
with labor unions as Wisconsin's governor had given him the mettle needed to take on
militant groups like Islamic State. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts (UNITED STATES - Tags:
POLITICS)

Rand Paul may have won CPACs presidential straw poll for the third
time in a row Saturday. His young libertarian legions turned out in
force, as they had for Sen. Pauls father, former Rep. Ron Paul.

But the big winner was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who came
in a very strong second jumping ahead from his sixth place finish
last year and tripling his portion of the 3,007 votes spread among 17
candidates to 21.4 percent, not far behind Pauls 25.7 percent. When
voters first and second choices were added together, the margin
between the two narrowed to less than one percentage point.

Among the activists at the annual three-day Conservative Political


Action Conference (CPAC) who generally fall to the enthusiastic
right of the Republican spectrum Gov. Walker came across as the
strongest young challenger, not only to Democrats but to mainstream
Republicanism.

In a historically progressive state, he fought public employee unions,


beat back a recall eort that only strengthened his position, and won
reelection.

Although hes well-known mainly for what critics charge (and


supporters admire) is union-busting, Walker has emerged as the
shiny, new object among figures more prominent on the national
political stage. (Jeb Bush came in a mediocre fifth in the CPAC straw
poll. Farther back in the pack were former Sen. Rick Santorum, Sen.
Marco Rubio, Gov. Chris Christie, and former governor Rick Perry.)

But its not just conservative activists paying close attention to


Walker.

Not since George W. Bush in 2000 has a GOP presidential candidate


drawn support across so many divides, declares the headline on a
National Journal piece, which cites a new Quinnipiac University Poll
giving Walker 25 percent among likely participants in next year's Iowa
Republican caucus nearly twice as much as second-place finisher
Rand Paul.

The Real Clear Politics polling average also puts Walker at the head
of the pack, just in front of Bush

At CPAC, Walker did what all potentially-presidential speakers do


there: Genuflect at the record and memory of Ronald Reagan.,
comparing his head-butting with public employee unions to Mr.
Reagans 1981 firing of 11,000 air-trac controllers.

Events back home are boosting Walkers image in this regard.

At the state capitol in Madison Saturday, some 5,000 workers from


around the state were bused in to protest a so-called "right-to-work"
law approved by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate last
week. The measure would ban private sector workers from being
required to join a union or pay dues. Walker supports the bill, which
moves to the State Assembly (also GOP-controlled) this week. If the
measure comes to Walker for his signature, Wisconsin would become
the 25th right-to-work state.

Walkers early exposure to the bright lights of presidential politics has


not been without stumbles.

He avoided press questions about evolution, President Barack


Obama's love of country, and the president's religion. At CPAC,
Walker compared his political fight against union protesters in
Wisconsin to America's actual fight against Islamic State militants in
the Middle East a fiery statement his sta had to correct.

"Take your worst day in any state capital around the country, and
every day is like that on a presidential campaign," Republican
strategist Kevin Madden, a senior adviser on Mitt Romney's 2012
presidential campaign, told the Associated Press.

"The media scrutiny is brutal, the parsing of every quote never ends
and all of your opponents whether they're from the other party or
even inside your own has sta solely dedicated to ruining every one
of your events or interviews," Madden said.

Back to the Pauls for a second.

Ron Paul had some GOP primary and caucus victories when he ran
for president, but he was never going to win the Republican
nomination. And while Rand Paul may come across as more
attractive and mainstream than his father, and while he won CPACs
straw poll, hes still an outlier among his partys hopefuls as well as
among many typical Republican voters.

Which leaves Scott Walker for now, at least the most interesting
one to follow.

A CPAC lesson: How Rand Paul could be


like Reagan
Paul wins 3rd consecutive CPAC presidential straw poll this
weekend
http://www.wisn.com/politics/a-cpac-lesson-how-rand-paul-could-be-like-reagan/31553646
By John King

UPDATED 11:34 AM CST Mar 01, 2015

Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON (CNN) President Barack Obama's effort to bridge the


trust deficit between African-Americans and law enforcement, the money

wars heading into 2016, a little CPAC history and a "do not reply" mandate
fill our Sunday trip around the "Inside Politics" table:
1. Winning CPAC once meant little, but are Rand Paul's multiple wins
just the ticket?
Rand Paul won his third consecutive CPAC presidential straw poll this
weekend, and most political journalists yawned -- and understandably so.
There have been 20 previous CPAC straw polls, and only in four of those
cases has the winner ended up as the Republican presidential nominee.
And in all four of those cases, it was in the actual election year.
Never has a winner in the year before the presidential vote -- like this year
-- gone on to win the nomination. So Sen. Paul shouldn't rush to measure
the White House drapes.
But he is now in special company: He's in a tie for CPAC wins (three) with
Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. Mitt Romney is the all-time leader with
four CPAC wins. Ron Paul has two.
So winning once is more or less meaningless, but winning twice or more?
The Pauls -- Rand and Ron -- are the only two men with at least two CPAC
wins who have not appeared on the GOP ticket. (Kemp was Bob Dole's VP
nominee.)
It's one more way, we can assume, that Rand Paul hopes to get some
separation from his dad heading into 2016.
2. POTUS hopes for action -- and legacy item -- in law enforcement
arena
Washington will be consumed this week with Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu's speech to Congress and the continuing fight over funding the
Department of Homeland Security.
But Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post took us inside another
big event: a report from the task force Obama established post-Ferguson to
study the tensions between law enforcement and African-Americans.
"The White House has said that they have been surprised by so many
areas of commonality between these activists and law enforcement officials
who were on this task force," said Henderson. "Other people say the gulf is
as wide as you might imagine."
Henderson adds that the President doesn't want this report to gather dust
on the shelf but casts doubts over whether this will be part of Obama's
record.
"Whether or not it will be a legacy item, we'll have to see. That will probably
depend on legislation, and that seems fairly unlikely."
3. The super PAC campaign: Millions are OK, but billions rule

There is always a money race in presidential politics. But the times are
changing. Candidates need to raise cash for their actual campaign
committees, but that effort is taking a back seat to the bigger money chase.
Jonathan Martin of The New York Times shared some reporting on the race
to win over big -- as in billionaire -- support for the super PACs that now
dominate the world of political finance.
Martin noted it's March 1, and "not a single candidate has set up an actual
campaign committee."
"They have, though, set up super PACs, and this has dramatically changed
politics. The donors most coveted now are billionaires with a 'B,' those
[who] can stroke seven-, eight-figure checks and the year of the bundlers
who can raise a few hundred thousand dollars is seemingly passe."
4. Go West: The states are blue, but the money chase is bipartisan
It's not really a risk to say California, Oregon and Washington will go blue -Democratic -- in the 2016 presidential race.
So why, then, are many Republican hopefuls heading West, especially to
Silicon Valley? It's all about the cash.
Obama dominated high-tech fundraising in 2008 and 2012. Bloomberg's
Lisa Lerer traveled West recently as Hillary Clinton made a pitch for help
this time around. She reports that Clinton has many friends, but that there
is a fierce and bipartisan competition for money out West.
"This time she'll ... have competition from an unlikely source, Rand Paul,
who's opened an office there. He's hoping to tap into the libertarian vein of
some of the Silicon Valley money. Jeb Bush has also been meeting with
tech executives."
"It's not clear who's going capture this new and growing source of wealth
for elections that are supposed to cost over $1 billion on each side, but one
thing's sure. We'll see lots of candidates and staffers making many trips
down the 101."
5. DO NOT REPLY: Your government's guide to a partial shutdown
A temporary fix keeps the Department of Homeland Security running at full
steam this week, but Congress will be trying to find a longer-term solution
next.
So department workers still have to prepare and sort out whether they
would have to work -- or would be furloughed -- in the event funding
expires.
Ed O'Keefe of The Washington Post gave us a glimpse at the contingency
planning, obtaining a memo sent to relevant workers as it appeared
Congress might not reach even a temporary deal before the Friday night
deadline.

"Buried deep in there on page 23--- a little note to the 15% of DHS workers
who might have been furloughed: you can check your email but you cannot
hit reply," said O'Keefe. "You were allowed to check for the status of the
furlough but to hit reply or to engage anyone on email might result in
severe penalties."
"So you would get paid after a shutdown, but you weren't allowed to check
your email. Perhaps a silver lining to the possibility of the shutdown.

Scott Walker: I wasnt


comparing terrorists and
Wisconsin protesters
http://www.thestate.com/2015/03/01/4018044_scott-walker-i-wasnt-comparing.html?
rh=1
March 1, 2015
BY DAVID LIGHTMAN

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday he wasnt trying to compare


state protesters to terrorists.
If I could take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,
he told the Conservative Political Action Conference last week. He was
referring to Wisconsin protests four years ago against his challenges to
public employee unions.
Sunday, he explained to Fox News Sunday that I'm not comparing those
two entities. What I meant was, it was about leadership.
He called that leadership arguably, the most difficult of any governor in the
country, and maybe in -- in recent times, in taking on the challenge of not
just the protesters, but everything we had to do the last four years in
stepping up and fighting the leadership to move our state forward.
Whats that have to do with fighting terrorists and the Islamic State? To
me, he said, I apply that to saying if I were to run and if I were to win and
be commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is what's
necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.
Walkers comments didnt appear to hurt him among those who attended
the CPAC conference. He finished a strong second in its straw poll
Saturday, as audience members praised his challenges to unions.

Sunday, Fox host Chris Wallace also asked for an example of leadership.
Would you commit U.S. ground forces to combat ISIS in any way, shape or
form? Wallace asked.
I believe we should not take any action off the table, he said.
So does that mean ground forces?
For me to do something like that would require a number of things, Walker
said. Listening to the chain of command, particularly the Joint Chiefs, your
national security advisers and others, as to what's necessary and listening
to the people who are actually out in the field is the best way to do that.
But then also bring together a coalition. Certainly, reaffirming our major
asset, our major ally in the region, that being Israel, but also our other allies
around the world.

Silence in the Face of Evil Is Evil


Itself': Wife of American Pastor
Imprisoned in Iran Speaks at
CPAC
March 1, 2015 | Filed under: Law & Government, Life & Society, Persecution, Top Stories, World
By: Heather Clark
http://christiannews.net/2015/03/01/silence-in-the-face-of-evil-is-evil-itself-wife-of-americanpastor-imprisoned-in-iran-speaks-at-cpac/

Like

ORLANDO, Fla. The wife of an American pastor imprisoned in Iran for


conducting missionary and humanitarian work in the nationspoke at
theConservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Saturday, urging
her country to do more to free her husband.
My question isas Im proud to see my husband stand up for his faith in
the face of evilhow are we standing up as a country for him?, Naghmeh
Abedini, wife of Saeed Abedini of Idaho,asked. What kind of message are
we sending to the world when we continue to negotiate while Iran
continues to abuse one of our own, an American pastor?
As previously reported, Abedini, a former Iranian Muslim turned Christian,
left Iran in 2005 and moved to the United States with his wife and two
children to find religious freedom after facing conflict with authorities for
planting house churches in the county. In 2012, hetraveled back to Iran to
build an orphanage and visit his parentsand was about to return to the
stateswhen he was taken into custody.
Abedini was later charged with threatening the national security of Iran,
and for attempting to turn youth in the nation away from Islam and toward
Christianity.He was then sentenced to eight years in Irans notorious Evin
Prison, where he has spent the past two years behind bars.
In November 2013, Abedini was transported to Rajai Shahr Prison, which
was believed to pose an even greater threat to Abedinis health and safety.
Last May, while obtaining treatment at a local hospital for injuries
sustained from beatings, he was likewise beaten and returned to prison.
Abedinis wife requested a face-to-face meeting with Barack Obama in
January as he was scheduled to speak at an area university. She later told
reporters that Obama advised herthat getting Saeed out is a top priority
and he is working very hard to get Saeed home back to our family.
But on Saturday, while speaking at CPAC in Orlando, Naghmeh
Abediniexpressed disappointmentover the lack of voices speaking out for
religious freedom, including in regard to her husbands plight in Iran.

Silence in the face of evil is evil itself, she said. That means when we
dont act and we dont speak, we are doing the same things that the

persecutors are doing to my husband. When we dont speak in the face of


evil, were doing that evil ourselves.
Abedini warned that if American Christians remain silent regarding the
persecution of Christians in other nations, they will see persecution come to
their own soil.
If we dont address whats going on across the world, it will be something
we will have to deal with here, she declared. And were seeing were losing
our religious freedom here.
The pastors wife and mother of two exhorted those gatheredwith
Scriptures contingentpromisein 2 Chronicles 7:14, which reads, If My
people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves and pray, and
seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
This great nation is blessed because of our foundation on Jesus Christ,
Abedini said. My prayer is that we would turn our eyes back on Jesus,
that we will repent of the ways that we have looked to other things to fulfill
us, and that we would turn our eyes back to Jesus and pray and cry out for
healing for our nation, and that we get back to our core value of religious
freedom.


Former Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks at the Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., Feb. 27, 2015. Photo by Kevin
Lamarque/Reuters

Rick Perry questions Hillarys loyalty


http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/rick-perry-questions-hillary-clinton-loyalty
By Jane C. Timm
03/01/15 11:31 AM

Following aweekendfull of conservativeattackson Hillary Clinton at


theConservative Political Action Conference, former Texas Governor
Rick Perry added to the list, questioning the former secretary of states
loyalty in an interview that aired Sunday.
Responding to news that the Clinton foundation had not notified the
State Department when it previously accepted a donation from a foreign
nation, Perry argued that Clinton was disloyal.
I think it falls flat in the face of the American people when it comes to,
are you going to trust an individual who has taken that much money
from a foreign source? Wheres your loyalty? Perry said in an interview
that aired on CNNs State of the Union.


UP WITH STEVE KORNACKI, 3/1/15, 8:36 AM ET

Clinton Foundation donations under scrutiny

The donation from Algeria was for $500,000 and came right after the
Haiti earthquake. All of the funds were distributed for relief there. The
Clinton Foundation is a nonprofit that focuses on issues like economic

and leadership development and health security. Since 2010, theyve


raised a total of $36 million for Haiti efforts.
Are you going to trust an individual who has taken that much money
from a foreign source? Perry asked.
The foundation acknowledged they should have alerted officials about
the donation from the country.
As the Clinton Foundation did with all donations it received for
earthquake relief, the entire amount of Algerias contribution was
distributed as aid in Haiti, the statement said. This donation was
disclosed publicly on the Clinton Foundation website, however, the State
Department should have also been formally informed.
But Perry said Americans will question this.
Im really concerned that not just going forwardbut what has been
received at the Clinton Foundation over the course of the years and how
that affects this individuals judgment, Perry said.
Perry is actively exploring a second presidential bid; he joined the
crowded Republican field and spoke at this weekends Conservative
Political Action Conference, but Perry barely registered on the events
straw poll, earning just 1.1% of the votes.

E.J. Dionne Jr.: The GOPs loud yes to


no
BY E.J. DIONNE JR.THE WASHINGTON POST

03/01/2015 9:00 AM 02/27/2015 3:58 PM

http://www.clarionledger.com/story/opinion/2015/03/06/dionne-gopsloud-yes/24502359/

WASHINGTON Its a daunting challenge to spin the word no


into a hopeful and forward-looking political battle cry.
There are, of course, circumstances when negative arguments can
work. In obviously terrible times, voters are often content to take
a chance on a barely sketched-out alternative. In midterm
elections, which are like midsemester report cards, voters often
protest against what they dont like. No was a successful pitch in
three straight midterms going back to 2006. The GOPs 1946
slogan, Had Enough? Vote Republican, was a model of simple
and clever effectiveness.
But the evidence of the moment is that had enough will not be
enough for the GOP in 2016. Of course we cannot know from
Hillary Clintons current leads of around nine or 10 points over
her major Republican competitors that she will ultimately prevail.
Still, her advantage owes at least in part to unease about where
Republicans would take the country if they won both the
presidency and Congress. For now, voters dont want to go there.
Events of the past week underscore why. The absurdity of going to
the wire on funding the Department of Homeland Security tells us
that many in the party, particularly right-wingers in the House, do

not care about how their inability to govern in an orderly fashion


looks to citizens outside the conservative bubble.
For the more radical members of Speaker John Boehners caucus,
this is all about high principle. Since most of them come from very
conservative districts, they will only strengthen their own political
situations by continuing to link DHS funding to overturning
President Obamas executive actions on immigration. They have
nothing to lose.
But collectively, their party has a lot to lose. To win the presidency
and to improve their chances of holding the Senate in 2016,
Republicans will have to do far better with Latino voters than Mitt
Romney did in 2012. This fight will only make that harder. And
middle-of-the-road voters dont like this sort of brinksmanship, as
well they shouldnt.
The way Republicans are behaving could thus turn one of the
partys assets, the likelihood that they will hold their House
majority for some time, into a liability. This argument is advanced
forcefully by political scientist Thomas Schaller in his new book,
The Stronghold.
Schaller describes the potential of a vicious cycle: As the party has
become more conservative, it has become more Congresscentered, anchored to and defined by its congressional wing, and
its House caucus in particular. But a majority of its House
members are either extremely conservative or fearful of primaries
from the right. This makes the House highly sensitive to rightwing donors, right-wing media and right-wing voters and far
less responsive to those middle-ground citizens who usually
decide presidential elections. The danger, says Schaller, is that the
GOPs congressional stronghold could become a chokehold.
The doings at the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) that closed on Saturday only reinforced the point.
Republican presidential candidates worry about those very

conservative primary voters too, and CPAC was an excellent


opportunity for the hopefuls to show how well they can dance to
the oppositionist tune, a chorus of nos to Obama, Clinton,
liberalism and big government.
Jeb Bush, who is actually very conservative, has put up some
resistance to the spirit of negativity. We shouldnt be the
reactionary party to how bad things are, he told a Club for
Growth gathering in Florida on Thursday.
When he appeared at CPAC on Friday, he did declare that we
have to start being for things again, but only after praising
Republicans in Congress for standing up to Obama. He
sidestepped when Fox News Sean Hannity asked about the House
Republicans approach to DHS funding though he did speak of his
partys need to win more Latino votes.
Bush would clearly like to take a cue from his brother who, before
the 2000 election, occasionally distanced himself from an
unpopular right-wing Congress. But Jeb is orchestrating his
independence with great caution and some ambivalence. The GOP
is well to the right of where it was 15 years ago and also much
more insulated. Its worth remembering that Fox didnt become
the largest cable news network until 2002.
In my experience, the people who see Jeb Bush as the most
electable nominee tend to be Democrats, not Republicans. This
may prove his general election strategy is working, but it also
shows his party may not let him get there because its quite happy
being reactionary.

GOP governors carry their


states' fiscal baggage to CPAC
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/03/01/258227/gop-governors-carry-their-states.html
BY EVAN HALPER
Tribune Washington BureauMarch 1, 2015

OXON HILL, Md. - After bolting to national prominence on a record of


bringing public employee unions to heel and taming runaway pension costs
like those that have challenged state governments across the country, New
Jersey Gov. Chris Christie hit a very large hurdle recently.
A state court ruling last week caused the retirement policies Christie had
battered through New Jersey's Legislature to unravel spectacularly, leaving
the state with a huge deficit driven by pension costs that Christie had not, it
turns out, gotten fully under control.
The judge ruled that Christie had violated state law by not making almost
$900 million in required payments to the state pension fund in order to
balance last year's budget, a move the governor had planned to repeat for
the current fiscal year.
Among Republican governors hoping to become president, some, like
Christie, are having problems back home.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker also faces a big deficit, which he has tried
to close by making cuts to the budget of the state university system, long
the state's crown jewel. And Louisiana's Bobby Jindal is struggling with the
fact that the state has gone from a giant surplus to a giant deficit under his
stewardship.
In an election season in which voters have a sour view of Washington,
governors have unquestioned political appeal. But the problems that the
GOP trio have run into in the last few weeks are a reminder that being a
chief executive comes with downsides too.

When all is well, a governor can tout his record of decisive action. But right
now, governors who marketed themselves as fiscal miracle workers are
scrambling to avoid damage from dour headlines.
Democrats, of course, are doing everything they can to highlight the budget
troubles the Republicans face, particularly at a time when blue states like
California - which GOP presidential contenders have long derided as
financially reckless - are doing well.
"It's downright laughable for these governors to run a presidential campaign
on 'fiscal responsibility,'" said Jared Leopold, spokesman for the
Democratic Governors Association.
Each of the three tried a somewhat different strategy in speeches this week
to the Conservative Political Action Conference, the annual Washington
gathering where GOP headliners pitch themselves to party activists.
Christie's approach - consistent with his persona - was defiance.
"The elite folks from the media who cover me every day," he declared,
"when you do things like I have done in New Jersey to take on a lot of
these special interests frontally that they support, they just want to kill you."
"I am still standing," Christie said. "Here I am."
Still standing, but wounded. Even before the state's fiscal problems made
headlines, Christie's position in the presidential field had been on the
decline.
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham, who interviewed Christie
onstage at CPAC, pointed out that in one recent poll of Republican voters,
he did worse than Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who has become
a favorite among conservatives but an extreme long shot for the party's
nomination.
"The budget provides more ammunition to Republicans who don't like him
in the first place," said Jack Pitney, professor of political science at
Claremont McKenna College and a former Republican party official. "It's a
convenient place to hang their misgivings and animosities."
There is no shortage of ammunition. New Jersey's credit rating has been
downgraded eight times during Christie's tenure. Polls show that voters at
home have lost confidence in his financial management.
The state, according to data compiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts, is one
of the least financially secure in the country. Its rainy day fund is so small
that it could keep government running for just three days.
"These candidates won't be courting voters until later, but these troubles
are raising doubts with the money people and party activists they need to
court now," said David Redlawsk, director of the Eagleton Center for Public

Interest Polling at Rutgers University in New Jersey. "Potential supporters


are not flocking to Christie the way they did in the last presidential election,
when they were begging him to run."
For Jindal, a budget crisis is creating even more unwanted baggage.
"It's one thing for a Republican governor to be controversial and unpopular
in a Democratic state like New Jersey or Wisconsin, and quite another to
have rock-bottom ratings in a deeply conservative state like Louisiana,"
said Larry Sabato, a professor of political science at University of Virginia.
"In that sense, Jindal is in a deeper hole."
Analysts say the problem in his case is not so much the governor as
plunging oil prices, which deprive Louisiana of tax revenue it relies on to
pay for schools, roads and other services. But such are the perils of being
the state's chief executive. When things go wrong, the governor gets
blamed.
Jindal's strategy at CPAC was to change the subject. He did not talk about
state budget issues, preferring to steer conversation toward radical Islamic
terrorists, Obamacare, White House immigration policy and how federal
education policy oppresses his son, a second-grader.
He also took shots at the GOP leadership in Washington.
"It is time for our Republican leaders in Congress to grow a spine," he said.
Walker, who has long profited politically by portraying himself as a target of
liberal attacks, embraced the criticism he is facing at home as a mark of his
courage. And the crowd embraced him.
"We are a state that has been taxed and taxed and taxed, and today I am
proud to say after four years as governor we've reduced the burden on
hardworking taxpayers by nearly $2 billion," he said. "How many other
governors can say that?"
Although budget cuts at the University of Wisconsin will be controversial at
home, they may play well among Republican primary voters, many of
whom see universities as hotbeds of liberalism.
All three of the governors went over well at CPAC. How voters in Iowa, the
first caucus state, and others on the primary trail will respond remains to be
seen.
"Iowans hate debt," said Tim Albrecht, a GOP political consultant in Des
Moines. "These governors will need to spend a lot more time explaining to
voters here why they are having these budget difficulties."

White Nationalists, Sarah Palin,


and the Slow Death of the
Right-Wing Fringe
http://www.vice.com/read/cpac-white-nationalists-sarah-palin-slowdeath-of-right-wing-fringe-301
March 1, 2015

by Grace Wyler
I first covered the Conservative Political Action Conference in
2012, back in the early days of the last Republican presidential
primary, when Rick Santorum still seemed like a semi-credible
option, and Ron Paul was leading his guerilla takeover of
backwater local GOP executive boards. Heady with intra-party
rivalries, and still deep in the throes of the Tea Party fever dream,
the annual conservative hoedown was at peak l, propping up the
darkest elements of the right-wing fringe.
Herman Cain was there, decrying the "gutter politics" that had
exposed his habit of harassing women who weren't his wife in a
keynote speech. There was a panel on "The Failure of
Multiculturism: How the Pursuit of Diversity Is Weakening the

American Identity," featuring two prominent white nationalists,


and another on "Islamic Law in America," about the creeping
scourge of sharia in US courts. The whole thing reached a
frenzied peak when a wild-eyed Andrew Breitbart marched
outside to go "toe-to-toe" with Occupy Wall Street protesters
camped outside the venue, and had to be pulled away by security.
Three years later, a pack of CPAC attendees once again went
toe-to-toe with protestors, but this time, the protesters were white
nationalists, members of the neo-Confederate League of the
South up to picket the conservative gathering. As the event
wound down on Saturday, young activists, sporting their proudly
CPAC lanyards and Stand With Rand pins, came out to confront
the demonstrations, starting a chanting duel that quickly devolved
into heated arguments on the sidewalk outside the convention
center.
"You actually think the US should separate into different states?"
one kid asked a bearded protester carrying a sign that read
"Obama Hates White People...And So Does The GOP." "It's
just...I mean...," the kid struggled to find the words. "It's
disgusting," his companion volunteered. Across the street another
blazered CPACer shook his head dejectedly. "I'm sorry about
this," he told a nearby photographer. "I'm from 'Nova. We don't do
that there.

!
A member of the League of the South demonstrates outside CPAC Saturday. Photo by
Kalley Erickson

Obviously, this is a reasonable reaction to any Neo-Confederate


disruption, but it also hints at a tonal shift that could be detected
throughout the three-day event. Once reliably cuckoo, CPAC was
disarmingly relaxedeven reasonablethis year, notably lacking
in the kind of internecine flame-throwing, and racist dog-whistles
that have characterized the conference in the past. Two years
after the Republican National Committee warned the party that it
would have to be a lot nicer if it ever wanted to win another

election, grassroots conservatives seem to have gotten the


message.
Under new leadership, the American Conservative Union, which
hosts CPAC, made a concerted effort to tone down the spectacle
in 2015, and project a sleeker, more inclusive vibe. There were no
sinister Kirk Cameron documentaries, no biting immigration
tirades from Ann Coulter. Mike Huckabee, the leading evangelical
prospect for 2016, didn't attend this year's conference. Rick
Santorum, another Christian conservative favorite, talked mostly
about foreign policy, rather than social issuesthough most of the
audience wandered out during his speech anyway.
Amazingly, even Sarah Palin veered away from her usual script,
giving a thoughtful speech about the challenges facing veterans
when they return home. " America hands over her sons and her
daughters in service with the promise that they're going to be
taken care of," she said. "Well we, their mothers and their fathers
and their husbands and their wives, we're here to collect on the
promises made. We can't wait for D.C. to fix their bureaucratic
blunders. This bureaucracy is killing our vets." Then, to
everyone's surprise, she proposed a series of very reasonable
ways Congress could address the issue. Last year, she read her
own version of Dr. Seuss.
Of course, CPAC wasn't totally devoid of the fringe. On Friday, for
example, hidden-camera activist James O'Keefe hired someone
to walk around his party dressed as Osama bin Laden. And in
what was probably the highlight of the weekend, Duck Dynasty
star Phil Robertson went on an extended riff about STDs, or what
he likes to call "the revenge of the hippies."
"I don't want you to come down with a debilitating disease. I don't
want you to die early. You're disease-free and she's disease-free,
you marry, you keep your sex right there," Robertson informed an
afternoon audience. "I'm trying to help you, for crying out loud.
America, if I didn't care about you, why would I bring this up?"
For the most part, though, the conference was lucid, even normal.
Everywhere you looked, Republicans were talking about policy
ideas and proposals that could appeal beyond the ultra-

conservative grassroots activists in attendance. CPAC organizers,


long resentful of the overwhelming presence of young, libertarianminded activists at the annual confab, seemed to embrace them
this year, hosting talks on issues like asset forfeiture, criminal
justice reform, and digital currency.
In a marijuana legalization debate on the main stage Thursday,
former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, who ran for
president on the Libertarian ticket in 2012, gave an impassioned
attack on prohibition, at one point faking a heart attack to prove
some point. "Having a debate about marijuana legalization is like
having a debate about whether the sun is going to come up
tomorrow. The sun is going to come up. Marijuana is going to be
legalized," Johnson declared, to raucous cheers. ""Conservatives
ought to embrace the fact that these are people making their own
decision, he added.
Democrats laughed off the idea that CPAC was broadening its
appeal beyond the fringe. "If CPAC is trying to be more inclusive,
they sure have a weird way of showing it," Democratic National
Committee spokesman Rob Flaherty told VICE. "Its attendees
loudly supported Civil Rights Act skeptic Rand Paul, gave an
award to proud homophobe Phil Robertson, and once again
attempted to exclude the Log Cabin Republicans. If this is what
inclusivity looks like, the Republican Party should be
embarrassed...and worried."
After years of demanding strict ideological purity from Republican
candidates, grassroots activists at CPAC seemed to have tamed
their cannibalistic impulses somewhat, making efforts to expand
the movement. Even former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who took
a beating from other speakers, as well as a noisy contingent of
booers, managed to engage skeptics in a lively Q&A Friday. And
while all of the likely 2016 candidates who spoke affirmed their
opposition to same-sex marriage, gay Republicans were publicly
welcomed to the conference after years of being snubbed by
conference organizers.
As The Nation's Michelle Goldberg suggests, the sudden turn
toward even-keeled professionalism could be problematic for

Democrats, who have based their entire election strategy on the


notion that Republicans are crazy extremists who hate women,
gays, and poor people. That argument is less effective if
conservative candidates can sound reasonable, and avoid issues
that alienate those voters.
"A preoccupation with social issues destroyed us in 2012," said
Gregory Angelo, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans,
the conservative gay rights group that was initially excluded from
CPAC but eventually invited to speak on a panel. "We left out
these issues in 2014," he added, "and we won everywhere.
Republicans need to remember what happened in 2014, and
keep that momentum going."
At this point, it's not clear how far will go in helping to rebrand the
GOP. But as Republicans seek to expand the party, it's a sign that
conservatives might be willing to sacrifice some of their crazier
elements in order to appeal to a broader swath of voters. "I don't
think the Republican Party is as in line with those louder voices as
some might think I think the trend is going well," said Armand
Cortellesso, a 30-year-old activist from Polk County, Florida.
"Nobody is going to listen to your economic policy if you start off
by saying that everyone isn't equal in the first place."

Scott Walker: 'My View


Has Changed' on
Amnesty
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/Scott-Walker-immigrationamnesty-opinions/2015/03/01/id/627566/
Sunday, 01 Mar 2015 11:26 AM
By Greg Richter

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said Sunday he has changed his position
on amnesty since he told a newspaper he could envision a path to
citizenship for illegals.
Walker talked to "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace in an
interview recorded last week at the Conservative Political Action
Conference and aired on Sunday.
Walker finished second in the CPAC straw poll on Saturday, trailing
only Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who has won the past three CPAC
straw polls.
But Wallace wanted to know about Walker's response to a question on
July 2, 2013 from the Wausau Daily Herald that asked, "Can you
envision a world where, with the right penalties and waiting periods

and meet-the-requirements, where those people could get


citizenship?"
"Sure. Yeah. I mean, I think it makes sense," Walker said at the time.
But, Walker told Wallace, he has since talked to other governors who
deal with illegal immigration.
"I don't believe in amnesty," he said, adding he was one of the first
governors to join the federal lawsuit against President Barack Obama's
executive actions to help millions of illegal immigrants gain legal
status on hold.
Wallace pointed out that before he was governor, Walker was the
Milwaukee County Executive and supported the Kennedy-McCain
comprehensive immigration plan.
"My view has changed. I'm flat-out saying it," Walker responded.
He said he believes current immigration laws should be enforced, the
border should be secured and that the onus should be put on
employers by giving them access to the E-verify system to check an
applicant's legal status.
On other issues, Walker clarified his comments that have drawn fire in
which he is accused of comparing protesters of his education plan to
the Islamic State group (ISIS.)
Walker told Wallace he intended only to be referencing his own
leadership abilities.
The leadership he provided under those "most difficult circumstances"
prove his mettle, he said. "If I were to run, and if I were to win and be
commander-in-chief I believe that kind of leadership is what's
necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorists."
On the controversial comments made by former New York Mayor
Rudolph Giuliani saying Obama doesn't love America, Walker said,

"[Obama] and anybody else who's willing to put their name on the
ballot, certainly has to have a love for county to do that."
He also defended his own fiscal conservative credentials, saying that
the $2 billion budget shortfall prediction over the next two years is
based on a request sent in by state agencies. His own budget proposal
would leave a $123 million surplus, he said.
Walker is the son of Baptist preacher, and has said he is waiting on
guidance from God on whether to run for president.
"There are people of faith who can have a variety of political views. But
for us, personally, we make important decisions like we did years ago
to run for governor," Walker said.
He said his whole family prayed about whether he should run, and
they are doing so again as he mulls a 2016 bid.
"In terms of who's winning, it's going to be up to the voters," he said.

Rick Perry questions Hillary


Clintons ethical judgment
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/
2015/03/01/rick-perry-questions-hillary-clintons-ethicaljudgment/
By Jose A. DelReal
March 1, 2015



Former Texas governor Rick Perry salutes after speaking at the Conservative
Political Action Conference at National Harbor in Maryland on Feb. 27,
2015. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Former Texas governor Rick Perry is raising questions


about Hillary Clintons ethical judgment after reports that
her familys foundation received millions of dollars from
foreign governments during her tenure as secretary of
state.
Are you going to trust an individual who has taken that
much money from a foreign source? Wheres your
loyalty? Perry, who is considering a 2016 White House
bid, told CNNs Dana Bash in an interview airing Sunday.
Im really concerned, not just going forward, but what has
been received at the Clinton Foundation over the course of
years and how that affects this individuals judgment.
A Washington Post report last week revealed that the
Clinton Foundation which is a philanthropic
organization accepted donations from seven foreign
governments. At least one of the donations reportedly
violated an ethics agreement between Clinton and the
Obama administration.
Its not only the appearance of impropriety. Its also the
ethical side of this that, I think, most Americans really
have a problem with, Perry said.
Perry also addressed a small dust-up between himself and
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who appeared to compare
labor protesters in the United States to Islamic State
terrorists during a speech at the Conservative Political
Action Conference on Thursday. Responding to the
remarks, Perry told MSNBC that the comparison was
inappropriate.
During the CNN interview Sunday, however, the former
Texas governor said he acceptedWalkers explanation.

I think the initial response when I heard that: Thats not


right. You dont make that connect. The governor has
gone back and clarified his remarks since then and clearly
said thats not what he was talking about, Perry said. I
respect that clarification and support him on that.

Perry: Have US troops fight


ISIS

Getty Images
By Jesse Byrnes - 03/01/15 10:41 AM EST
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/234245-perry-have-us-troops-fight-isis

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), who is weighing a 2016


presidential bid, said on Sunday that the United States should commit
troops to the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
"I think if American and western values are in jeopardy, and U.S.
troops working with the coalition force is how you stop ISIS, I think the

American people are gonna say, 'Thank you, Mr. President, for
standing up for our values, thank you for stopping this face of evil,'"
Perry said in an interview aired on CNN's "State of the Union.
Perry underscored that committing U.S. troops to the fight along with
local forces would not be his first choice, and said that the Obama
administration missed an opportunities to fund and arm forces in the
region.
The Obama administration maintains that the hundreds of military
advisers in Iraq to help coordinate the fight against ISIS do not
constitute U.S. boots on the ground, and members of Congress are
still at odds over language regarding enduring ground forces in
President Obama's request to use military force against ISIS.
Perry also swiped the "feckless foreign policy out of this
administration" when discussing the White House response to Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress on
Tuesday. President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary
of State John Kerry will not attend the speech, which has been
boycotted by some Democrats.

Walker takes 2nd in CPAC


presidential straw poll
By WBAY.com Staff
Published: March 1, 2015, 9:37 am
http://wbay.com/2015/03/01/walker-takes-2nd-in-cpac-presidential-straw-poll/

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has won the
Conservative Political Action Conferences annual presidential preference
straw poll.

Pollsters announced Saturday that Paul won 26 percent of the votes in the
annual survey, giving Paul his third consecutive win in as many years.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker came in second, with 21 percent. Sen. Ted Cruz
came in third in the contest with 11.5 percent, followed by retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb
Bush with 8.3 percent. All of the other names listed received under 5 percent.
The three-day CPAC conference in suburban Washington draws many
libertarian-leaning college students whose views and priorities differ
significantly from the Republican Party at large. But it is nonetheless seen as
a barometer of certain conservative activists early leanings.
The results are nonbinding and reflect only the views of the registrants who
chose to vote during the conference.
Pollsters said just over 3,000 attendees voted. Nearly half identified as
between the ages of 18 and 25.
(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may
not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Sunday reflection: Mark 9:210


POSTED AT 10:31 AM ON MARCH 1, 2015 BY ED MORRISSEY
http://hotair.com/archives/2015/03/01/sunday-reflection-mark-92-10/

Sunday Reflection is a regular feature, looking at the specific


readings used in todays Mass in Catholic parishes around the world.
The reflection represents onlymy ownpoint of view, intended to help
prepare myself for the Lords day and perhaps spark a meaningful
discussion. Previous Sunday Reflections from the main page can
be found here. For previous Green Room entries, click here.
This mornings Gospel reading is Mark 9:210:
Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain
apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his
clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach
them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were
conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, Rabbi, it is
good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for
Moses, and one for Elijah. He hardly knew what to say, they were so
terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; from the
cloud came a voice, This is my beloved Son. Listen to him. Suddenly,
looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to
relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had
risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Why does the Gospel describe Peter, James, and John as terrified, so
much so that Peters first impulse is to find an excuse to leave?
Theophanies are always terrifying events in Scripture, with the
exception being Jesus life in humanity and the Transfiguration
being the exception to the exception. The power and the majesty of the
Lord doesnt just frighten us in and of itself, but it reminds us of our

unworthiness to live in the presence of Him. We live most of our


spiritual lives in the dark, groping for small shafts of light, reflections
of His truth and His will. When it breaks through into our vision so
powerfully, its as if we are blinded by experience.
Ive related the story of our visit to Mount Tabor in a previous
reflection, but that visit during our pilgrimage always puts the
Transfiguration into a different context for me. Its a tall peak, and in
modern times pilgrims make it to the top in vans that navigate a
narrow and winding road. Due to the popularity of the site, several
vans are in operation simultaneously. Our driver intended on setting
speed records going up and down the hills, on roads that I noted
despairingly had no guard rails. When the driver stopped to allow us
out to take a picture near the top, I declined, preferring to remain
clinging to my seat belt. We had a more sensible driver on our way
back down, but I gave serious thought to walking down the road rather
than risk getting back in the van.
That wasnt a theophany but it was pretty doggoned terrifying at
times anyway.
I mention this because Peters reaction to the Transfiguration puts
that experience in mind for me. The four of them reach the top of the
mountain, and suddenly Jesus rises up, his form transfigured,
communing with the two greatest prophets, Moses and Elijah. Peter
becomes so overawed and whowouldnt be? that he volunteers to
leave, to go back down the mountain and gather the materials needed
for a camp. That trip would have taken hours at least, and put
considerable distance between Peter and the transfigured Lord even
if Peter had a crazy van driver at that time. Peter, though, had to have
thought that the reappearance of the two most important prophets of
Israel requiredsome sort of homage, and offers to make three tents to
pay respects to their authority perhaps not unlike the tent in which
the Ark of the Covenant was kept.
The Transfiguration scene gives us an extra twist on theophanies, with
the presence of the two major prophets of Israel joining the
risenChrist thetransfigured Christ. Until then, Moses and Elijah
were the epitome of the Law and the Prophets to Israel, the highest
human authorities in Scripture. They appear in consultation with a
form of Jesus that the disciples had never seen before, which
immediately underscores the status of Jesus for Israel in that moment.

The reappearance of the two and their immediate recognition of


who they were would have been an epiphany in itself.
What happens next, though, is even more significant. Peter offers to
make three tents of honor, presumably equal, for Jesus, Moses, and
Elijah. At that point, the full theophany occurs, with the Lord
commanding the disciples to listen toHim notthem. At that
point, the cloud dissipates, and Jesus remains by himself.
What does that mean? Our first reading gives us some perspective. In
Genesis 22, we read the story of Abraham and the test to which God
puts him. Abraham finally has his beloved son Isaac, a promise that
the Lord made to him in return for Abrahams faithfulness, but now
God tells Abraham that Isaac should be made a sacrifice instead.
Abraham does not disobey, going all the way to the point of holding
the knife to complete the task. An angel of the Lord stops him, and
Abraham sacrifices a ram instead. Human sacrifice was common in
those days, and indeed continued until relatively recently in human
history. God redirects humanity from that sacrifice by making the
lesson plain to Abraham.
The Transfiguration also is a redirection, this time of authority. The
disciples see Moses and Elijah in communion with Jesus, and at first
Peter prepares to serve all three. Instead, God intercedes and redirects
Peter and the disciples to serve the risen Christ. In Christ, both Moses
and Elijah are fulfilled, and Jesus becomes the authority for Israel and
the Gentiles alike.
Listen to Him. And when they look, Jesus has returned to his human
form, standing alone.
So what is transfiguration, especially as related to us? We are called to
that same life in communion with the Lord as Moses and Elijah. God
calls to us to give our self-sacrificial love to the Body of Christ just as
Abraham did with his own son, his most precious gift from God. When
we love God above all else, then that agape love will lead us to lift up
our neighbors, forming andtransforming ourselves and each other in
love. That redirects not just our faith but our lives, putting us in
service to Him rather than only asking the Lord to provide service to
us. We are called to live in the Trinitarian life, one that will transfigure
us to true children of God, through the one authority of Jesus Christ.
When that happens, we will have no need to build tents because we
will already be home.

Fox Host Quizzes Walker


On Answer About Union
Protesters And ISIL

#
AP Photo / Lefteris Pitarakis

By CAITLIN MACNEAL
Published MARCH 1, 2015, 10:21 AM EST
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/walker-union-protesters-isis

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) on Sunday insisted that he did not
mean to compare union protesters to the Islamic State this week.

After his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an


audience member asked Walker how he would address threats like
ISIL if he were president.
"If I can take on a hundred thousand protesters, I can do the same
across the world," Walker responded, referring to union protesters in
Wisconsin.
"Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace questioned Walker on his
response.
"Isnt there a big difference between protesters and terrorists?"
Wallace asked.
"There is," Walker answered. "Im not comparing those two entities.
What I meant was about leadership."
The Wisconsin governor said that he provided leadership "under
extremely difficult circumstances" during the protests in Wisconsin.
"If I were to run and if I were to win and be commander in chief, that
kind of leadership is whats necessary to take on radical Islamic
terrorists," he said.
Wallace then asked Walker how he would handle the threat of the
Islamic State if he were president.
"Would you commit U.S. ground forces to combat ISIS in any way,
shape, or form?" Wallace asked.
"I believe we should not take any option off the table. I don't want to
run into war," Walker responded.
"That doesn't quite answer my question," Wallace retorted. "You're
president today you talk about leadership would you commit U.S.
ground forces, whether it's a full scale invasion, whether it's special
forces, would you commit U.S. ground forces to a combat role?"
Walker again did not lay out any specifics and said he would need to
consult advisors and individuals in the field before making a decision.



Scott Walkers Second


Choice Strategy
03.01.15
Ana Marie Cox
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/01/scott-walker-s-second-choice-strategy.html

Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll, but the buzz seems to
be all about Scott Walker. Just dont look too hard for his true
believers.
Headline writers can be forgiven for needing to look past PAUL
WINS STRAW POLL for a fresh angle in writing about the
Conservative Political Action Conferences least surprising
outcome. One Paul or another has won CPAC for five or the past
six yearsRand since 2013, Ron in 2010 and 2011.

The Paul dynastywhich doesnt ring alarm bells here like the
Bush or Clinton dynastiesis built on an army of young and
passionate libertarians who treat CPAC like a tent revival-cumAmway convention.
So lets talk about the buzz following Scott Walker. Hot off of a
totally competent performance in Iowa, the Wisconsin Governor
came in second at CPAC, 26 to 21 percent. But thats not allin
the second choice ballot, Walker beat Paul 19 percent to 16
percent! And that might just be the best way to understand Scott
Walkers path to the nomination: He is everyones second choice.
Walker is the guy that lots of Republican base voters would be
kind of ok with. They like him! But in the parlance of junior high,
they do not like like him. When I searched the CPAC halls for
hardcore Walker supporters, my second choice was pretty much
the most enthusiastic thing people said.
His relative success is best understood as a triumph of hope over
self-reflection. It is the best proof that the gathering this year was
tangentially more concerned with electability than purity. It does
not, however, mean that he can get elected.
On Friday, Walker was at the center of an overflowing coffee
meet-and-greet that many took as proof that the pundit-endorsed
boomlet is real. It was impressive, said David Bossie, whose
Citizens United sponsored a series of such events. The only other
guy able to do that was Donald Trump.
The context Bossie provides suggests interest in Walker at CPAC
needs to be disambiguated with genuine grassroots support. Ask
around and the kernel of Walkers popularity with the base clearly
stems from faith that he is indeed one of themhe stood up to
unions! He survived a vicious attack from far left!
Whats made that kernel start to blossom, however, is utter
bullshit: The idea that everything about him the base likes coexists with an ability to appeal beyond that base.
a recall election.

Scott Walker survived a recall election is, in the mind of CPAC


watchers, proof of both his conservatism and a claim to middle
ground. But you know what makes you a legitimately consensusbuilding politician in a purple state? It isnt surviving a recall
election; its not having to survive a recall election.
The only part of the middle that Walker occupies is geographic,
and even then, only from a national prospective. Alec McGinnis
has demonstrated that whatever looks purple about Walkers state
is better understood as black-and-white. Walker rose to the
governorship inside a rightwing bubbleelected by the white
suburbs of Milwaukee and coddled by sympathetic conservative
media. Its no wonder that he has struggled with so-called
gotcha questions andeven those tossed at him with feather-light
softness.
Walker is often compared to Tim Pawlenty, another Midwestern
governor of a purple state. Pawlenty,but better, people say. This
is not so much a low bar but a line on the floor. Walkers
proponents seem to think that Walkers ability to sustain interest
for a whole monthand that recalldistinguish him. Perhaps!
Walker also benefits from a conservative base that seems hungrier
to win than punish lapses in purity. Jeb Bush was the only
candidate at CPAC others actively campaigned againstand he
came in fifth. Theres your headline.
Still, their interest in Walker does not represent a true
capitulation to demographic and political realities. Walker is less
Pawlenty than Howard Dean, born aloft by a base that thought
they had one of their own who could pass as something else.
My theory? Walker can only survive as a leading candidate for as
long as the belief in his appeal does not confront actually having
to appeal to people. His incrementally advancing public speaking
abilities are no match for a base that will soon enough seek out a
standard bearer that can at least hold their attention.
Eagerness to see Walker is about kicking the tires. Scratching
around the CPAC conference for those who were excited about

VOTING for him proved more difficult. Interviews turned up lots


of people who thought Walker could make a great candidate and
very few ready to work on that campaign
Contrast that with the palpable excitement by the scrums of Rand,
Cruz and Carson supporterseven the handful of trucked-in
Jebites. Americans for Tax Reforms Grover Norquist, who called
Walker an amazing guy, seemed to credit Walkers popularity
here to the bases pundit-level savvy over enthusiasm. I knew
who he was and thought well of him but I thought that was
because Im smart and I watch this stuff more than most people,
he said. What I didnt realize was that people in Iowa knew, and
just needed to see him speak. They know what he did in
Wisconsin, he said, and that excites them. Its like a field
saturated with gasoline, and you need a spark.
So thanks to the confluence of national media attention, national
money, and a friend placed highly in the national party (Reince
Preibus), activists are prepped to fall in love with Walker. But a
national political campaign is not a wildfire so much as a series of
slow burns that need be tended and fed.
As Norquist put it, hedging his own praise: I dont know if his
showing is going to be a floor or a ceiling.

How Conservatives Are Readying Their


'Grassroots Army' For 2016
http://kbia.org/post/how-conservatives-are-readying-their-grassroots-army-2016
FEB 28, 2015
By EDITOR



VIEW SLIDESHOW 1 of 3

Dalia Wrochesinsky (left) and Robin Saidenberg check their phones during
the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
EMILY JAN NPR

This week's Conservative Political Action Conference, CPAC,


brought all the expected on and off the main stage in
Washington D.C. speeches by presidential hopefuls, debates
and the annual straw poll. But there was one big addition:
hundreds attended the conference's first-ever Activism Boot
Camp, which trained attendees in the best practices of do-ityourself campaigning.
The boot camp, powered by American Majority, a nonprofit
conservative organizing group, was split into two tracks: the
"Candidate, Campaign Manager & Campaign Operative" track
and the "Activist" track. It featured lessons on social media,
fundraising, organizing and data and technology.
Ned Ryun, American Majority founder and president, led a
session called "Why We'll Lose the White House in 2016 (and
Deserve to)" call it a talk for motivated pessimists. He
outlined exactly what President Obama did in his 2012
presidential campaign that was so successful and how
Republicans can emulate it. Namely, he said, President Obama
used the best data analysts and technicians from the for-profit
tech sector.
And, Ryun says, Obama mobilized thousands more volunteers
on the ground who were able to reach more voters in person than
Mitt Romney did.
The message at CPAC was clear: a win for Republicans in 2016
must be a team effort. Conservatives need their activists to be

active as individuals on social media and in their


communities and as a whole to serve as a well-trained
"grassroots army."
Sen. Ted Cruz enthusiastically made that call during his CPAC
speech: "To turn this country around it will not come from
Washington; it will come from the American people. And so I
will ask every one of you if you will join our grassroots army."
He then asked the audience to take our their cell phones and text
the word 'Constitution' to a number he repeated.
There's a lot the right can learn from the left's grassroots
campaign skills, said Charlie Kirk, founder of student-run
nonprofit Turning Point USA. For one, President Obama "built
his legions on the backs of millennials," he says.
Stephanie Sparkman, a Texas conservative who attended CPAC,
agrees. One thing Republicans can do better, she says, is
"flipping copy [on] what the Democrats have been so successful
doing. It's not that hard."
The key part of that Democratic script, leaders say, is connecting
with voters through in-person conversations, recruiting
committed volunteers and paid interns, and establishing offices
and executing targeted voter registration in battleground states
like Ohio, Iowa, North Carolina and Florida. And no more
knocking on doors with paper and pen, they advise use
tablets and smartphones instead. And, use social media to push
conservative ideas.
One major target of that social media effort: Facebook. Obama's
posts on the network were liked nearly twice as much as
Romney's in June 2012, according to a Pew Study. Hoping to

flip those numbers in 2016, one boot camp session taught


activists how to cheat the Facebook algorithm to get more
impressions on posts.
Firing Up Young Activists
Young conservatives also acknowledge they have a big role to
play in the 2016 effort, especially when it comes to social media
and on-the-ground engagement.
Many students attended CPAC and the boot camp in groups,
including sophomore Alex Carrey, who helped organize the trip
for 37 members of Miami University's College Republicans
chapter. He was most excited to see Gov. Scott Walker speak,
and most concerned about foreign policy and the turmoil in the
Middle East.
One edgy speech spoke directly to young people. An activist
who goes by Sabo, and calls himself a "Republican guerilla
artist," said some may think he was there to teach "out-of-touch
politicians how to connect with young voters." But, he spoke
directly to them talking about kicking former Sen. Wendy
Davis' Hollywood donors in the nuts, and calling actress
Gwyneth Paltrow "a tool" while photos of his "Obama drone"
posters and a tattooed Ted Cruz were displayed on the screens
behind him.
Sabo conceded that he knows street art is illegal saying, "I'm not
trying to drag you kids into the gutter any more than I'm trying
to drag you to church." But he says he's "trying to touch kids
who are disinterested politically."
Political commentator Tom Basile says in order to reach
millennial activists and voters, messaging must be visual and

personal. Student-focused Turning Point USA, for example, tries


to "unite people around principles" like free markets and limited
government with slogans like "Big Government Sucks."
And those messages are sticking with young activists who say
they are ready to change the tide in 2016.

Naghmeh Abedini: My American


Pastor Husband Imprisoned in Iran,
Religious Freedom Ignored as
Obama Admin Negotiates With Iran
BY NAPP NAZWORTH , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
March 1, 2015|9:49 am
http://www.christianpost.com/news/naghmeh-abedini-my-american-pastor-husband-imprisonedin-iran-religious-freedom-ignored-as-obama-admin-negotiates-with-iran-134904/

(PHOTO: THE CHRISTIAN POST)

Naghmeh Abedini, wife of Saeed Abedini, an American pastor imprisoned in Iran,


speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference, National Harbor,
Maryland, Feb. 28, 2015.

National Harbor, Md. Religious freedom is not being addressed in the


Obama administration's negotiations with Iran over its nuclear capability,
complained Naghmeh Abedini, an Iranian-American whose husband,
Saeed Abedini, is imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith.
"What kind of message are we sending to the world when we continue to
negotiate while Iran continues to abuse one of our own, an American
pastor?" she asked. "What is our message to the world on religious
freedom issues?"
Paraphrasing Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who died for his faith at
the hands of the Nazis, she added, "silence in the face of evil is evil in
itself."
Abedini was speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a
yearly gathering of conservatives from across the country, near
Washington, D.C.
"I'm proud to see my husband stand up for his faith in the face of evil," she
said. "As he stands up for his faith, how are we, as his country, standing up
for him? I'm heartbroken that we continue to negotiate with Iran as they are
holding one of our own, an American pastor, captive."
Even though her husband, who converted from Islam to Christianity,
suffered beatings and solitary confinement, he will not deny his faith,
Abedini explained.
"He stood up for his faith because he believes Jesus Christ is the son of
God and he came on this Earth and died on the cross and paid for our sin.
He learned that truth as a Muslim and discovered the love of God. That
transformed his life forever. He wanted to lay down his life for the orphans
and for the hopeless."
Even as he is persecuted for his faith in Iran, Abedini added that she and
her husband continue to be concerned about the decline of religious
freedom and devotion to God in their own country.
For many years, she said, Saeed Abedini has been "weeping about" and
"getting on his knees for hours" in prayer for revival in the United States.
"The Bible says, when we turn our eyes to God, when we repent, seek
God, He will heal our land," she continued. "The responsibility is on God to
heal our land, our responsibility is to seek Him. This great nation is blessed
because of our foundation in Jesus Christ. My prayer, and Saeed's prayer,

is that we would turn our eyes back on Jesus, that we repent of the ways
we turn to other things to fulfill us, and turn back our eyes to Jesus. I pray
for healing for our nation and that we would get back to our core value of

CPAC Panel: How conservatives win


in 2016
POSTED AT 9:31 AM ON MARCH 1, 2015
BY ED MORRISSEY
http://hotair.com/archives/2015/03/01/cpac-panel-how-conservatives-win-in-2016/

Yesterday at CPAC, I intended to look around for some interviews and


keep an eye on the speeches, but had nothing else on the agenda
until about halfway through the day. Katie Pavlich needed to leave
early, but had a commitment to do a panel on the main stage in the
later afternoon. Since my flight out was Sunday, I suggested that I
could fill in for her, and the CPAC organizers were kind enough to
allow us to swap. The panel turned out to be Tanned, Rested, and
Ready: Do Conservatives Have What It Takes to Win in 2016? It also
turned out to be the last event of CPAC other than the announcement
of the straw poll results, and ended up being one of thelongest events.
It was a fine topic, and my fellow panelists (Matt Schlapp of ACU, Ned
Ryun of American Majority, and Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party
Patriots) and I found the nearly-full crowd still fully engaged as is
obvious from the video. Curiously, the candidate that drew the
greatest response was Jeb Bush, and not in a good way; when we
mentioned Bush, boos and catcalls immediately erupted. Its not a
direct result of any misstep by Bush in his CPAC address, but more the
problem that Ive pointed out for over two months, ever since Bush got
in the race. Hes not relevant to todays conservative movement.
In the panel discussion, I said that the 2016 election will give
Republicans a choice in the primary between the Old Guard and the
New Guard a choice between a focus on the future or a nostalgia
tour of our past. And as Ted Cruz said earlier in the week, if voters

have to choose between Bush nostalgia and Clinton nostalgia, theyll


choose the latter every time:
Its a lengthy video as the panel ran well over its allotted time, but its
worth watching in its entirety. My colleagues on stage haveexcellent
insight into what the grassroots and RNC need to do to ensure
conservative success. Id like to emphasize one particular point I make
later, though, which is that conservatives and Republicans have to
sellhope rather than despair. We get too much of the latter as a
consequence of having to oppose the Obama administrations
incompetencies and abuses of power, but the 2016 election gives us an
opportunity to make the case for how conservative principles and
reduced government will produce vast improvement for Americans
over the next four years. If were tanned and rested (well,some of us
are), then we should be ready to give voters plenty of positive reasons
to put aside a third Barack Obama term in the guise of Hillary Clinton
and more to the point, sell voters on how the Republican candidate
will be a President focused on a better future.
Note: Im traveling today and may have my Sunday Reflection up
later, if possible.

'I'm not comparing' union


protestors and ISIS, Walker
says
By Rebecca Shabad - 03/01/15 09:32 AM EST
http://thehill.com/policy/defense/234238-walker-clarifies-isis-union-comment

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) in an interview that aired Sunday


clarified recent comments he made in which he compared his role
taking on unions to taking on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
if he were elected commander in chief.
On Fox News Sunday, the potential 2016 presidential contender was
asked whether theres a major difference between taking on protestors
and a terrorist group.
There is, absolutely, he said. I made that clearIm not comparing
those two entities. What I meant was its about leadership.
Walker explained that his record as Wisconsin governor demonstrates
that he has the leadership skills needed to defeat ISIS.
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If I were to run and if I were to win and be commander in chief, I
believe that kind of leadership is whats necessary to take on radical
Islamic terrorism, Walker said in the interview taped Friday.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference Thursday, Walker


said "If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the
world," Walker said in response to a question about international
terrorism.
On Fox, Walker was asked whether he would commit U.S. ground
troops to fight ISIS if he becomes president.
I believe we should not take any option off the table, Walker said.
Pressed further, Walker said he would need to listen to military
advisers, national security advisers and to bring together a global
coalition to make such a decision.
Walker came in second place in CPACs straw poll Sunday for the
2016 presidential election. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came in first place.

Presidential Hopefuls Court the GOP Base


Sunday, March 1, 2015 7:03
http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2015/03/presidential-hopefulscourt-the-gop-base-3115412.html
OXON HILL, Md.For conservative Republicans, the most wide-open
presidential contest in decades has created a wealth of contenders, a
field of would-be candidates eager to tout their credentials in pushing
the GOP to the political right.
Many of them began making their appeals Thursday at the annual
gathering of the Conservative Political Action Conference that has
become a landmark on the campaign calendar. But it wasnt clear if any
potential candidate was building particular momentum.
More obvious were signs of what the crowd, which tends to skew younger
than the overall GOP electorate, doesnt want: A centrist nominee, or
someone who backs Common Core national education standards or
liberalized immigration laws. For some, that disqualified Jeb Bush, a
likely candidate who is widely viewed as one of the front-runners.
Support for Common Core in particular is the kiss of death, said Donna
Hurlock, a physician from Alexandria, Va.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told the CPAC attendees he had been a
consistent opponent of abortion rights and regretted seeking federal
funds predicated on his states adoption of the Common Core standards.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has surged in opinion polls the past
month, sought to build his foreign-policy credentials. He likened staring
down union protesters in Madison to taking the fight to Islamic State
overseas. I want a commander-in-chief who will do everything in their
power to ensure that the threat of radical Islamic terrorism does not
wash up on American soil, he said. If I could take on 100,000
protesters, I could do the same across the world.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said had the scars to prove he had battled party
leaders to push Congress to the right. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly
Fiorina cast herself as the partys best alternative to Hillary Clinton. And

retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson introduced himself as a fighter against


political correctness.
CPAC has long been the bastion of the organized grass-roots, unfriendly to
centrist Republicans. Mr. Christie has in the past been at odds with the
sort of activists who populate CPAC; he wasnt invited in 2013.
But during his onstage interview with the conservative radio host Laura
Ingraham, Mr. Christie used attacks on the New York media to connect
with the crowd, seeking to create a common enemy.
Mr. Christie passed on several opportunities to attack Mr. Bush. Instead he
sold himself as a survivor of media attacks. Here is the bad news for
them, he said. Here I am, and I am still standing.
Mr. Bush is due to address CPAC Friday, along with Kentucky Sen. Rand
Paul and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
For Mr. Cruz, the event served as an opportunity to bolster the image he
has aimed to create as a beacon of pure conservatism. He attacked fellow
Republicans in Senate leadership for not fighting sufficiently against
President Barack Obama s immigration policies.
Mr. Cruz lambasted a plan by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.,
Ky.) to break the deadlock over Department of Homeland Security funding
by passing a funding bill without a provision blocking Mr. Obamas
executive action on immigration.
Unfortunately, the Republican leadership is cutting a deal with Harry
Reid and the Democrats to give in on executive amnesty, Mr. Cruz said,
using a term many in the GOP use for Mr. Obamas action. Why? Because
they are not listening to you.
Ms. Fiorina, who this week launched a political-action committee to back
her presidential aspiration, is the only nationally known woman in the
2016 GOP field. She drew the most distinct contrast with Mrs. Clinton,
the front-runner for the Democratic Partys nomination.
Ms. Fiorina said Mrs. Clinton must explain the foreign donations accepted
by her familys foundation and accused the former secretary of state of
spending more effort on social media than on helping people. Hillary
likes hashtags, she said. But she doesnt know what leadership means.
In the hallways of the National Harbor convention center here, Messrs.
Cruz and Paul each had supporters distributing buttons and stickers. But
no Republican had more foot soldiers Thursday than retired neurosurgeon
Ben Carson.
Before Mr. Carson delivered a toned-down version of his stump speech
arguing against political correctness, 150 volunteers and 13 paid staffers

roamed the convention center hallways passing out T-shirts, stickers and
blue retractable banners that read Run Ben Run.
Many in the audience said the party would be making a mistake if it
nominated a centrist or someone who backed the Common Core
education standards or liberalized immigration laws.
My worst nightmare is that a moderate Republican is elected and things
will continue without much change, said Paul Bolon, a federal worker
from Vienna, Va., who was leaning toward supporting either Mr. Walker or
Mr. Cruz. Isaac Mehlhaff, an 18-year-old student at the University of
Wisconsin, said he is for Mr. Walker, calling him a conservative capable of
uniting the base and attracting centrists.
He can explain our ideas in a common-sense way, said Mr. Mehlhaff,
who was at CPAC working for a group aiming to promote smaller
government ideals to young people.
Corrections & Amplifications:
A journalist holds images of possible Republican presidential candidates
Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in
National Harbor, Md. Due to incorrect information provided with a photo
from Bloomberg News, an earlier version of a photo caption with this
article incorrectly stated that the images were held by an attendee. Feb.
27, 2015.

The past nine CPAC straw


polls, in one graph
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2015/03/01/the-past-nine-cpac-straw-polls-inone-graph/?wprss=rss_politics

March 1, 2015
By Philip Bump

Perhaps you were curious how the results of the


Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll had
evolved over time but, sadly, aren't good at/didn't feel like
making graphs. Well, we were curious about that, and we
love graphs. So we made one.
This is the past nine years' worth of results, excluding
people who appeared only in one poll (and excluding
Donald Trump because, enough with him). It's ... messy!
But, then, we're plotting two very messy primaries.



The winners, in order: Mitt Romney, Romney, Romney,


Ron Paul, Romney, Rand Paul, Rand, Rand. Exciting!
What's interesting is how the margins have changed. In
presidential years, the results have been closer, but the
swings of support for different candidates have been wide.
The big gainer this year was Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.),
while Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) continued to slide. Chris
Christie, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry have all seen better
days.
However! This straw poll has literally no utility in figuring
out who the nominee will be or who will win the
presidency. It doesn't correlate to overall results. It really
doesn't do much of anything at all. It's a marketing
gimmick, and we bit.
But it is data. So: We graphed it.

Why Jeb Bush Wont Follow


the Herd on Taxes
https://news.yahoo.com/why-jeb-bush-won-t-130200346.html

By Maureen Mackey

March 1, 2015 8:00 AM

Jeb Bush and Grover Norquist are having a spat over taxes.

Norquist, the longtime anti-tax activist, said Friday at CPAC (the


Conservative Political Action Conference) that he expected the former
Florida governor and potential 2016 candidate to sign his anti-tax
pledge. Most Republicans, including virtually all the other GOP
presidential contenders during their careers, signed it.

The written pledge to never raise the taxes of Americans makes a


promise real, Norquist believes, although some who signed it in good
faith have later chided Norquist for locking them into an ironclad
commitment they never intended.

Jeb Bush, however, did not sign the Norquist pledge while governor
of Florida (1999-2007), and neither did his father and brother during
their political careers. And on Saturday Bushs spokesperson shook
things up a bit when she said Jeb Bush has no intention of signing
the Norquist pledge or any other tax pledge if he seeks the 2016 GOP
nomination.

If Gov. Bush decides to move forward, he will not sign any pledges
circulated by lobbying groups, Kristy M. Campbell told ABC News.

To which Norquist retorted on Twitter, Really? Jeb Bush thinks all


American taxpayers (to whom the pledge is written) are a lobbying
group?

This could be intra-party squabbling except for one sticking point.


President George H.W. Bush famously said, Read my lips. No new
taxes, at the Republican National Convention in 1988 when he
accepted the GOP nomination. That pronouncement publicly
cemented his platform and helped him win the White House.

But it later came back to haunt him.

In 1990 during budget negotiations with the Democratic-controlled


Congress to reduce the national deficit, Bush compromised as part of
the deal and ultimately broke his tax pledge, which was gleefully
exploited by opponents. Bush lost his reelection bid in 1992 to Bill
Clinton.

Jeb Bushs spokesperson said that during his years as Florida


governor he did not raise taxes. He cut them each year for a total of
over $19 billion in tax relief. He does not support raising taxes and
believes cutting taxes and reforming the tax code will lead to greater
economic growth and more prosperity for Americans, Campbell told
ABC News.

Norquist rejected that argument on Twitter: Those who refuse to


sign, raise taxes when pushed hard enough by spenders.

He added this general comment for good measure:Memo to


Politicians waing on taxes: A tax hike is a pay cut for the American
people. A tax cut is a pay hike for the American people.

Maybe Norquist, who has never been elected to any oce, is making
something of nothing. Maybe hes trying to revive his pledge, pu
himself up or grab a little free post-CPAC publicity. Maybe this is his
way of judging the crowded GOP field.

One thing is for sure: Norquist at CPAC took time during a media
interview to deliver some serious advice for the presumptive
candidate. If you really want to make progress toward 2016,
reintroduce yourself to Americans, Norquist advised Jeb. You have
name recognition, but it is both a positive and a negative. So tell
people where you want to go and what you want to do. Why? Youre
out of shape as a candidate, havent held elective oce in nearly 10
years and most Americans dont have a clue what you did in Florida
as governor.

Rand Paul wins 2015 CPAC straw


poll, but Scott Walker comes upbig
POSTED 8:05 AM, MARCH 1, 2015, BY CNN WIRE SERVICE, UPDATED AT 02:52PM,
MARCH 1, 2015
http://fox6now.com/2015/03/01/rand-paul-wins-2015-cpac-straw-poll-but-scott-walker-comesup-big/


Gov. Scott Walker

WASHINGTON (CNN) Sen. Rand Paul won the Conservative


Political Action Conference straw poll for the third year in a row on
Saturday, February 28th with 25.7% of the vote, event organizers
announced Saturday at the National Harbor, Maryland, Confab.
But the biggest winner of the straw poll was perhaps Wisconsin Gov.
Scott Walker, who catapulted from fifth last year to second place this

year and came in just four points behind Paul, with 21.4% support. He
delivered one of the conferences best-received speeches, laying out his
vision for the economy and drawing enthusiastic applause that
overshadowed a tone-deaf answer he gave on foreign policy.
The closely watched survey of conference attendees represents a small
but vocal faction of the Republican party, and the voters tend to be
younger and libertarian leaning as many college students attend the
gathering. Paul won in 2014 and 2013, and his father, a libertarian icon
and former Texas congressman Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. 2012
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney won that year.
The poll has added significance because its the last CPAC gathering
before the 2016 presidential primary season kicks off, thought it is
merely a preliminary survey of conservative sentiment, and its past
results have rarely been predictive of the GOPs eventual nominee.
While Mitt Romney won it in 2012, Gary Bauer, Rudy Giuliani and
Steve Forbes have all previously taken the top spot at the conference
before fizzling out in the presidential contest.
In this years poll, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz just barely edged retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson, taking 11.5 percent to Carsons 11.4 percent
support, largely unchanged from last year, when Cruz also took 11
percent and Carson took 9 percent support.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush drew 8 percent for a fifth-place finish, a
respectable showing that indicates conservatives are open to the
establishment pick, and willing to overlook his moderate views on
education and immigration reform. Indeed, last year Bush declined to
participate in the straw poll, and his aides downplayed his chances in
this years poll.
He delivered a strong performance during the conference, refusing to
waver from his support for a legal status for immigrants and even
handling a heckler with ease and good humor. But audible boos could be
heard from the CPAC crowd on Saturday when Bushs name was read.
The poll was perhaps more significant for the losers than the winners.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorums inability to break into the
top five despite emerging as the conservative favorite in the 2012

GOP presidential primary suggests he faces an even steeper challenge


in trying find a path to the nomination this year.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubios 4% support, putting him in seventh place,
also suggests he hasnt managed to heal some of the wounds he opened
up with conservatives with his role in passing the Senate immigration
reform bill in 2013.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal three of the GOPs more prominent
potential contenders, who have been making the clearest moves towards
a White House run came in 10th, 11th and 12th places, respectively.
That placed them behind real-estate mogul Donald Trump and former
HP CEO Carly Fiorina, two Republicans seen as much longer shots for
the nomination.
In this years survey, 3,007 participants voted, and nearly two-thirds,
63%, were women. As always, CPAC skewed young this year, with a
plurality of respondents, 47%, between 18 and 25 years old.
The CPAC straw poll offered a snapshot of conservative sentiment on
policy issues ranging from immigration reform to the Department of
Homeland Security funding fight currently raging on Capitol Hill.
Attendees were split on what to do with illegal immigrants currently in
the country, with 37% saying they should be deported; 27% saying they
should be encouraged to return home and apply for citizenship legally
and 18% saying they should be allowed to stay in the U.S. and apply for
citizenship.
More than three-fourths of attendees supported Congress using its
spending power to try to defund President Barack Obamas executive
action delaying deportations for millions of immigrants, despite the fact
that the measure cannot be defunded.
And a plurality, 41%, support marijuana legalization, a poll result that
drew loud cheers from the young crowd left in the final hour of the final
day of the conference.

Rand Paul wins CPAC straw poll again, but Scott


Walker comes on very strong ... - Christian Science
Monitor
http://790talknow.com/foxfeedspro/details/item_180229/rand-paul-wins-cpacstraw-poll-again-but-scott-walker-comes-on-very-strong-/
Posted 2015-03-01 13:08:43 - by Admin

For the third year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul (R) of Kentucky has won The Washington
Times/CPAC presidential preference straw poll taken at the annual Conservative
Political Action Conference. His young libertarian legions made that possible again, as
they did for Sen. Pauls father, former Rep. Ron Paul.
More interesting and likely more significant for the run-up to the 2016 presidential race
is how well Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker did as well as former Florida governor
Jeb Bushs relatively mediocre showing.
Gov. Walker surged from sixth place in 2014 to second place this year, tripling his
portion of the 3,007 votes spread among 17 candidates to 21.4 percent, not far behind
Pauls 25.7 percent. The margin between the two was even closer (less than one
percentage point) when first and second choices were tallied.
Mr. Bush, meanwhile, was back in fifth place, behind physician Ben Carson and Sen.
Ted Cruz as well as Paul and Walker.
When seen in light of this Crowdpac spectrum of a dozen potential GOP candidates, the
results could have been predictable especially given CPACs gathering of activists
from the most conservative wing of the Republican Party.
Least conservative here is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, with Bush judged to
be only slightly more conservative. Most conservative is Paul, with Cruz, Walker, and
Carson not far behind. (Crowdpac is a political technology start-up that bases its
rankings on an individuals voting record, campaign donations, and communications,
including speeches and social media.)
Still, Bush who met with boos over his positions on immigration reform and the
Common Core educations standards can claim to have met expectations at CPAC
without any major gaffes.
Falling away behind Bush in the straw poll were former Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen.
Marco Rubio. Gov. Christie won just under 3 percent of the vote and former Texas
governor Rick Perry took barely more than 1 percent.

What would any election be without charges of vote manipulation serious or not?
The Pauls Ron and son Rand have done well in recent years by encouraging their
libertarian followers to show up and of course vote. Nearly half those voting this year
were ages 18-25.
This year, Jeb Bush was accused of busing in supporters both to cheer his
presentation and to vote for him in the straw poll.
From Bushs right, Breitbart.com blogger Matthew Boyle makes this charge, citing
reports in the New York Times and Slate, then quotes the (anonymous) grumbling of
operatives from other campaigns.
It comes as no surprise that the Bushies would try to rig the CPAC straw poll. Jeb, like
his father and brother, is strongly disliked and distrusted by the Base, one said.
This shows one thing: Jeb Bushs base is D.C. insiders and lobbyists, an operative for
another potential GOP presidential rival said. He has to bus them everywhere he goes.
They are his only hope, that they can buy him this election every step of the way. True
conservatives need to stand up and fight back.
By definition and tradition, CPAC is the voice of the political right, the place where
presidential hopefuls come to establish their bona fides, the place where Mitt Romney
felt the need in 2012 to describe himself as having been the severely conservative
governor of liberal Massachusetts.
Most attendees are activists on the political right, and CPAC is a place to bond and
cheer before going off to do political battle with the left perhaps, more to the point,
with moderate, mainstream Republicans willing to compromise with Democrats in order
to get beyond gridlock and try to make government function even if that means
following the advice of the late, great California lawmaker Jesse Big Daddy Unruh:
Sometimes you have to rise above principle.
Red-meat speeches are part of the program, none more so this year than radio talk
show Mark Levins.
Congressional Republicans, he said, have no principles, no strategy and no guts.
"It's time for a new Republican Party, Mr. Levin said. "No more excuses. No more
whining. No more lying to get you elected. No more crony deals with the U.S. Chamber
of crony capitalism.
Don't mistake winning the CPAC straw poll as the first step toward winning the GOP's
presidential nomination, the National Journal reminds us. In CPAC's 41-year history,
only three poll winners on record have gone on to become Republican presidential
nominees: Ronald Reagan (who won twice), George W. Bush, and Mitt Romney.
Among others who have won CPACs straw poll: Gary Bauer, Rudy Giuliani and Steve
Forbes.

Chris Christie: Watercolor


Memories Of A Candidacy
That 'Peaked Too Soon'
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/01/chris-christie-2016_n_6772928.html
Posted: 03/01/2015 7:30 am EST Updated: 03/02/2015 12:59 am EST

By: Jason Linkins

As New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was still settling into his swivel
chair at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, his
interlocutor for the Q&A session, conservative talk-radio host Laura
Ingraham, began by asking about his "rough couple of months ... in
the media."
"They just want to kill ya," Christie said, "but I'm still standing."
Christie was, at the time, referring semi-explicitly to The New York
Times. "I don't subscribe, by the way," Christie said, to a smattering of
applause. Moments later, he had another quip for the Grey Lady. "I
went to my parish priest and said Im giving up The New York Times
for Lent, Christie joked. Bad news: He said you have to give up
something youll actually miss.

Pro tip for anyone who wants to demonstrate that the media isn't
living rent-free in your head: Maybe just pick one funny story about
how you gave up reading The New York Times.
But Ingraham couldn't have been more right about Christie's recent
woes. In the last two weeks especially, it seems as if the political press
has decided en masse to start spading the graveyard soil over
Christie's once-lush aspirations for higher office. There is varying
enthusiasm for the duty.
NBC News' Perry Bacon has discussed the "growing skepticism from
influential Republicans about his likely presidential run." Politico's
"caucus" of Iowa insiders couldn't find a place for Christie in their
deliberations. FiveThirtyEight's Harry Enten, after examining the ratio
of name recognition and net favorability among the potential GOP
candidates, offered up this 16-word coffin nail: "Chris Christie, the
Republican governor of New Jersey, is well known, but not
particularly well liked."
A charitable Peter Grier, writing for the Christian Science Monitor,
suggests that Christie merely "peaked too soon," and reckons that the
bad news is coming in heaps because the fix was in:
Do you think its a coincidence that The Washington Post and The
New York Times and Politico all had stories running down Christies
chances within days of one another? If so, weve got an exclusive deal
to sell you a section of the Garden State Parkway.
"Christie can still come back," insists Grier. Tell that to The
Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, who says all that's left of Christie is
to take "lessons" from his "collapse."
Perhaps the most telling description of Christie in this avalanche of
bad news comes from The Daily Beast's Olivia Nuzzi, who typically
noses out tri-state train wrecks with a sommelier's skill. Nuzzi catches
Christie at a D.C. hotel, tending over an audience of soused New
Jersey politicos who had just made their way to the nation's capital
aboard the "Walk To Washington's" booze train: "Things are less
existential at the Marriott," she writes, "where a disengaged Christie is
walking to the podium. He is thinner, but looks tired. His marsupial
face sags around his pronounced nose, making him take on an almost
Nixonian quality."

Onstage with Ingraham, Christie sought to recapture some of his


former brio. Presented with despairing poll numbers by Ingraham,
Christie summoned some steel: Is the election next week? (To which
Hot Air's Noah Rothman responded: "If that sounds a lot like 'the only
poll that matters is the one taken on Election Day,' e.g. the universal
declaration of a losing candidacy, it does to me as well.")
Indeed, it is not. And yet, this week, there's the knowledge that some
opportunities have been lost. Christie took a swipe at Jeb Bush on the
CPAC stage, quipping, "If the elites in Washington who make back
room deals decide who the next president is going to be, then he's
definitely going to be the frontrunner." Maybe so, but the
uncomfortable truth is that Jeb has, by now, won over many of the
elites that Christie was used to hosting in back rooms of his own. As
has Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
And that story -- the one in which Christie's decline is twinned with
Walker's rise -- has deep roots. Back in February, Politico's Anna
Palmer described "Republican strategists" as being of the opinion that
"no one [was] in a better position to get a boost from the Christie
Bridgegate scandal than Walker." But even as Bridgegate failed to
become the albatross that so many Christie critics promised, Walker
kept on shining in comparatively favorable light. Flash-forward to Feb.
26, and you find The Fiscal Times' Liz Peek training her eyes far from
Fort Lee. "Unfortunately for Christie, New Jerseys finances are once
again in crisis, and it could get ugly," writes Peek, in a piece titled
"Scott Walker Stealing Christie's Playbook."
The Walker-Christie dynamic was explored further this week by
Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman, but given the fact that
Christie either hasn't subscribed to The New York Times in a long time
or just gave up reading for Lent, there's a good chance he missed it.
But the comparison is irresistable. Christie versus Walker. How do you
want to play it? Compare the governor with a sling of YouTube clips of
him yelling at public sector employees to the governor who bested
them in a series of political brawls? Place the guy who wanted a
blowout win over nobody Barbara Buono next to the guy who
zealously relishes the opportunity to brag about surviving close calls?
You can't help but see Christie as the guy who went through much less,
and has come out looking the more tired of the two.

Walker, of course, arrived at CPAC on the last gusts of balloon juice


vented over Rudy Giuliani's infamous contention that President
Barack Obama doesn't "love America." As Giuliani was sharing that
particular moment with Walker, the Wisconsin governor faced a
fusillade of inquiry as to whether he shared those sentiments. Walker
merely shrugged and took advantage in a way that put fresh veneer on
his status as a conservative folk-hero -- by using the contretemps as
one more instance of being targeted unfairly by the liberal media.
Meanwhile, here's Chris Christie, at CPAC, begging Laura Ingraham to
be allowed to take a piece of that narrative for himself.

Conservatives take turns slamming


Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and
even Jeb Bush
http://examiner-enterprise.com/news/nation/conservatives-take-turns-slammingbarack-obama-hillary-clinton-and-even-jeb-bush
PostedMarch 1, 2015 - 7:15am.

By David Lightman
McClatchy Washington Bureau
(TNS)
OXON HILL, Md. Republican potential presidential candidates seemed torn
Thursday: Would they get more accolades from conservatives by bashing
President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Jeb Bush?
It was hard to say whom the thousands of activists attending the first full day of
the Conservative Political Action Conference disliked most.
They cheered when Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, offered a terse description of
Obama: Lawless imperator, or emperor.
They loved former business executive Carly Fiorinas demand: Mrs. Clinton,
name an accomplishment.
And they applauded energetically when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said
Bush would be the favorite of elites in Washington who make backroom deals.
The conference, which will continue Friday with appearances by Bush and other
possible 2016 candidates, is the biggest test so far of how they fare with this
crucial Republican constituency. Bush faces the most scrutiny, and some activists
Thursday were considering walking out during his appearance.
Six potential candidates appeared Thursday, and their views were largely similar.
They wanted the Affordable Care Act repealed, a get-tougher policy with illegal

immigration and stronger American leadership in the world, especially against


terrorism.
We need a president who will stand up and say we will take the fight to them
and not wait till they take the fight to American soil, said Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker, who got the days biggest crowds and biggest cheers.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal went further, calling Obama disqualified and
incapable of being commander-in-chief.
The differences involved tone and style. Christie, never a big favorite of this bloc,
engaged in a 20-minute question and answer session with radio talk-show host
Laura Ingraham. He started slowly, drawing only occasional, polite applause as
he bashed Washington elites and The New York Times.
Christie has been sinking in recent Republican presidential polls. He dismissed
them, asking sarcastically, Is the election next week?
One constant criticism, Ingraham said, is that hes hotheaded.
The word they miss is passion, Christie fired back. Sometimes people need to
be told to sit down and shut up.
That seemed to rouse the crowd. He jabbed gently at Bush, a supporter of the
Common Core educational standards. Christie, once a backer himself, said he
now had implementation regrets because parents and teachers seemed to
have less say on education policy.
Fiorina aimed her firepower at Clinton. Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled the
globe, said the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive officer. Unlike Mrs.
Clinton, I know that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.
She challenged Clinton to please explain why we should accept that the millions
and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign
governments dont represent a conflict of interest.
The Clintons foundation has come under fire for accepting contributions from
foreign governments.
The audience loved it, and Fiorina proved an energetic warmup for Cruz, a
favorite of this crowd. He walked around the stage as he spoke, almost shouting
at times.
We could have had Hillary here, he said, but we couldnt find a foreign nation
to foot the bill.
Cruz urged rebuilding the Reagan coalition of the 1980s, when the former
California governor challenged Washington and its ways.
The Texas senator went down a list of issues immigration, the debt ceiling,
efforts against the Islamic State and so on and, without naming names, urged
everyone to make sure their candidates are true to conservative principles.
Walker was the days biggest attraction. He drew a standing-room-only audience,
and at one point some audience members began chanting, Run, Scott, run. His

message was that Washington is washed up, and that he could streamline the
federal government in the same way he manages Wisconsin.
Jindal also ripped into Washington, blasting congressional leaders, including
Republicans, for not doing enough to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
We need to be principled conservative Republicans, he said. This election
wasnt about getting a nicer office for Mitch McConnell. McConnell has not
moved to a new office since becoming majority leader last month.
Offering a gentler tone was retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who appears to
have the largest army of supporters at the conference. He talked about
implementing new policies such as home schooling or health care accounts.
He didnt want to rehash conservative disdain for Obama. That would be too
depressing, Carson said.

Jeb Bushs Success at CPAC:


More Than Convincing
https://news.yahoo.com/jeb-bush-success-cpac-more-113700357.html

By Rob Garver

March 1, 2015 6:30 AM

If things never get any worse for Jeb Bush than they did at the
Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, hes in pretty
good shape to make a strong run at the GOP presidential nomination
in 2016.

Bush won only 8.3 percent of the vote in the events presidential
straw poll. That put him in fifth place in an event that has become the
annual high water mark for Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, whose strong
libertarian views play well at the event. But Bush was never expected
to do particularly well at CPAC, so a top-five showing wasnt a major
setback.

The former Florida governor was not exactly on friendly ground when
he appeared at the annual gathering of conservatives held at National
Harbor, on the banks of the Potomac outside Washington. For a dayand-a-half before his speech, for example, conservative radio host
Laura Ingraham used her appearances to bash his immigration policy.

Playing to the crowd, she even suggested that he run on a joint ticket
with Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Before his appearance, the Washington Times published a story


about the plans of an untold number of attendees to walk out on
Bush. By Friday morning, the influential Drudge Reports splash page
had a photo of Bush with a single word: Walkout?

Sure enough, there were boos and shouts of Common Core when
Bush took the stage accompanied by Fox News host Sean Hannity,
but they were quickly drowned out by his supporters. (The shouts of
Common Core were a reference to Bushs support for the
controversial multi-state public school curriculum.)

The former Florida governor hadnt been on stage long when a large
Gadsden flag, the Dont Tread on Me emblem of the Tea Party,
appeared above the crowd to Bushs left, and began moving slowly
across the ballroom. Carried by Georgia resident William Temple, a
regular at Tea Party events in Revolutionary War garb, the flag
attracted dozens of followers, who streamed out of the auditorium as
Hannity began talking with Bush

Two things were telling. First, while the participants were noisy they
began chanting No more Bushes! outside the ballroom there
werent really very many of them. Second, a large percentage of
those who left wore bright red shirts with the Stand with Rand
message of those who back Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, also a GOP
presidential contender.

Paul, who has won the previous two CPAC straw polls, is a favorite at
CPAC. His libertarian views are attractive to a crowd that skews much
younger than the general electorate.

In the hallway outside the ballroom, the marchers were feeling


triumphant. Temple held court, surrounded by a gaggle of cameras,
while young Rand Paul supporters were eager to share their views.

Were a little sick of people trying to pander to us, said Armand


Cortellesso, a 20-something graduate of Johnson & Wales University.
He had traveled to CPAC from Rhode Island.

I think theyre trying to use government to expand their interests,


which usually involve expanding military operations around the world,
with contracts for developers, contractors, and security firms and of
course, with oil companies.

Another Paul supporter, college student Christopher Nosko of


Charlotte, N.C., said, We dont need any more Bushes in the White
House. We dont need any more establishment Republicans in the
White House.

Back in the ballroom, Bush was articulating his positions on a number


of controversial issues, among them immigration reform. Loud boos
were quickly drowned out by the cheering of Bush supporters after
Hannity mentioned he supported the plan to give drivers licenses to
illegal immigrants and to allow children of illegals to get in-state
tuition at Floridas state-run universities.

Bush stood by both positions. He also drew applause for a strong call
to defend the border and reduce the number of people eligible to
come to the U.S. because they have a relative here already.

He reiterated a call for some current undocumented immigrants to be


oered a path to legal permanent residence. I know there is some
disagreement here. But the simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11
million people. We should give them a path to legal status, where they
work, where they dont receive government benefits, they dont break
the law, they learn English, and they make a contribution to our
society.

Bush addressed the potential of a partial shutdown of Homeland


Security because of a fight over defunding President Obamas
executive orders on immigration. He said, It makes no sense to me
that were not funding control of our border, which is the whole
argument. Im missing something.

By the time Hannity steered Bush to his record as governor of Florida,


which included tax cuts, education reforms, spending cuts and more,
it felt as though Bush had mostly won the conservative audience
over.

Bushs record as governor was likely news to many attendees who


were barely out of kindergarten when Bush was first elected in 1998.
Theyd only barely finished middle school when he finished his
second and final term in 2007.

It may be ironic that a man aiming to be the third consecutive


member of his family to occupy the White House should need to
introduce himself to voters. But Jeb Bush hasnt held elective oce in
eight years, and is more associated with the presidencies of his

father, George H.W. Bush, and crucially his brother, George W. Bush,
than with his own record.

He took steps to change that on Friday and judging by the cheers,


made a great deal of progress. Outside, in the hallway, Temple, his
Gadsden flag, and the gaggle of Rand Paul supporters were all long
gone.

Scott Walker Wows


Conservatives as Early
Surge Holds
Sunday, 01 Mar 2015 07:05 AM
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/scott-walker-wows-conservatives-surge/
2015/03/01/id/627526/

Image Before Text End Scott Walker's early surge in the jockeying for
the 2016 Republican presidential nomination reflects the belief by
conservatives that he is truly one of their own and has a track record to
show for it.
But the Wisconsin governor's rapid rise to the top of national polls of
Republicans is coming at a cost. His recent verbal stumbles have made
him look ill-prepared for the national spotlight and exposed his
inexperience on the campaign trail.
Walker's star appeal was on display at the Conservative Political
Action Conference, a four-day gathering of conservative activists
outside Washington that concluded on Saturday.
In a surprising show of strength, he came in second in the CPAC straw
poll with 21.4 percent of the votes from the 3,007 people who cast
ballots. He was behind only Kentucky Senator Rand Paul at 25.7
percent.
When Walker attended a CPAC coffee reception on Friday a day after
addressing the conclave, the crowd spilled out of the conference room
and into the hallway, with people straining to hear what he had to say.
Walker may be benefiting as the potential alternative for conservatives
to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, whose moderate record has

made him the party establishment candidate but who has alarmed
many grassroots activists on the right.
But his sudden fame is also a result of having governed from the right
and lived to tell about it. The CPAC poll found 39 percent of
respondents felt the most important quality for a Republican
presidential candidate to possess is a solid conservative record, a
requirement that Walker appears to meet.
"I think he's a man of principle and he has staked out tough positions
and stood by them," CPAC attendee Mike Potaski, 66, of Uxbridge,
Mass., said of Walker.
Walker, 47, burst on the scene in January at the Iowa Freedom
Summit, a gathering of conservatives in Des Moines, where activists
reveled in his record of having defeated a 2012 recall effort over his
challenge to the collective bargaining process for most public unions
in Wisconsin. He is soon to sign right-to-work legislation that would
ban private sector workers from being required to join a union or pay
dues.
With the sudden fame has come increased scrutiny. He stumbled over
a question about evolution on a visit to London. And when asked by
The Washington Post last week whether he believed President Barack
Obama was a Christian, he hedged in his response, even though
Obama has frequently spoken of his Christian faith.
Then when he addressed CPAC on Thursday, Walker said his battle
with labor had given him the mettle needed to take on militant groups
like Islamic State.
"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same in the rest of
the world," he said.
The remark drew criticism from Democrats who felt he was comparing
pro-union protesters to Islamic State militants.
The missteps barely caused a ripple at CPAC, where conservatives
were looking for a savior who can rally the Republican Party against
the expected Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the 2016 White
House race.
"Is he going to be 'Reaganesque' in his speeches and perfect in every
one? No. But it's okay," said Dave Bossie, president of Citizens United,
an influential conservative group. "That's what makes him a little
different from some of these guys who are a little more polished.
People connect to him."

But veteran campaign watchers see the potential for trouble ahead for
Walker.
"If Walker responds to such questions in a way that satisfies or
reassures fair-minded voters, he passes the test and continues to move
up. If he doesn't, doubts will increase, and, if it happens often enough,
he'll fall back into the field," political analyst Charlie Cook wrote in
National Journal.

Walker making splash,


but finding presidential
politics ups the scrutiny

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker responds to a question from board member Frayda
Levin after he spoke at the winter meeting of the free market Club for Growth
winter economic conference Saturday. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

By Steve Peoples and Thomas Beaumont THE ASSOCIATED PRESS


Sunday, March 1, 2015

http://www.telegram.com/article/20150301/NEWS/
150309999/1116
OXON HILL, Md. Scott Walker may have won three elections in the past four
years, but he's still finding his way in presidential politics.

The Wisconsin governor made a splash last month in first-to-vote


Iowa, wowing Republicans and vaulting to the top of several still-waytoo-early polls.
Then came "punts" on questions about evolution, President Barack
Obama's love of country and the president's religion. Last week Walker
compared his political fight against union protesters to America's
actual fight against Islamic State militants in the Middle East.
"Take your worst day in any state capital around the country, and
every day is like that on a presidential campaign," said Republican
strategist Kevin Madden, a senior adviser on Mitt Romney's 2012
presidential campaign.
"The media scrutiny is brutal, the parsing of every quote never ends
and all of your opponents whether they're from the other party or
even inside your own has staff solely dedicated to ruining every one
of your events or interviews," Madden said.
While Walker has yet to formally announce a White House bid, other
Republicans likely to run already view him as a threat in the unofficial
race to emerge as the strongest alternative to former Florida Gov. Jeb
Bush, the early favorite of the party's establishment. Walker's newly
formed political action committee opened a national headquarters in
Madison, Wisconsin, a few days ago, and several key aides are slated
to move to town this week.
Walker characterized last week's episodes as media driven.
"I'm not going to take that bait," the 47-year-old Walker said Saturday
about his recent media encounters, while speaking to the Club for
Growth's annual winter meeting in Florida. "I'm going to talk about
things that everyday Americans want to talk about."
Walker was extending his weekend of presidential politicking to the
influential anti-tax group meeting, where some of his 2016
competitors were also present.
Walker's candidacy will be predicated in large part on his actions as
Wisconsin's governor: stripping the collective bargaining rights of state

workers during his first term, winning a recall election and then reelection despite the determined efforts of organized labor and
Democrats to boot him from office.
But while those victories put Walker in an intense spotlight, it doesn't
compete with what he'll face in the year leading to the Republican
primaries. And his early steps as a top-tier presidential contender have
been marked by stumbles.
The latest came on opening day of the Conservative Political Action
Conference in Washington, during an energetic speech that seemed to
quash concerns that Walker is too bland for presidential politics.
Having again shed his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves, as he did
during his January appearance in Iowa, he was nearing the end of his
appearance when he was asked about the Islamic State group.
"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the
world," he said.
The remark was quickly followed by a clarification from Walker's stillnew staff, who said he didn't compare the protesters, who spent weeks
camped out in the state Capitol in Madison in 2011, to the militants.
But the criticism of those who believe he did just that lingered into the
next day. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said Walker's "judgment
is impaired."
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is contemplating a second bid for
the Republican presidential nomination, piled on publicly.
"You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading
individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil,"
Perry said on MSNBC. "To try to make the relationship between them
and the unions is inappropriate."
During a trip to London earlier in the month, Walker refused to say
whether he believed in evolution. A week later, he said he didn't know
whether President Barack Obama loves America or is a Christian.
Democrats are already using those comments to raise money.

Frayda Levin, a Club for Growth board member, told Walker during an
open question-and-answer session at the Florida meeting that she had
heard him described as "not prepared to speak on foreign policy."
Walker said he would appoint qualified advisers if elected, but said
national security crises were akin to domestic quandries, describing
former President Ronald Reagan's decision to fire 11,000 striking air
traffic controllers in 1981.
"The most important element in foreign policy and national security is
leadership," he said.

Paul outpolls Walker for bragging rights at


CPAC - Philly.com
http://790talknow.com/foxfeedspro/details/item_180199/paul-outpolls-walker-forbragging-rights-at-cpac-philly-com/
Posted 2015-03-01 08:06:59
by Admin

WASHINGTON - Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) took the top spot for the third year in a row at
Saturday's Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, edging out Wisconsin's
Republican governor Scott Walker in the last CPAC presidential preference contest
before primary voting begins.
Paul had been the prohibitive favorite heading into this year's balloting, which featured
17 candidates. More than 3,000 attendees voted, a 20 percent increase over 2014's
turnout. Nearly half identified as between the ages of 18 and 25.
The conference draws many libertarian-leaning college students whose views and
priorities differ from the Republican Party at large. But it is nonetheless seen as a
barometer of certain GOP conservative activists' early leanings.
Respondents said economic issues, such as jobs and taxes, were most important to
them in deciding whom to support as the Republican nominee for president in 2016.
googleon: all Hundreds of Paul fans had streamed in from across the country for the
three-day event in National Harbor, Md., but his percentage of the vote dropped, to 25.7
percent, from 31 percent in 2014.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush had made a major effort to do well, sponsoring
buses to ferry in supporters and paying entry fees for some who came - a push that
brought him a fifth-place showing.
Walker, who drew a significant level of grass-roots excitement at the conference with a
strong performance in his Friday address, drew 21.4 percent of the vote, a significant
improvement on his fifth-place showing last year. Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), who
finished second to Paul in 2014, drew 11.5 percent of the vote, roughly the same as he
had in 2014.
Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson came in fourth place.
New Jersey's Gov. Christie came in 10th place, with 2.8 percent of the vote.

A candidate's popularity at CPAC hasn't been a great predictor of success with the
larger GOP electorate, as attendees tend to have a stronger libertarian bent than the
Republican majority.
But prognostication isn't really the point of CPAC.
The event - which is sponsored by think tanks, conservative websites, and influential
interest groups such as the National Rifle Association - is more about theater, a forum
for budding presidential candidates to road-test ideas. And in that regard, this year's
gathering did not disappoint.
Some of the excitement had to do with the fact that organizers changed the format.
Rather than just deliver speeches, candidates were expected to take questions from the
audience, a twist that helped some candidates but hurt others.
Walker made headlines for appearing to draw a parallel between his fight in 2011
against public-sector unions and the challenge the United States faces in combating the
Islamic State, the militant group in Iraq and Syria that has taken responsibility for
beheadings, burnings, and other savagery.
A spokeswoman for the governor later clarified that he "was in no way comparing any
American citizen" to the militants. She continued, "What the governor was saying was
when faced with adversity, he chose strength and leadership."
Bush, who has a wide support base in the Republican establishment but who is disliked
by some conservatives because of his stances on immigration and Common Core
education standards, stepped onto the stage to boos from the audience. But he
managed to put in what many observers called a solid performance by touting his
conservative record on issues such as affirmative action and taxes.

Rand Paul wins straw poll in boost to 2016


presidential prospects - Daily News & Analysis
http://790talknow.com/foxfeedspro/details/item_180194/rand-paul-wins-strawpoll-in-boost-to-2016-presidential-prospects-daily-new/
Posted 2015-03-01 08:23:52
by Admin

!
Reuters
Senator Rand Paul won a straw poll of conservative activists on Saturday,
giving his potential bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 a
boost, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came in second in a
surprising show of strength. Whether the victory for Paul will have longlasting benefit is unclear since his libertarian views may not have broad
appeal in the Republican Party.

Paul, a 52-year-old Kentucky Republican, outdistanced most other potential candidates


by taking 25.7% of the vote at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a gathering
of activists on Washington's outskirts of Washington. "The constitutional conservatives
of our party have spoken in a loud and clear voice today," Paul said in a statement. " I
plan on doing my part and I hope you will join me as I continue to make the GOP a
bigger, better and bolder party."
Walker's second-place showing at 21.4% represented a significant show of support
among conservatives and suggested his potential candidacy will have real staying
power as he seeks to remain among the front-runners for the nomination. Texas
Senator Ted Cruz came in third with 11.5% of a total of 3,007 who registered votes at
the CPAC gathering. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, an establishment candidate
who is amassing millions of dollars for a campaign should he decide to run, took fifth
place with 8.3% of the vote, a not-unexpected showing given conservative opposition to
some of his moderate stances.
Boos rang out in the audience when Bush's tally was announced. The Bush camp made
clear that he did not compete in the straw poll, which is a survey of people attending the
conference. The straw poll concluded the four-day conference at a hotel along the
Potomac River, where conservatives heard from more than a dozen potential
contenders for the chance to represent the Republican Party in the November 2016
election. Walker, 47, was clearly among the most popular at the event. But Paul had a
strong showing from activists, and his victory in the straw poll marked the third year in a
row in which he came out on top, dominating the event just as his father, former Texas
Congressman Ron Paul, had.
The CPAC straw poll, however, does not necessarily identify the next Republican
presidential nominee. Mitt Romney won the straw poll in 2012 and went on to win the
nomination. But the 2008 nominee, John McCain did not win the poll. The poll also
asked respondents about other issues, with 41% saying they would like to legalize
marijuana.

Chris Christie in political


free fall as approval rating
plummets


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pauses as he addresses delegates at the California Republican Party Spring 2015 Organizing Convention in
Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015, Christie told the crowd of about 500 lunch guests that the party should not rush into choosing a 2016
presidential nominee because of pressure from pundits and donors.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/4/chris-christie-political-free-fall-approvalrating/?page=all
By David Sherfinski Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christies approval rating has hit 35 percent in
the Garden State in a new Fairleigh Dickinson poll - the lowest rating
the PublicMind poll has measured since he took office.
Fifty-one percent disapprove of Mr. Christies performance - also the
highest disapproval thats been recorded in the poll fromPublicMind, the
universitys survey research center.
Mr. Christie waved off a recent spate of bad press at last weeks
Conservative Political Action Conference, saying he doesnt listen to
elite folks in the media who try to kill him every day.
And here is the bad news for them: here I am, and I am still standing,
he said.
Krista Jenkins, professor of political science and director of PublicMind,
the universitys survey research center, said a central question on
everyones mind is how Mr. Christie can run for the Republican
presidential nomination with voters back home largely unhappy with
what theyre seeing.
If hes defined by his record, these numbers will make an already
difficult journey harder, she said. If, however, hes able to define
himself to Republicans nationally through his accomplishments, like
tenure and pension reform among teachers, and winning reelection with
support from key demographics as a Republican in a Democratic state,
the next year could be better for the governor.
The survey of 790 registered voters was conducted from Feb. 23-March
1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Rick Perry on the move in full presidential


swing
http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2015/03/rick-perry-on-the-move-in-full-presidential-swing.html/

By: Christy Hoppe

Published: March 4, 2015 8:34 am


Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks with area business leaders, Wednesday Feb. 11, 2015, in
Bedford, N.H.

Untethered from Texas and official duties, former Gov. Rick Perry has
embarked on a full schedule of rallies, events and dining for dollars.

While Perry does not put out a schedule of his events, his appearances
can be pieced together from numerous media reports and the
announcements of event sponsors.
So in case you were wondering what the former governor was up to, the
answer is a lot of travel to key states.
Two weeks ago, it was a four-day swing through donor-rich California,
speaking with local conservative groups and meeting with his RickPAC
board regarding finances.
Last week was Washington, D.C., where he joined the parade of GOP
presidential hopefuls giving speeches at the Conservative Political
Action Conference. He also attended a private dinner hosted by the U.S.
Global Leadership Coalition.
This week, Perry was the speaker before about 50 deep-pocketed donors
at a dinner at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. He also has named
Austin Barbour, a well-known political operative and nephew of former
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, to head a super PAC to begin serious
money raising.
Next week, Perry goes to South Carolina, the first southern primary state
to speak to potential supporters at a private home and appear at a
Greenville Chamber of Commerce event.
In April, Perry takes aim at the National Rifle Associations annual
meeting in Nashville, Tenn., then up to Nashua, New Hampshire for the
First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit and then to Iowa for
a Faith and Freedom Coalition event.
While Perry has maintained since last year that he wouldnt be making
an announcement about his candidacy until May or June, he has widely
hinted that the decision has been made. And his travel schedule certainly
shows it.
His message at most of these events has stressed his executive
experience as Texas governor, the strength of the Texas economy under
his stewardship, that hes the only GOP candidate with military
credentials and that hes much better versed and prepared candidate than
in 2012.

Regardless, with the wide-open and crowded field, Perry has yet to break
through according to polls. But there is still a year and a lot of miles
ahead.

Is Scott Walker Ready for Prime Time?


http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3264031/posts
Posted on March 4, 2015 at 9:29:28 AM EST
By: Jonah Goldberg

Prepared or not, the Wisconsin governor is now the 2016 front-runner.


Any chef will tell you that you need great ingredients to pull off a great
meal. Less discussed but just as true: You need to cook the ingredients in
the right order.
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has nearly all of the right ingredients
to win the GOP nomination. He is popular among both antiestablishment activists and the big donors of the establishment. He has
working-class appeal (desperately needed for the GOP), and hes battletested in his home state a state many believe the Republicans could
finally pick off in a presidential election.
The question is whether his timing is off. In countless discussions I had
at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference as well as
among people Ive talked to who attended the Club for Growth meeting
in Florida last weekend the concern for friends, and the hope for foes,
is that Walker is peaking too soon.
That the Wisconsin governor is not ready for prime time is rapidly
becoming conventional wisdom. At an off-the-record yet widely
reported donor event in New York City (the one where Rudy Giuliani
accused the president of not loving America), Walker avoided concrete
or specific answers on nearly every major issue not squarely in his
Wisconsin comfort zone.
At the Club for Growth event, the moderator interviewing Walker told
him point-blank that the feedback from that N.Y. event was that you
were not prepared to speak about foreign policy.

On Saturday, the Washington Examiners Byron York asked Walker


where he came down on the fight over funding for the Department of
Homeland Security and about the larger question of immigration policy.
Walker replied with a gale of word fog.
Walkers defenders, and they are legion, will tell you that he never
planned on being a top-tier candidate this soon. Its a sign of his broad
appeal, the grassroots hostility to a Jeb Bush coronation, and the liberal
medias fear of Walkers potential that hes being put under the
microscope so early.
Walker said as much to York, We had no idea that after that Iowa
summit there would be that kind of acceleration to the race. But were
here, and were not going to complain about it.
All of that is undoubtedly true to one extent or another, and Walkers
reply is a good one. But so what? Hes still facing the challenge of being
the front-runner before he is ready.
Its a bigger problem than it might seem. Walker planned on defining
himself to the country on his timetable. With that plan in ashes, hes
facing a liberal news corps and a Republican field of competitors hellbent on defining Walker if he wont. From the media, that means lots of
questions about President Obamas religion, Walkers views on
evolution, and other ridiculous gaffe hunts.
Walker has been punting his word on such questions, but also on
more serious topics. That is a fine tactic when few are paying attention.
Other candidates have been punting on various issues too, but no one
knows or cares because they arent the front-runner. When youre in the
spotlight, punting stops being a way to avoid giving an answer and
instead it becomes the answer.
Walker is in danger of being the guy known for not having a good or
any answer to tough questions. Thats particularly poisonous for him,
given that he is running on leadership and truth-telling.
Of course, its not all downside. Being unfairly targeted by the media
also has the effect of boosting your name and, more important, causing
the rank and file to rally to your defense. For example, New York Times
columnist Gail Collins attacked Walker for higher-education cuts that

occurred before Walker took office. And the hard Left is frequently
concocting attacks they then have to retract.
But Walker cannot afford to become merely a culture-war avatar of
grassroots resentment against the lamestream media. Thats the route
to a radio show, not the White House. His path to the nomination still
hinges on being the most acceptable alternative to establishment frontrunner Jeb Bush and to anti-establishment heroes Rand Paul and Ted
Cruz. If he cant thread that needle, Senator Marco Rubio will be happy
and well-prepared to step in.

Is Scott Walker ready for


2016 spotlight?
http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/234538-is-scott-walker-ready-for-the-2016spotlight
03/04/15 06:00 AM EST
By Cameron Joseph

Scott Walker might be soaring in the polls, but some Republicans are
afraid the glare of the newfound spotlight is exposing worrisome
cracks.
The potential presidential candidate has made a number of missteps
in recent weeks, dodging some questions and giving answers to
others that have left some Republicans wondering about his depth of
knowledge on a range of topics he hasnt dealt with as governor of
Wisconsin.
While strategists say none of his mistakes have done long-term
damage, many are prodding him to hit the books, before he makes
one that does.
He has to tighten up his message and bolster his foreign policy
credentials quickly, said GOP strategist Ron Bonjean. Nows the time
you can learn from some of those stumbles.
Walker got thunderous applause for his Thursday speech at the
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and claimed second

place in the presidential straw poll. But Democrats pounced on him for
comparing his fight against unions to his ability to combat Islamic
terrorists, and his campaign was forced to clarify the remarks.
At a Club for Growth meeting with top GOP donors just days later in
Florida, he faced criticism for lacking details in some of his policy
answers.
The next day, his comment in a Fox News interview that his view has
changed on allowing illegal immigrants a path to legalization opened
him up to charges of flip-flopping on the topic.
The rapid series of missteps come on the heels of other headaches
for Walker aides. The governor faced criticism including from some
of his allies for refusing to answer questions about President
Obamas patriotism and religion, and for saying hed punt when
asked if he believed in evolution.
The Club for Growth meeting in particular highlighted a number of
potential concerns for Walker going forward.
His comment that the most significant national security decision in
his lifetime was when President Ronald Reagan broke the air traffic
controllers strike left some in the crowd scratching their heads, though
his point was that Reagan had shown the mettle hed need to take on
the USSR.
And his vague answer on a question about Wall Street regulations led
to an incredulous follow-up from his interviewer, a backer of Sen.
Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who asked if he was just not that aware of whats
happening with Dodd-Frank, according to those in the room.
National Review columnist Jonah Goldberg wrote that, after both the
Club for Growth event and CPAC, hed heard from Republicans that
the Wisconsin governor is peaking too soon.
Walker is in danger of being the guy known for not having a good
or any answer to tough questions. Thats particularly poisonous for
him, given that he is running on leadership and truth-telling, wrote
Goldberg.

Club for Growth President David McIntosh said Walker was warmly
received at the event, which also featured a number of other likely
presidential contenders, and said that many of the groups heavyhitting donors gave him a pass for now to catch up on some
policy details.
But McIntosh admitted hed had several people tell me they wanted
more detail from the governor.
He acknowledged he was still getting up to speed on some issues,
and here are his principles, McIntosh said. My sense in talking to his
team is he has plans to do some pretty intensive economic briefings
with experts to take his issues from state to federal issues.
Walkers team paints the stumbles as minor missteps from a
candidate who has been thrust into the spotlight, pointing out that the
intense attention hes receiving is because he has rapidly emerged as
the front-runner.
The reason hes getting this kind of scrutiny now is because of his
success, said one Walker adviser.
Those close to Walker privately admit that no one expected him to
shoot to the top of the polls so quickly following a hugely popular
speech in Iowa last month, and theyve been scrambling to catch up
ever since. Hes still hiring top staffers, and the hope is that, once the
campaign is fully operational, the problems will go away.
They didnt even bring on the foreign affairs policy person until this
week. The domestic person was three weeks ago. So what you do is
you live off the substance that is there in the candidate [for now], one
Walker ally said late last week.
But strategists say Walker doesnt need only more policy details and a
more robust staff, but also to learn message discipline.
Some of his off-the-cuff remarks hint that he needs to be more careful
in his answers, such as his declaration during CPAC: If I can take on
100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world, and his
refusal to say whether he believes Obama is a Christian the week
before.

Its when hes unscripted and not thinking about answers that its
been a problem, said GOP pollster Kellyanne Conway.
Walkers team seems to recognize he needs to cram on policy. He
spent hours during a Washington trip in late February meeting with
foreign policy thought leaders. Hes also met with some former
secretaries of State in recent weeks to bone up on international
affairs.
Walker hasnt made any fatal mistakes and has plenty of time to
rebound before voting begins in January 2016.
But Republican strategists reiterate he needs to tighten up his
message now or risk a tumble from the top of the polls.
People are giving him a break because of how fast he was put into
this situation, but hes going to have to cram on [foreign policy] and a
myriad of other policy issues now that hes close to the front of the
pack. said Bonjean. If Gov. Walker is making these mistakes this
time next year I dont think people will be very forgiving.

Outpouring of Support for Israel at


CPAC 2015
http://www.jewishvoiceny.com/index.php?
option=com_content&view=article&id=10278:outpouring-of-support-for-israel-at-cpac-2015
WEDNESDAY, 04 MARCH 2015 09:24
BY JV STAFF

Dr. Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon who has become a figure in conservative politics in the last few years

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

Sen Ted Cruz (R-TX) delivers an impassioned address to those assembled for the CPAC conference in
Washington

Texas Governor Rick Perry

David Ben Hooren (left), publisher of The Jewish Voice, and former GOP presidential candidate Rick
Santorum at the CPAC conference in Washington, DC.

United States conservatives gathering at their annual conference Saturday, February


28, elected Republican Senator Rand Paul as their top pick for president, for the third
year in a row. Israel was a reoccurring topic for many of the speakers. All present
showed support for the country and responded positively every time Israel was
mentioned.
Dr. Rand Paul is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. Elected in 2010, he has
proven to be an outspoken champion for constitutional liberties and fiscal responsibility,
and a warrior against government overreach. Among his first legislative proposals:
cutting $500 billion in federal spending and a plan to balance the federal budget in just
five years. He has since introduced similar bills with growing support. In the Senate,
Rand serves on the Foreign Relations, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions,
Homeland Security and Government Affairs, and Small Business Committees.
A graduate of Duke University School of Medicine, Rand was a practicing
ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Ky., for 17 years.
In 1995, he founded the Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, an organization that
provides eye exams and surgery to needy families and individuals. Today, even as a
U.S. Senator, he continues to provide pro-bono eye surgery to Kentuckians in need of
care.
Rand has been a vocal advocate for term limits, a balanced-budget amendment, a
Read the Bills Act, and an audit of the Federal Reserve. He has gained prominence for
his independent positions on many political issues.
In the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, Wisconsin governor Scott
Walker came in a close second. This is a reflection of the Walkers increasing popularity
among the partys most ardent Tea Party conservatives ahead of the 2016 elections.
The libertarian-leaning Paul, son of former congressman and presidential candidate
Ron Paul, led CPACs field of 17 hopefuls with 25.7 percent, compared to Walkers 21.4
percent.
Scott Walker is the only Republican to ever serve as Milwaukee County Executive. After
the special election in 2002, the voters honored him with full terms in 2004 and 2008. In
his last election, Scott received nearly 60% of the vote in a county that President
Obama carried with about two-thirds of the vote.
On January 3, 2011, Scott Walker was inaugurated as Wisconsins 45th Governor.
Since that day, he has proposed bold reforms that have eliminated the states $3.6
billion budget deficit without raising taxes and gave school districts and local
governments the tools to balance their budgets without the massive layoffs seen in
other states. To date, these profound changes have saved Wisconsin taxpayers some
$3 billion.
Governor Walker has also cut taxes by $2 billion for individuals, families, farmers,
seniors, and small businesses since taking office. In fact, after skyrocketing by 27
percent in the decade before Governor Walker took office, property taxes on a medianvalued home will actually be lower in 2014 than they were in 2010.
Governor Walker set an aggressive goal to help Wisconsins private sector create
250,000 jobs and he stands by it. Were not there yet, but were on our way. After years
of record job loss, Wisconsin has created over 100,000 jobs during the Walker
administration.

In fact, more jobs were created in Scott Walkers first three years than in former
Governor Jim Doyles first three years, more jobs were created in Scotts first three
years than in Doyles first four years, more jobs were created in Scotts first three years
than in all eight years of Jim Doyles time as Governor. Nearly twice as many jobs were
created during Scott Walkers first three years as were created during the three years
Mary Burke worked for Governor Doyle.
In the annual survey of job creators from the states chamber of commerce, 95% said
Wisconsin is headed in the right direction (compared to just 10% who said the same
thing in 2010). Chief Executive Magazines ranking of the best state for business moved
Wisconsin up from 41st in 2010 to 14th in 2014.
Governor Walkers number one priority is helping the people of this state create jobs.
He will keep that focus so that everyone who wants a job, can find a job.
On June 5, 2012, Scott Walker became the first governor in American history to win a
recall election. He won the election with more votes and by a higher percentage than he
had won in 2010. Since then, he has continued to push bold reforms that keep power in
the hands of the hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin.
In third, was Senator Ted Cruz with 11.5 percent; slightly ahead of Dr. Ben Carson, a
neurosurgeon who has emerged as a powerful conservative voice in recent years, who
received 11.4 percent.
In 2012, Ted Cruz was elected as the 34th U.S. Senator from Texas. A passionate
fighter for limited government, economic growth, and the Constitution, Ted won a
decisive victory in both the Republican primary and the general election, despite having
never before been elected to office.
Propelled by tens of thousands of grassroots activists across Texas, Teds election has
been described by the Washington Post as the biggest upset of 2012 . . . a true
grassroots victory against very long odds.
National Review has described Ted as a great Reaganite hope, columnist George Will
has described him as as good as it gets, and the National Federation of Independent
Business characterized his election as critical to the small-business owners in [Texas,
and], also to protecting free enterprise across America.
Teds calling to public service is inspired largely by his first-hand observation of the
pursuit of freedom and opportunity in America. Teds mother was born in Delaware to an
Irish and Italian working-class family; she became the first in her family to go to college,
graduated from Rice University with a degree in mathematics, and became a pioneering
computer programmer in the 1950s.
In recent years, Cruz fragmented his own party when he helped push the U.S.
government into shutdown over budget fights, and for opposing Republican leadership
on a series of issues.
Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, the Republicans forth pick, is an emeritus professor of
neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery, and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of
Medicine, and he has directed pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Childrens
Center for over 39 years. He became the inaugural recipient of a professorship
dedicated in his name in May, 2008. He is now the Emeritus Benjamin S. Carson, Sr.,
M.D. and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N. Professor of Pediatric Neurosurgery, having retired on
June 30, 2013.

Some career highlights include the first separation of craniopagus (Siamese) twins
joined at the back of the head in 1987, the first completely successful separation of
type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa, and the first successful
placement of an intrauterine shunt for a hydrocephalic twin. Although he has been
involved in many newsworthy operations, he feels that every case is noteworthy
deserving of maximum attention. He is interested in all aspects of pediatric
neurosurgery and has a special interest in trigeminal neuralgia (severe facial pain) in
adults.
Dr. Carson holds more than 60 honorary doctorate degrees. He is a member of the
Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished
Americans, and many other prestigious organizations. He sits on the board of directors
of numerous organizations, including Kellogg Company, Costco Wholesale Corporation,
the Academy of Achievement, and is an Emeritus Fellow of the Yale Corporation, the
governing body of Yale University. He was appointed in 2004 by President George W.
Bush to serve on the Presidents Council on Bioethics. He is a highly regarded
motivational speaker who has addressed various audiences from school systems and
civic groups to corporations and the Presidents National Prayer Breakfast.
Former governor Jeb Bush came in fifth. Jeb Bush is the 43rd governor of the State of
Florida, serving from 1999 through 2007. He was the third Republican elected to the
states highest office and the first Republican in the states history to be reelected.
Governor Bush remained true to his conservative principles throughout his two terms in
office cutting nearly $20 billion in taxes, vetoing more than $2.3 billion in earmarks
and reducing the state government workforce by more than 13,000. His limited
government approach helped unleash one of the most robust and dynamic economies
in the nation, creating 1.4 million net new jobs and improving the states credit ratings,
including achieving the first ever triple-A bond rating for Florida.
During his two terms, Governor Bush championed major reform of government, in areas
ranging from health care and environmental protection to civil service and tax reform.
His top priority was the overhaul of the states failing education system. Under Governor
Bushs leadership, Florida established a bold accountability system in public schools
and created the most ambitious school choice programs in the nation. Today, Florida
remains a national leader in education and continues to enjoy rising student
achievement.
After leaving office in 2007, Jeb returned to the private sector, where he reestablished
his career as a successful businessman, entrepreneur, and investor.
He has also maintained his passion for improving the quality of education for students
by founding and serving as the chairman of one of the nations leading conservative
education reform organizations, the Foundation for Excellence in Education. The 501c3
non-profit works with state and education leaders, teachers, and parents to develop and
implement reforms that lead to rising student achievement.
But the likely center-right candidate received a mixed reception, including heckles, when
he courted CPACs conservative attendees Friday.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whose approval ratings have suffered a dramatic
slide in recent months, placed a dismal 10th with 2.8 percent.
A total of 3,007 votes were cast between Wednesday and Friday at CPAC, according to
a tally by The Washington Times, which helped organize the poll.

The vote is watched closely, not necessarily as a prediction of exactly who will emerge
as the Republican presidential nominee, but as a barometer of how the partys core
conservatives see those who might end up on the ballot.

GOPs net neutrality point


man says fight is not over
In a Meerkat interview, Sen. John Thune says the
emergence of future Meerkats is threatened by net
neutrality
https://news.yahoo.com/gop-s-net-neutrality-point-man-says-fight-is-notover-222832704.html
March 3, 2015 6:28 PM

By Jon Ward

View photo

In this June 20, 2014 file photo, Sen. John Thune, of South Dakota, speaks at the
South Dakota Republican Convention in Rapid City, S.D. Midwestern lawmakers and
farmers are shifting the attention of a locomotive and railcar shortage problem to
Washington this week with legislation, a committee hearing and meetings with decision
makers. Thune, the ranking Republican on the Senate Committee on Commerce,
Science, and Transportation, said Monday, Sept. 8, 2014, he and committee chairman
Sen. John Rockefeller, a Democrat from West Virginia, are introducing legislation to
give the national Surface Transportation Board more eciency and authority, in hopes
of easing the problem. (AP Photo/Toby Brusseau)

WASHINGTON The Republican Partys point man in Congress on


net neutrality admitted Tuesday that the party has been slow to act on
the issue, but insisted that Congress must be the body setting the
rules for how the Internet will be regulated instead of the FCC.

Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the third-ranking Senate Republican and


the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, spoke with Yahoo
News in an interview conducted over Meerkat, a messaging app that
broadcasts live video in real time to Twitter.

Thune said he intends to make a push for Congress to pass


legislation while courts litigate the rules passed by the Federal
Communications Commission last week subjecting the Internet to
regulation under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act. Behemoth
Internet service providers Verizon and Comcast are expected to bring
lawsuits against the new rules.

The FCC is going to end up in court, probably for years. And theres
going to be a lot of legal uncertainty associated with this. So
Congress can create clear rules of the road, Thune said. We think
that to achieve what people want in the end which is an open
Internet the way to do that is to have Congress step in and
establish clear rules of the road rather than rely on a statute thats
literally 80 years old."

Thune said his proposed legislation would prevent a lot of the things
that people are concerned about in particular the intentional
slowing of online trac, the blocking of lawful content by ISPs, or a
requirement to pay higher fees for faster speeds without giving
this incredible amount of power and authority to the FCC, which
comes with a lot of downside risk for consumers out there.

In other words, Thune does not believe there is no need to regulate


the Internet, but believes that the proper referees for disputes over
Internet resources should be Congress and the court system, rather
than political appointees and appointees at a federal agency.

Thune speculated that innovative new products like Meerkat might


not see the light of day if the FCC remains the place where the
Internet is regulated.

Allowing the FCC to regulate net neutrality has some serious


implications for access to the Internet, cost, investment in the Internet
and its future, technologies like [Meerkat], cutting-edge type things
where in the past weve had a light touch regulatory regime thats
really encouraged and enabled innovation, Thune said. The regime
that would be implemented under the FCC could shut it down, he
said.

Still, Republicans are late to this debate. Proponents of having the


FCC regulate the Web have been making their case for years, while
the GOP has largely ignored the issue. Even last week, days after the
FCC had passed its new rules by a 3-to-2 vote, Republican
presidential candidates at the Conservative Political Action
Conference mentioned net neutrality only once, and that was in
response to a question during a question and answer session.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, when asked how he would respond as


president to the FCCs new rules, said, On that or any other
principle, to me the guiding principle should be freedom. He
muttered an aside about having the government out of the way and
then moved on. He said nothing of substance that indicated he knew
anything more than the average American about the issue.

And that has been the problem write large for the GOP, which Thune
acknowledged.

That may be true, he said when asked if the GOP has been caught
o guard by the movement on net neutrality.

We didnt realize they were headed down this path until November of
last year when the president made it clear that he wanted the Internet
basically to be treated as a public utility, he said. There are a lot of
people across the country who are just now starting to pay closer
attention to this.

Thune also said that Republicans have failed to communicate


eectively with younger Americans, who care more about net
neutrality than their elders. Were using social media platforms
through the committee, but I dont think theres really been an attempt
to broadcast what the implications of this decision by the FCC mean
for people under 30, he said.

Scott Walker may have been


biggest winner at conservative
conference
http://www.bradenton.com/2015/03/03/5668204_scott-walker-may-have-beenbiggest.html?rh=1
BY DAVID LIGHTMAN
March 3, 2015

!
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker waves while speaking during the Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Thirteen
potential candidates each got 20 minutes before the Conservative Political Action
Conference. Walker got the loudest applause.
CLIFF OWEN AP

Scott Walker may have won the Conservative Political Action Conference
after all.

David Catanese of U.S. News & World Report writes that according to a
measurement of media impact by GOP consulting firm The Gage Group
and social analytics company General Sentiment, the Wisconsin governor
had the events biggest media value share. He got a 25 percent share,
followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bushs 23 percent.
The data were compiled from combing Twitter, Facebook, news websites,
blogs, comment sections and forum postings for candidate names and
associated hashtags and keywords, and assigning a value to all of the
mentions on a scale determined by sentiment.
Heres how it works, according to Catanese:
Each media mention is assigned a dollar value, and the more positive the
coverage, the higher dollar value it receives. The idea, says GOP targeter
Alex Gage, is to measure a brands reach and place a hard number on the
overall level of exposure a candidate gets over a given time frame. In
shorthand, he refers to it as a candidates kindling effect.
CPAC took a straw poll, and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., won. Walker was
second, and Bush was fifth.
But Catanese wrote that any buzz around Paul was trumped by Walker
and even Bush.

Ben Carson Takes Big


Step Toward
Presidential Bid
In busy news cycle, Hopkins' neurosurgeon
among first to formally explore 2016 campaign.
By Ron Cassie. Posted on March 03, 2015
http://www.baltimoremagazine.net/2015/3/3/ben-carson-takes-big-steptoward-presidential-bid


Huffington Post

BLOG SECTION SPONSORSHIPS Travel Style & Shopping


It's been a hectic 24 hours.
Monday morning, Sen. Barbara Mikulski surprised the political world by
announcing that she would not seek reelection in 2016, immediately
setting off a day of wild speculation about potential contenders to fill her
shoes.
Then, this morning, the presumed Democratic frontrunner for her seat,
former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, issued a statement praising
Mikulski's record, but declaring that he would not be a candidate for her
office. He has been, after all, making the rounds in Iowa, New
Hampshire, and South Carolinaearly presidential primary states
where, it is presumed, he will eventually throw his hat in the ring.
Which brings us to renowned former Johns Hopkins' neurosurgeon Dr.
Ben Carson. The 63-year-old conservative Republican launched a formal
presidential exploratory committee Tuesdaya key move that allows
him to start raising money now for a campaign should he decide to enter
the race. He made the announcement via video on his new website,
which highlights his compelling personal story, groundbreaking career in
pediatric neurosurgery, and philanthropy.
In his nearly 4-minute video announcement, Carson, who has never held
elected office, says, "All of us are frustrated with the way Washington
has let us down. Career politicians simply don't understand the
disappointment, anger, and pain in real America."
He says that if he receives enough encouragement and support over the
next few months, he'll make for a run for president.
Although Carson has at times created controversy with his public
remarks, such as expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage and
Obamacare, as well as his creationist views, he remains popular among
conservatives. At the recent, annual Conservative Political Action
Conference in National Harbor, MD, Carson finished fourth in the straw
poll with 11.4 percent of the vote, after Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul with
25.7 percent, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 21.4 percent, and Texas
Sen. Ted Cruz with 11.5 percent.

It's worth noting that Carson outpolled former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush,
who finished with 8.3 percent of the tally, as well as Florida Sen. Marco
Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Texas Gov. Rick Perryall
of whom received less than 4 percent of the vote. Carson, who has often
appeared on Fox News as a political commentator, discussed his
potential bid on Meet the Press this past weekend. At this point, there
seems little to indicate why he wouldn't run.
In fact, Carson, who talks often about his religious faith, may play
particularly well in the Iowa Republican caucus and South Carolina
primary if former Gov. Mike Huckabee does not enter the race.
O'Malley, on the other hand, has struggled to make much of dent in
national Democratic presidential polls, and recently tried to distance
himself from Hillary Clinton.
Time will tell if Carson or O'Malley will be able to gain traction in their
potential primary campaign efforts, but what does seem clear is that
neither man lacks ambition for the job.

Ben Carson files to run for


president in 2016
BY TIM CAVANAUGH | MARCH 3, 2015 | 2:31 PM

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ben-carson-files-to-run-for-presidentin-2016/article/2560981

In this Feb. 26, 2015 file photo, Ben Carson speaks in National Harbor, Md. (AP Photo/Carolyn

Ben Carson is ocially running for president.

The retired director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital


announced Tuesday that he had filed paperwork with the Federal Elections
Commission to run in what is expected to be a crowded 2016 presidential
race.

Carson, a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is


celebrated for a successful 1987 operation that separated twins joined at
the head. He has also written a series of inspirational books detailing his
views on patriotism and citizenship, as well as an emotional memoir of his
hardscrabble youth and rise to the top of the medical profession.

But it was his unexpected criticisms of President Obama at a 2013 prayer


breakfast that thrust him to the center of American politics. While he has
no prior political experience and his policy comments have occasionally

raised eyebrows among the media and the GOP establishment, the brain
surgeon has attracted a zealous and active following. Carson supporters
were highly visible and numerous at last week's Conservative Political
Action Conference near Washington, D.C.

The list of prominent Republicans hoping to run next year is exceedingly


long, and includes senators, governors, former politicians of various
stripes and at least one business leader former Hewlett-Packard CEO
Carly Fiorina. But Carson is the first of the likely candidates to file
paperwork.

He's not the first GOP candidate at all, however. That distinction belongs
to perennial candidate Jack Fellure of Hurricane, West Virginia, who filed
his intention to run immediately after the 2012 presidential election but no
longer has the GOP field to himself.

The text of Carson's email to supporters follows:

Dear American,
Yesterday, I filed with the Federal Election Commission the necessary
paperwork to formally consider a run for President of the United States in
2016.
Let me tell you why I'm taking this step today, and how you can help.
For many years, I have traveled the country closely studying our politics. I
believe we are on the verge of robbing our children of the American Dream.
We are racking up a virtually insurmountable debt, stifling our economic
potential and placing our children's future at risk.
At home and abroad, we are silencing honest debate about our challenges,
our differences and our culture, all in the name of political correctness.
We are ceding more and more power to Washington bureaucrats at the
expense of our personal liberty, ignoring the wisdom of our founders who
risked their lives to form "a more perfect union."
Too many of our children are trapped in failing schools and find themselves
thrust into a deadly cycle of crime, dependence and despair.
Over the course of thousands of operations as the head of pediatric
neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I have spent most of my adult life
caring for very ill children. As co-founder of the non-profit Carson Scholars
Fund, my wife Candy and I have spent years helping children find their own
inspiration to reach their full, God-given potential.
In many ways, that is the duty of my generation to do everything in our
power to give the next generation the opportunity to achieve greatness.
I believe that with hard work and determined leadership, greatness is within
our grasp. America was founded on the self-evident truth that we as a nation
have the right to think big and pursue happiness.

It is this core principle that allowed me, a young boy, raised in Detroit by a
single, illiterate but determined mother, to overcome poverty, bad grades, and
low self-esteem to become one of the world's leading physicians.
I've decided to explore a potential run for the office of President because I
believe my values, life experience, and willingness to speak the truth and seek
solutions, prepares me well to lead our nation toward more prosperity,
security, and freedom for every American.
As I travel around the country to listen, learn and determine whether or not
this is a race I can win, your financial support during the next two months will
be extremely helpful.
To make a secure contribution to my exploratory committee now, please go
here.
I look forward to working with you, and the rest of our fellow citizens to restore
the promise of America.
Thank you, and God Bless America.
Sincerely,
Ben Carson

Ben Carson: It's time for my


Iowa fans to join me
Jennifer Jacobs, jejacobs@dmreg.com 5:51 p.m. CST March 3, 2015

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2015/03/03/
ben-carson-time-iowa-fans-join/24322869/

!
(Photo: Charlie Litchfield/The Register)

Ben Carson says it's time for all of his Iowa supporters to come into the fold
with him.
Passionate conservatives have been trying to draft Carson, a retired
pediatric brain surgeon and book author, into the 2016 presidential race. It's
looking more likely that they will get their way.
Carson has formally created a presidential exploratory committee called
Carson America, he said Tuesday morning.
"Now we want the people who have been running around with our signs to
officially join our organization," Carson told The Des Moines Register in a
telephone interview. "They're in Iowa. They're in every state."
Various groups have been doing legwork for Carson.
The National Draft Ben Carson For President Committee has at least 300
Iowans, including one person in all 99 counties, promoting him to fellow
voters. Hundreds more are on a mailing list, organizers said.
An issue advocacy group Carson was associated with called American
Legacy Center, which can accept unlimited donations without disclosing its
donors, hired Iowa tea party activist Ryan Rhodes in mid-January to
organize in Iowa. And Carson has been raising money through USA First, a
political action committee with a "Join us!" option on its website.
On Tuesday, Carson told the Register that his new website,
www.bencarson.com/explore/, is a place where volunteers can unite.
"We wanted to make it really easy for people," he said. "We're ready to
invite those people in to help."
Dallas County Republican Christi Taylor, the Iowa co-chair of National Draft
Ben Carson movement, told the Register. "My reaction is: 'It's about time
exclamation point!' To me this means we have successfully encouraged a
highly qualified and brilliant man to consider running for our highest office in
our country."
Taylor said she and her husband, Rob, a state legislator, will be the Iowa
co-chairs for Carson's exploratory committee. Rhodes will officially join
Team Carson in the next month, he said.
Carson told the Register he will announce in two months whether or not
he's running for president. "That will really depend on how much support
we get," he said.
Carson leapt into national headlines when he took some jabs at President
Barack Obama at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast - as Obama sat
nearby. Since then, Carson has delivered several speeches in Iowa,
stressing how he overcame poverty in his youth in Detroit to become head
of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

Carson has polled well with Iowa GOP activists. And last weekend, national
conservatives at the CPAC conference put him in fourth place in their straw
poll of favorite presidential contenders.
"If you're pro-life, you're 'anti-woman,'" he said in his CPAC remarks. "If
you're pro-traditional family, you're a 'homophobe.' If you're white, and you
oppose a progressive black person, you're 'racist.' If you're black and you
oppose a progressive agenda, you're 'crazy.' And if you're black and you're
pro-life and you're pro-traditional family, they don't even know what to call
you. You end up on some kind of watch list for extremists."

Ben Carson investigates


running for 2016 Republican
presidential nomination
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ben-carson-mulls-running-president-2016article-1.2135846

Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 1:42 PM


BY CELESTE KATZ

!
CAROLYN KASTER/AP

Ben Carson arrives to speak at the Conservative Political Action


Conference on Thursday.

The doctor is in.


Baltimore pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson announced Tuesday that
he has filed paperwork to launch an exploratory committee to investigate a
run for the 2016 Republican nomination for President.
The surgeon, who railed against Obamacare at the Conservative Political
Action Conference last week and placed fourth in the activists' straw poll
also fired up a new website, bencarson.com, to promote his potential
candidacy.
"In every aspect of Dr. Carson's life, he has exemplified true leadership.
Overcoming dire poverty in his youth to become head of pediatric
neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Carson is uniquely situated to
understand the needs and hopes of all Americans," Terry Giles, Carson's
longtime friend and "prospective campaign manager," said in a release.
Carson, 63, has attracted Tea Party loyalists with his message about
lessening government dependency and slashing the national debt.

The Draft Ben Carson


Movement Is Having a
Great Day
On Tuesday, the retired neurosurgeon became the first
Republican to officially jump into the presidential pool.
BY EMMA ROLLER
March 3, 2015
http://www.nationaljournal.com/twenty-sixteen/the-draft-bencarson-movement-is-having-a-great-day-20150303
Dr. Ben Carson is scrubbing in.
In a video released Tuesday, Carsona retired neurosurgeon
who has quickly become the most prominent black leader in
the Republican Partyannounced the launch of his
exploratory committee to run for president.
"If I run for president, it will be because I know what it's like to grow up in a
tough neighborhood and feel marginalized. If I run, it will be because I know
firsthand that quality education is the ladder to climb out of poverty and
dependence," Carson said in the video. "While I don't claim to have all the
answers to every question that plagues us, I do have a passion to reach

out, listen, and build commonsense solutions to the problems that are
holding us back as a nation."
He is the first Republican considering a 2016 bid to set up an exploratory
committee. In November, Jim Webb became the first (and, so far, only)
prominent Democrat to do so.
insert catalyst after 5 paragraphs
While no other prominent Republican has formed an exploratory committee
yet, nearly all of the politicians seriously considering a presidential run have
either established vaguely named leadership PACs or tax-exempt 527
groups to start fundraising on a national scale. Carson himself has a
leadership PAC, USA First, which he launched last fall.
It's worth noting that the presence of Carson's exploratory committee,
Carson America, does not mean Carson is now an official presidential
candidateonly that he is "exploring" that possibility. Carson has said he
will officially decide whether he will run for president by May 1.
As Ron Elving wrote in 2006, the announcement of the exploratory
committee is a long-held political tradition for garnering media attention and
raising money without having to fully disclose the source of donations:
Candidates use an exploratory committee as not only a transitional phase
for their bookkeeping but as an extra claim on media attention. Some of the
most skillful handlers like to leak word that their candidate is testing the
waters, then leak word that he or she is thinking about forming an
exploratory committee. Additional "news" can be made when the same
candidate actually forms such a committee and registers with the Federal
Election Commission. Yet a fourth round of attention may be generated
when the word exploratory gets dropped from the committee filing.
Carson's announcement comes shortly after his speech to the
Conservative Political Action Conference, where he offered his take on
Obamacare, Common Core, and Israel.
At the end of the day on Friday, the National Draft Ben Carson for
President Committeewhich changed its name on Monday to the "2016
Committee" to get ahead of campaign finance lawshosted a cocktail
reception for Carson supporters, offering swag such as Carson '16 bumper
stickers and Carson-themed calendars. The crowd of supporters skewed
older, with a handful of college students scattered throughout. As attendees

noshed on cheese and crackers, beef kabobs, and mini empanadas, the
leaders of the Draft Carson group trumpeted their accomplishments.
John Philip Sousa IV, the straight-talking chairman of the Draft Carson
groupand great-grandson of the famous march composersaid his team
has raised $15 million so far. "Eat your heart out, Hillary!" Sousa said on
Friday. Tami Cali, a senior adviser to the draft committee, said the group
was "more than certain" that Carson would soon announce an exploratory
committee. She was right.
That trumpeting will surely continue this week. Vernon Robinson, the draft
committee's campaign director, said his group's volunteers were essential
to convincing Carson to take this step, and noted that this is the first
successful conservative draft since the effort to draft Barry Goldwater in
1964.
"The 30,000 volunteers who played a central role in changing Dr. and Mrs.
Carson's mind about running for president are the real heroes," Robinson
told National Journalon Tuesday. "Nobody creates an exploratory
committee now just to explore. If they create an exploratory committee,
they're running."
Robinson partially credited the success of the draft campaign to Carson's
book tour last summer.
"Thousands of our volunteers showed up at that book tour with Run Ben
Run banners," Robinson said. "I think that the volunteers who rallied to the
cause of drafting Ben Carson get almost all the credit for changing his
mind."
Whether or not the draft committee had a significant impact on Carson's
decision, it's clear that his camp intends to take his candidacy seriously.
Carson's team recently hired three Republican operatives who worked on
Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, and the hires keep rolling in.
However, Carson will still have considerable hurdles to overcome, including
the inevitable claims of his inexperience working in politics.
Liberals may scoff at the idea of Carson as a viable candidate, but as Fred
Barnes recently wrote in The Weekly Standard, Carson should not be so
easily dismissed. He has a compelling personal storyperhaps more so
than any Republican he's up againsthe's staffing up with veteran GOP
operatives, and he has proven himself to be a formidable fundraiser. A
Gallup Pollin December found that Carson is the sixth-most-admired man
in the U.S., in between George W. Bush and Stephen Hawking.

Robinson said his group is "ecstatic" about the news, and he said it will
help his group draft not only Carson, but also draft a message to push with
media outlets and the group's 500,000 email subscribers.
"There's a Message of the Week meeting in 12 minutes," Robinson said.
"Sometimes we don't have a Message of the Week, and we have to punt.
At least we won't have to worry about that today."

Ben Carson forms presidential


exploratory committee
Published March 03, 2015

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/03/03/carson-forms-presidential-exploratorycommittee/



March 8, 2014: Possible GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson at the Conservative Political
Action Conference, in Oxon Hill, Md.(REUTERS)

Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson has filed paperwork to


create a presidential exploratory committee, making him the first

high-profile Republican candidate to begin raising money for a


potential White House bid.

Carson filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission


late Monday.

For the next few months, Dr. Carson looks forward to listening to
the American people to gauge support for a presidential
candidacy,said Terry Giles, who was recently named campaign
chairman. Obviously, this is a very big step.

The 63-year-old Carson rose to national prominence after


criticizing President Obama's health care law at the 2013
National Prayer breakfast. He quickly developed a loyal following
among the GOP's most conservative voters.

Similar to a presidential campaign committee, an exploratory


committee allows Carson to begin raising money for a White
House bid.

While popular among conservatives, Carson remains largely


unknown to many voters.

"We realize we have to build a bridge from the far right to what I
call the center-Democrats," Giles said.

Carson finished fourth in a 2016 GOP presidential straw poll at


last weeks Conservative Political Action Conference, the largest
annual gathering of conservative activists. He finished behind
Kentucky Sen.Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Carson's committee on Tuesday announced the names of several


people to its senior political team including Ed Brookover as a
senior strategist. Brookover previously worked on various
Washington-based Republican campaign committees.

The committee also announced that Doug Watts will be Carson


America's communications director, overseeing media,
advertising and social media activities, according to the
committee.

Watts has directed dozens of legislative, congressional and


initiative campaigns, including the advertising programs for
Reagan-Bush '84.

The committee has already hired former Newt Gingrich aide Ruth
Sherlock to serve as state director in South Carolina; Je Reeter,
of Houston, to be national finance chairman; and Mike Murray to
runsmall-dollar fundraising, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Murray is the chief executive ocer of direct marketing company


TMA Direct Inc.

Carson also will soon likely name a communications director,


campaign manager and two deputy campaign managers, Giles
said, adding that they are also building teams in Iowa and South
Carolina.

His national headquarters will be in the Virginia suburbs just


outside Washington.

While the exploratory committee doesn't compel Carson to run,


he is expected to launch a formal campaign in late spring.

"I'm certainly very hopeful that he will announce in May," Giles


said. "I think there's a great likelihood he will."

Before he retired, Carson was the director of pediatric


neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins.

Opinion: Bush must speak truth to GOP


voters
http://www.kesq.com/news/opinion-bush-must-speak-truth-to-gop-voters/
31572374
By Ruben Navarrette CNN Contributor
POSTED: 03:21 PM PST Mar 02, 2015

(CNN) When Jeb Bush spoke last week at the Conservative Political Action
Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, the likely GOP presidential
hopeful did better than expected.
Of course, that could have been because expectations were so low.
You remember "Bush Derangement Syndrome." When George W. Bush
was president, it afflicted liberals who thought the chief executive couldn't
do anything right. Now that Jeb might run for president in 2016, the
condition vexes conservatives who believe that when it comes to choosing
the GOP nominee, the former Florida governor is all wrong.
During Bush's speech, a few dozen supporters of Sen. Rand Paul of
Kentucky -- wearing red T-shirts with the words "Stand With Rand" -walked out and later blasted Bush as insufficiently conservative.
But what should really count for a lot is that Bush is sufficiently competent.
He's the grownup in a roomful of extremists who -- as they compare union
members to ISIS (Scott Walker) or vow to abolish the IRS (Ted Cruz) or
bash the media (Chris Christie) -- seem most interested in applause lines.
Bush is a serious person with a serious shot at the presidency, something
that you just can't say about all Republicans who appear to be running.
As someone who is bilingual and whose wife hails from Mexico, Bush can
hit Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, where it hurts by carving
into her Latino support. In his 1998 gubernatorial election, and 2002 reelection, Bush received over 60 percent of the Latino vote.

And it's no secret that, for many Latinos who might vote for Bush, the
make-or-break issue is immigration.
That's because many Latinos see immigration as a way of determining a
candidate's character. Latinos will be watching to see if Bush stands up to
the pressure from extremists to join the GOP's closed border chorus.
They're used to being thrown under the bus by politicians who sacrifice
Latinos to gin up support from non-Latinos. And they won't put up with it.
So which way is Bush going to go on immigration?
For many years, he extolled the contributions of immigrants and expressed
dismay that elements of his party are closed-minded and mean-spirited on
the issue. He even acknowledged that, to many, the party is seen as "antiimmigrant."
Lately, though, Bush has injected more nuance into his views -- and turned
them mushy in the process.
On the question of whether undocumented youth should have a path to
citizenship, for example, Bush at first supported the idea, then he opposed
it. And most recently, he has said that he could support such a path if
Congress mandates it.
On the Arizona immigration law, Bush apparently likes the concept of
enlisting local police to be "the eyes and ears" of the border patrol. But he
has also been sympathetic to critics who worry that this will lead to ethnic
profiling of Latinos.
Too often, Bush leaves the impression that he'll say whatever he needs to
say to avoid conflict.
So it was actually refreshing to see Bush use his appearance at CPAC -which took the form of an onstage interview by conservative talk show host
Sean Hannity -- to once again speak plainly. In response to questions,
Bush emphasized the need to secure the U.S. border, insisted that
immigration policy should be driven by economic concerns and the need for
high-skilled immigrants, and reaffirmed support for giving undocumented
immigrants driver's licenses and in-state tuition at public colleges and
universities.
The crowd booed that last one.
Bush criticized President Obama's executive actions to prioritize
deportations, but also bashed Republicans in Congress for protesting that
policy by holding up funds for the Department of Homeland Security.
Finally, in response to what is often the most contentious aspect of this
debate, Bush also stressed the need to create a path to citizenship for
millions of illegal immigrants who are currently in the United States.

"I know there's disagreement here," he said. "The simple fact is that there
is no plan to deport 11 million people. We should give them a path to legal
status where they work...and contribute to our society."
More boos.
The way Bush sees it, the GOP is good at being against things but "we
have to start being for things again."
In response to a heckler, Bush stared out into the crowd to address his
critic.
"I'm marking you down as neutral," he told the heckler. "I'll look forward to
being your second choice."
Not even close. In the Washington Times/CPAC presidential preference
straw poll of 3,007 participants, Bush came in fifth out of 17 candidates with
just 8 percent of the vote. First place went to Rand Paul, who earned 25.7
percent.

Reason Triumphs over Common Core


Opponents
March 02, 2015 by Anne Kim
http://republic3-0.com/reason-triumphs-over-common-coreopponents/

Common Core opponents are losing the fight a


hopeful sign that sound policy can trump ideology.

Ask any parent of a school-age child: Its not unreasonable to


expect some objective measures of achievement.


First-graders should know how to count to 100 and add and


subtract up to 20. Third graders should know the dierence
between a noun and a verb. High school seniors should be able to
solve basic problems in algebra and write essays using facts to
support opinions.
Standards such as these have been voluntarily adopted by 43
states and the District of Columbia. But these standards also bear

the label of Common Core now fighting words amongcertain


conservatives for whom theCommon Core isas anathema as
Obamacare.
For the past several years, activists have waged war against
states adoption of Common Core State Standards, and so far this
year, theyve persuaded lawmakers in19 statesto introduce
legislation proposing their repeal.
But for all the sound and fury, Common Core opponents have
accomplished next to nothing, succeeding in just one state
Oklahoma. And while some may see the right wings losing fight
against the Common Core as simply evidence of their waning
political muscle, the real reason behind these losses is an
optimistic one: the Common Core remains intact because its
good policy. In a political landscape littered with the victims of
ideological warfare, this is one battle where common sense is
prevailing over demagoguery.
While Common Core opponents have sought to cast the standards
as just another egregious example of federal over-reach (i.e. by
President Obama), these charges have foundered on the shoals of
reality.
For one thing, the Common Core State Standards are the
consensus product of astate-drivenprocess, led by state school
chiefs and governors from all but a tiny minority of states, that
began in 2009. Although the federal government has taken a few
steps to endorse the Common Cores adoption, a federal power
grab this certainly isnt.
Second, the Common Core State Standards have the staunch
support of the business community, long distressed by the
ongoing shortage of skilled workers. Both theChamber of

Commerceand theBusiness Roundtable, for example, have


invested major resources garnering support for the Common
Core, including through grass-roots campaigns and lobbying.
The business communitys self-interest in an educated workforce
isnt hard to grasp. While the Census Bureau reports that
roughly42 percentof Americans over age 25 now have an
associates degree or more (a marked improvement), its far short
of what the U.S. economy needs and far behind what our
international competitors are achieving.
Georgetown UniversitysCenter on Education and the
Workforceestimates that two-thirds of jobs by the end of the
decade will require some sort of post-secondary credential. Yet
theLumina Foundationreports that America ranks 11thglobally in
post-secondary achievement, and in countries such as South
Korea, Japan and Canada, the percentage of post-secondary
graduates is already at or above 60 percent.
The shortage of skilled workers is acute even in manufacturing,
which is increasingly technology-driven. The Manufacturing
Institutes 2015skills gap reportpredicts that while manufacturing
will generate 3.5 million jobs over the next decade, as many as 2
million jobs will go unfilled for lack of skilled workers.
But perhaps the most significant hurdle for Common Core
opponents is that theyve posited no practical alternative to its
repeal thereby rendering their opposition substantively
meaningless.
Theres a big dierence between what sounds good politically
and what actually makes sense legislatively, said Karen Nussle,
Executive Director of the Collaborative for Student Success, in a
recent briefing for reporters.

As a case in point, Thomas B. Fordham Institute President Michael


Petrilli cites the experience of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who
acquiesced to a do-over of the states standards at the behest of
his Tea Party base.
[Pence] had a group work on new standards, Petrilli told
reporters. And guess what? They looked a lot like the Common
Core. Petrilli continued: Thats because reading is reading, and
math is math.
In a hopeful sign for future pragmatism in politics as well as in
policy, GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush recentlydefended his
support of Common Core standards at conservatisms signature
confab, the Conservative Political Action Conference in
Washington, D.C., arguing that the Common Core isnt the
federal takeover of education its detractors have claimed.
While there are certainly plenty of issues where ideology, not
sound policy, continues to carry the day, the triumph of reason in
the Common Core debate may signify a broader thaw in the
deadlocked politics of today.

Scott Walker may have been real winner at


CPAC auditions

Associated Press
Gov. Scott Walker waves as he walks off-stage after addressing the Conservative
Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., last Thursday.

By Doyle Mcmanus
March 2, 2015
http://www.jsonline.com/news/opinion/scott-walker-may-havebeen-real-winner-at-cpac-auditions-b99454448z1-294706601.html
The fervent Republicans who throng the Conservative Political Action
Conference every year aren't representative of the American electorate.
They aren't even representative of the GOP electorate. For four of the last

five years, their straw poll for president has chosen Rand Paul or Ron Paul.
These are not everyday Republicans.
Yet the conference, which took place Thursday through Saturday, is still an
important event "the starting gun of the Republican primary campaign," in
the words of one veteran GOP strategist. It's the first real national audition
for potential Republican candidates, all on the same stage, one after the
other even if the TV audience is only on C-SPAN. And a good performance
can help recruit conservative foot soldiers across the country.
Here's what we learned: Bush has staying power, despite conservatives'
suspicion that he's a closet moderate. Scott Walker, the governor of
Wisconsin, is hot the new more-conservative hope to stop the Bush
juggernaut. Sens. Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) could rise if
Walker stumbles. Chris Christie looks like a spent force. And Rand Paul is still
Rand Paul.
Yes, it's still early; none of these proto-candidates has even announced
formally that he's running. But it wasn't too early for each to deploy
campaign buttons and T-shirts in CPAC's big convention hall. And that means
it isn't too early to describe the rough shape of the 2016 GOP field: no single
front-runner, but four or five candidates who are most likely to succeed.
Bush didn't have the attendees on his side. There was a smattering of
catcalls when he took the stage; a flag-waving activist in a Revolutionary
War uniform led a decorous walkout of about two dozen.
But Bush's organization had salted the room with supporters a page from
Practical Politics 101 and their cheers beat back the boos. Bush sensibly
tackled the two issues on which he has diverged from his party orthodoxy
immigration and education and while he attempted to make his positions
sound as conservative as possible, he didn't trim them much.
"It's fine to oppose the bad things," Bush said. "We need to start being for
things again." It was a solid, steady performance before a tough audience,
and a step Bush needed, to remind GOP voters that he's a conservative, too.
But the real winner of the event may have been Walker, the usually taciturn
governor of Wisconsin, who brought the audience to its feet with an
animated speech full of red meat.
"There's a reason we celebrate July 4 and not April 15," Walker said. "We
celebrate our independence from government, not dependence on it. Get
government out of the way."
He listed his actions as governor confronting public employee unions,
lowering taxes, pushing anti-abortion legislation, lowering restrictions on
concealed firearms and said they showed that he is "someone who's going
to fight."
He stumbled when, asked how he would handle Islamic terrorists, he
suggested his experience as governor covered that, too. "If I could take on

100,000 protesters (in Wisconsin), I can do the same across the world," he
said a parallel that doesn't hold up long.
But his audience hardly noticed.
One more lesson: Republicans will be talking a lot about foreign policy in this
campaign.
The growing hawkishness in conservative ranks is a bad sign for Rand Paul,
who has broken with most of his colleagues to urge restraint in U.S. foreign
policy. But it's in keeping with recent polls that show most voters holding
more confidence in Republicans than Democrats on foreign policy a
reversal of a GOP slump after the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
What was missing from CPAC? Any sign of the intellectual ferment in
conservative think tanks about how to address the stagnant incomes of the
American middle class. Most speakers stuck to more traditional fare: smaller
government, lower taxes, less regulation. There are new ideas in the
Republican Party, but this, it seems, was neither the time nor the place.
But election day 2016 is still a year and a half away. On the Republican side,
they're off and (almost) running.

Jeb Bush stands up to


conservative jeers
Kathie Obradovich, kobradov@dmreg.com
3:16 p.m. CST February 28, 2015

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/
kathie-obradovich/caucus/2015/02/27/cpac-live-coverage-kathieobradovich/23993973/

!
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told groaning and booing members of a
conservative crowd on Friday that he'd like to be their second choice if he
runs for president.
"First of all, for those that, uh, made an 'ooo' sound is that what it was?
I'm marking them down as neutral and I want to be your second choice if I
decide to go beyond this," Bush said at the Conservative Political Action
Conference near Washington, D.C.
Bush is often labeled with the "m-word," moderate for some of his
education policies and stands on immigration. He chose a different label
when asked during a 25-minute, on-stage interview with Sean Hannity from
FOX News.
"I would describe myself as a practicing, reform-minded conservative and
I've actually done it," Bush said.
Hannity focused most of his questions on the two issues most often used to
tar Bush as too moderate: immigration and Common Core standards for
education.
Bush emphasized points of agreement with the audience, emphasizing the
border must be secured before anything else is done. He said Congress
should pass a bill to block President Obama's executive actions on
immigration and that unaccompanied youth who crossed over from Central
America should have been sent home from the border.

!
DES MOINES REGISTER

CPAC message: Washington is washed up


However, he also said he believes the country needs "economic-driven"
immigrants, including a path to legal status for people here illegally. He said
instead of pitting immigrants against American citizens in a competition for
scarce jobs, focus on growing the economy so there are plenty of jobs for
everyone. He also didn't back down from legislation passed in his state to

in-state tuition for children who came into the country illegally. He pointed
out that it was signed into law by a "conservative" governor, Rick Scott.
On education, he noted that education standards were part of a
comprehensive set of reforms that also included school vouchers and other
school-choice options. "We did all this, and we raised standards" so that
students who finish high school are career or college ready, he said.
Then, he said the federal government should stay out of setting standards
and cut strings to federal money for using Common Core standards. "The
role of the federal government, if there's any, is to provide incentives for
more school choice," he said.
Bush, the last of a two-day lineup of potential 2016 presidential candidates,
was also the one most often jabbed and reviled by previous speakers.
Hannity surveyed audience members earlier in the day about their choice
for the GOP nomination. Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie both
drew louder boos than applause.
It was interesting that both Bush and Christie also sat for interviews -- Bush
with Hannity, Christie with radio talk-show host Laura Ingraham -- instead
of giving speeches. Maybe that was CPAC's way of trying to keep hostile
audience members at bay.
It didn't stop other speakers from savaging Bush, whose brother and father
are former presidents. Ingraham suggested Bush and Hillary Clinton run on
the same ticket.
"I mean, go through the list of things they agree on: Common Core,
amnesty, giving Obama fast-track trade authority, allowing the trade deals
with China, the surveillance culture," she said. "I'm designing a bumper
sticker. It could be Clush 2016: What difference does it make?"
Ingraham also made some nasty and inappropriate personal attacks
against Bush and his wife. I don't need to repeat them but suffice to say
they showed how much venom some conservatives have for Bush.
Bush may be trying to put his record in the most "right" light, but he showed
poise and strength in standing up to such vitriol and trying to win over
skeptics. As the interview went on, he was applauded much more than he
was booed. He may not have won their votes, but he deserved their
respect.
Rand Paul calls for strong defense, cautious foreign policy
Sen. Rand Paul, often accused of isolationist foreign policy, said Friday he
just wants to follow the Constitution.
Paul, R-Kentucky, said his priority is always national defense. On foreign
policy, however, Republicans are not all the same.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Photo:
Carolyn Kaster, AP)

"On one end, there are people who believe we should never be anywhere
outside our borders. On the other end, there are people who believe we
should be everywhere, all the time. I think really, in the end what we should
do is obey the Constitution," Paul said.
Specifically, he said the Constitution says war should be initiated and
declared by Congress. "We must protect ourselves from jihadists without
losing who we are as a people in the process," he said. "We must think
before we act."
Paul wasn't among speakers rattling the saber against ISIS but he was
particularly sharp in his criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton's record. He argued that toppling secular dictators leads to the
growth of radical despots. "Hillary's war in Libya allowed thousands of
surface-to-air missiles to fall into the hands of radical Islamists," he said.
Both former Sen. Rick Santorum and Donald Trump called for escalating
U.S. military action against ISIS.

Santorum called for 10,000 boots on the ground against ISIS and "serious"
air strikes. "If ISIS wants a 7th-century caliphate, let's oblige by bombing
them back to the 7th century," he said.
Trump, a billionaire businessman and TV personality, said defeating ISIS
would be his top priority as president. "Nobody, if I decide to run, and win,
nobody would be tougher than Donald Trump, nobody," he said.
Santorum said he and Paul both believe in a need for strong national
defense, but they differ on how to accomplish that. "I think we need a
robust military to defend ourselves, to protect our security interests and
make sure we can be a reliable ally. We need to lead the world. If America
doesn't lead the world, someone else will."
Paul was easily the crowd favorite so far at the Conservative Political
Action Conference, with hundreds of mostly young supporters in red Tshirts packing the audience.
Fox News commentator Sean Hannity had the audience "vote" for the 2016
GOP nomination through applause. Paul was the walk-away winner.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Ted Cruz, who both spoke on
Thursday, were next. Former Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris
Christie got boos.
Christie also spoke on Thursday. Bush is up soon.
Trump: I'm really inclined to do this
Donald Trump tried to convey Friday that he's serious this time about
running for president.
"I'm really inclined, I want to do it so badly," he said.

Donald Trump speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in
National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Photo: Carolyn
Kaster, AP)

Responding to questions from FOX News' Sean Hannity, he said he's at 75


or 80 on a scale of 1 to 100 in favor of running. "I love building. I'm building
all over the world and I love it, more than anything else I love it. But I love
this country," he said. He said his children are in position to run his
company.
He said politicians and run and lose and run again. "With me, I give up a lot
when I do this. I already told the 'Apprentice' people, you know, NBC
wanted to renew and I said, I'm doing something else," Trump said.
Trump considered running in 2012 but never organized a campaign. He
said he counted on Mitt Romney to win but he failed. "I'm looking at it very
seriously. I don't want what happened to Mitt Romney to happen again
because that was a tremendous blow for this country."
This time, he's already hired an experienced operative in Iowa: Chuck
Laudner, who helped Santorum win in 2012. I guess the Donald won't need
Chuck's truck.
Santorum, Trump make birther jokes

Rick Santorum came up snake-eyes in the speaking order craps shoot. He


was supposed to follow Donald Trump but instead had to speak after a latearriving Sen. Rand Paul.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum pauses as he speaks during the Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP
Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

As Santorum was explaining why Republicans needed to "stand up for the


little guy," busloads of college-aged Paul supporters were filing out of the
auditorium.
Santorum doggedly ramped up rhetoric on foreign policy and sharply
criticized Obama.
"We don't need a weatherman-in-chief, we need a commander-in-chief to
run this country," he said.
He joked the president has become so unpopular overseas that the
government of Kenya is looking for proof Obama was born in America.
(Birther humor, get it?)
Trump also addressed birther issue, noting that both Hillary Clinton and
John McCain tried to get Obama's birth certificate in the 2008 campaign.
"Hillary Clinton is a birther," Trump said.

Perry hammers Obama on foreign policy


Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry hammered out a message on foreign policy
Friday, echoing harsh criticism of the Obama administration's handling of
ISIS and Iran.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster,
AP)

Perry, who has been taking steps toward a second run for president in
2016, spoke at the CPAC conference near Washington, D.C.
"This administration's incompetence in Iraq and Syria have allowed the
emergence of ISIS," Perry said.
He said the goals of ISIS, a radical Islamic terrorist group, is "apocalyptic"
and aims not only kill Christians and Jews but Muslims who don't adhere to
their extreme ideology.
"ISIS represents the worst threat to freedom since Communism," Perry
said.
Perry did not offer a prescription for defeating ISIS, however.

He offered two non-negotiable principles for negotiations with Iran:


"Number one is, Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons,
period. And number two, Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state."
Perry's address was high energy and frequently interrupted by applause
from the audience.
Rubio: I don't want to be in politics my whole life
Sen. Marco Rubio said Friday he hasn't decided whether to run for
president but if he does, he's not going to hedge his bet.
"I don't want to be in politics my whole life. I want to serve our country and I
want to do some other things," Rubio said.
Rubio spoke at the CPAC Conservative Political Action conference near
Washington, D.C., on Friday morning and then participated i

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., arrives to speak during the Conservative Political Action
Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn
Kaster) (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

n a question-and-answer session with Sean Hannity of FOX News. Rubio


kept his remarks brief but he was greeted with standing ovations at the
beginning and end of his remarks.

Hannity asked him why he wants to be president. "I haven't made that
decision yet, Sean, but good try to get me to answer that question," Rubio
responded, to laughter from the audience.
Rubio added, however, that he wants to be in public service because "I
believe I owe a debt to America that I will never be able to repay."
The Florida senator indicated he'll decide whether to run for president
before the filing deadline to run for re-election to the Senate.
"I think if you want to run for president of the United States and you decide
that's what you've been called at this time in your life to at least run for, the
best place for you to serve America, that's what you run for," Rubio said. "I
don't think you can start thinking about what's my exit strategy, what's my
Plan B."
More coverage of CPAC
I'm blogging and live-tweeting the speeches of potential 2016 presidential
candidates.
Yesterday, both parties in power in Washington, D.C., took a beating from
many speakers. Meanwhile, the audience of conservatives at the American
Conservative Union conference heard from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker,
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, businesswoman Carly Fiorina and New Jersey Gov.
Chris Christie. Ben Carson, a popular radio commentator, also spoke early
Thursday.

Bobby Jindal at CPAC: Repeal


Obamacare; remove Common Core from
every classroom; we are at war with
radical Islam


Associated Press photo by CLIFF OWENGov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the
Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Thursday.
BY GREGORY ROBERTS

March 13, 2015


http://theadvocate.com/news/11705842-123/bobby-jindal-at-cpac-repeal

National Harbor, Md . Gov. Bobby Jindal took aim at the Affordable


Care Act, Common Core educational standards and President Barack
Obamas leadership in the fight against Islamic terrorism in a speech
Thursday that stuck to familiar ground at the Conservative Political
Action Conference.
The 2015 CPAC is a significant way station on the road to the
Republican presidential nomination, and the four-day event includes
appearances by a dozen potential candidates at the Gaylord resort and
convention center. Jindal is counted among them , although he has
struggled to emerge from the back of the pack in opinion surveys. He
spoke immediately after Scott Walker, the Wisconsin governor who has
vaulted to the top of the Republican polls.
Walker proved to be a tough act to follow, as he generated a
considerably more enthusiastic response than Jindal. So, too, did U.S.
Sen. Ted Cruz, of Texas, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly
Fiorina, two other potential Republican candidates who spoke earlier in
the program, although Jindals reception was warm and positive.
Jindals speech was a less-focused shaping of candidacy than those of
Walker, Cruz and Fiorina although they steered clear of formal
declarations, in some cases with a wink-and-nod if I run routine
intended to avoid federal election law restrictions on campaign
contributions. In response to a question after his remarks, Jindal said, as
he has before, that he is thinking and praying about a decision to run,
which he said should come in the next couple of months.
Sponsored by the venerable American Conservative Union nonprofit
advocacy organization, CPAC annually draws thousands conservative
movers and shakers, rank-and-file activists and many students to
listen to speeches by political candidates and panel discussions on such
subjects (this year) as Common Core, immigration, Islamic extremism,
the Affordable Care Act, marriage equality, abortion and voter fraud.



Jindal ticked off his three main targets, saying, We must repeal every
single word of Obamacare, and We need to remove Common Core
from every classroom in America and We are at war with radical
Islam.
He called on his fellow party members in Congress to grow a spine
and said, The Republicans in Washington are about to wave the white
flag of surrender on replacing the Affordable Care Act and blocking
Obamas executive orders granting reprieves to certain categories of
illegal immigrants.
Jindals speech, adapted to the 20-minute CPAC format, was a
reworking of ones he has delivered at different stops around the country
and abroad in recent months. His second term as governor winds up at
the end of 2015, and he is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.
He alluded to the controversy generated by his January speech in
London that invoked the existence of Muslim no-go zones in Europe
a widely discredited claim and that praised assimilation of

immigrants to America. Jindal, whose parents were born and raised in


India, repeated his disdain for the use of hyphenated ethnic descriptions
such as Indian-American and said, There is nothing wrong with saying
if you want to come to America, you should want to be an American.
And, in keeping with a tone he has struck consistently, he said it was
important to hunt down and kill the Islamic terrorists at war with the
United States.
How have we ever won any victory in any war except by killing our
way to victory? he asked.
The event features a presidential straw poll conducted on touch screens
in the convention center lobby, and this year, it includes 17 candidates.
Results will be announced late Saturday. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.,
has easily won the last two polls. Jindal finished second in the 2009
straw poll.
Jindal, 43, has appeared at CPAC several times in past years. In 2014, he
attracted publicity with his comment that Obama is the worst president
in Jindals lifetime.
Several more possible presidential candidates will speak on Friday,
including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, of Florida, former Texas Gov. Rick
Perry and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Check out the full schedule on
the CPAC website, cpac. conservative.org.
Also taking the CPAC stage on Friday: Louisiana native and Duck
Dynasty star Phil Robertson. Robertson will speak at 11:40 a.m.
CPAC will stretch through the weekend and will include a straw poll on
the 2016 presidential race on Saturday.

CPAC head welcomes 'diversity of


opinion' at conservative confab
http://www.arcamax.com/currentnews/newsheadlines/
s-1621354?fs
Feb 27, 2015
By:McClatchy, Washington Bureau
OXON HILL, Md. -- The Conservative Political Action Conference, which
is scheduled to feature a parade of potential Republican presidential
candidates testing their messages and their appeal to thousands of
party activists from all over the country, began Wednesday and
continues through Saturday.
McClatchy sat down with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American
Conservative Union, which sponsors the event, for a preview. Schlapp,
former political director for President George W. Bush, became
chairman in June.
McClatchy: How do you define conservatism today?
Schlapp: That's really something that CPAC is all about trying to
determine. We're not a church. It's a mistake to somehow think there's
a book of dogma and you accept those teachings if you're a
conservative, and if you don't, you're not. People who approach politics
that way are making a mistake.
It's more a political coalition than anything else. Conservatism is
the ... desire to have a limited government that doesn't get involved in
my life, that doesn't have a bloated bureaucracy that (gets) involved in
every aspect of the economy, that isn't a big regulatory state.

McClatchy: Fairly or unfairly, conservatives have developed a


reputation as somewhat intolerant. Is that a fair conclusion and if so,
how do you overcome that?
Schlapp: It is our intent to be open-minded, to be inviting and to have
a conversation with anybody. Certainly conservatives who have
diversity of opinion on all kinds of issues need to be welcome at CPAC
and play a large role.
McClatchy: So have you invited any activists for abortion rights?
Schlapp: We haven't invited anyone here because they're pro-choice,
but I know there are people in our program that have those views;
there are sponsors that have those views. Take the concept of
libertarianism alone -- it's a huge part of our movement. They believe
government shouldn't be involved in those issues, and they are
welcome here.
McClatchy: Why are the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative gayrights group, not a CPAC sponsor? (Greg Angelo, the group's executive
director, will speak as part of a Saturday panel on Russia.)
Schlapp: There was a certain amount of confusion whether they've
signed up or not. ... After CPAC is over and we've gotten a good
night's sleep, we're going to meet and discuss what issues we can
work on together.
Gay conservatives are welcome at CPAC. ... We can't be any more
forthright that this is an event for conservatives and that includes
conservatives who are gay.
(Until last year, under previous chairman Al Cardenas of Miami, gays
were not welcome at CPAC. Until a few days ago, Log Cabin
Republicans said they were still excluded from CPAC.)
McClatchy: Are you concerned that modern conservatism is being
defined as simply anything that President Barack Obama is against? Is
conservatism being oversimplified?
Schlapp: It's always hard for conservatives. They're usually in the lane
as saying the growth of government is a threat. And liberals are in the
lane where they get to come up with new government programs. The
way the argument goes is liberals come up with new programs to help
someone and the conservative then says I'm against that new
government program.
The problem with that from a marketing standpoint is that we always
say no and the liberal looks like he's trying to help someone. That's a
completely false argument, but that is a little bit what happens.
McClatchy: Give me an example where government works.

Schlapp: I think America in the world is one of the few positive forces
to keep the world stable. I like that we're feared. I worry we're not
feared as much as we should be. The second thing is that government
has a big role, an important role, in assuring our rights are protected.
McClatchy: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Lindsey
Graham, R-S.C., are not listed as speakers. Where are they?
Schlapp: Mike Huckabee had had some past criticisms of CPAC. I think
he couldn't get here because of his schedule. We would have loved to
have had him and we did invite him.
McClatchy: Sen. Graham?
Schlapp: Lindsey Graham, this idea he's running for president is a
boomlet. It's happened in very short order. Unfortunately, I wish if he
is going to run for president and wanted to speak at CPAC, I wish he'd
communicated much earlier. I assume we would have been open to
inviting him. ... We weren't trying to be disrespectful to Sen. Graham.
McClatchy: What about Jeb Bush?
Schlapp: Jeb Bush is coming to CPAC because Jeb Bush wants to be at
CPAC and he knows the importance of talking to these activists, and I
give him credit for coming. The words he chooses as he explains his
positions on these issues will be incredibly important. He has a chance
at CPAC to, without any filter at all, explain to these activists what his
philosophy is and what his approach is on these issues and other
issues he faced when he was gov.
McClatchy: What are the concerns about Gov. Bush?
Schlapp: You know what they are. They've been so widely reported.
When was governor he cut taxes every year. He was seen as a
governor who took on the teachers union. He was tightfisted with the
budget. But it's been several years since he's been governor. As you
know, politics is about tomorrow, not yesterday. He has to tell these
people what he wants to do for them tomorrow.
McClatchy: Discuss national security and the divide among
conservatives.
Schlapp: I worked for Bush and (Vice President Dick) Cheney. Is that
the conservative position? Rand Paul (Kentucky senator and possible
2016 candidate for president) has really found a voice that's less
interventionist. Is he the conservative consensus after so many wars,
so many deaths?
I talked to a lot of candidates. They don't know where to go. They
don't know where that consensus is. They don't know which book to

pull off the shelf, to study, to learn what the consensus is. There's a lot
of diverse opinions on what the consensus should be.
Conservatives agree on this: We didn't get hit after 9/11 in a major
way. That is a pretty major achievement. I think there's a growing fear
we're taking our eye off that ball.

At CPAC, pushing Republican hopefuls


to dive into policy specifics
POSTED: 06:17 p.m. HST, Feb 26, 2015
http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/nyt/
19040101_At_CPAC_pushing_Republican_hopefuls_to_dive_into_policy_specifics.html

By: Nick Corasaniti and Alan Rappeport, New York Times


Prepared remarks are out. Answering tough questions is in. And there should be plenty of them
especially for a candidate named Bush.

"We don't want to hear the same freaking stump speech 20 times," said
Ned Ryun, a board member of the American Conservative Union. "We want
to hear people speak on specific issues."
That is the early outlook from the Conservative Political Action Conference,
the annual gathering of many of the youngest and most fervent activists in
the right wing of the Republican Party. Nearly every major White House
aspirant in the party is set to speak at the event on Thursday and Friday.
Especially at this point in the presidential cycle, CPAC, as it is universally
known, has long been a proving ground for Republican contenders in
connecting with and inspiring the most enthusiastic, organized elements of
the conservative base.
Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin generated considerable excitement ahead
of his appearance Thursday. "He's under-promise, over-deliver in a
nutshell," said Matt Robbins, the president of American Majority, a group
that pushed for Walker's re-election as governor last year. "He's as Midwest
as it gets."
Matt Kibbe, the president and chief executive of FreedomWorks, a Tea
Party-aligned group, said, "I think Scott Walker is the candidate that might
split the difference between the Rand Paul wing and the Jeb Bush wing."
But the crowd has a decidedly libertarian streak: Paul, the junior senator
from Kentucky, has won the CPAC straw poll the last two years, and broad
support for a criminal justice overhaul among attendees this week an
issue that Paul has championed suggested that he holds something of a
home-court advantage this year as well.

Bush, the former Florida governor, whose fundraising sprint has given him
an early advantage, appeared more a subject of curiosity, if not downright
skepticism.
"I think young people are tired of hearing the Bush name," said Jeff Frazee,
the executive director of Young Americans for Liberty, a group that was
spawned by the 2008 presidential campaign of Ron Paul, Paul's father.
"The policies that he represents are very much those of a moderate liberal."
Candidates' performances at CPAC are generally appraised by the kind of
responses they earn for their most rousing applause lines, along with how
they fare in the straw poll, and no one here suggested that would suddenly
change. But many attendees said they would not be satisfied with sharpedged attacks alone.
"I would like to see more from the candidates than just railing on Obama
and Hillary and the media," said Matt Batzel, the national executive director
of American Majority. "It needs to be less about red meat and more about
solutions and bold ideas for the problems that face the country."
Sensing those stirrings, organizers are trying something different this year:
a question-and-answer period of at least six minutes to go with each of the
major speeches by White House contenders.
Bush, for one, has said he plans to skip a formal speech and instead spend
his entire 20 minutes fielding questions, which are likely to include
challenges to his embrace of Common Core educational standards or his
moderate views on immigration.
But Bush's recent attention to income inequality could earn him some
goodwill with the so-called millennial generation: Many attendees who said
they had struggled to find decent work after graduating from college called
jobs and the economy their top priorities.
While Paul's youthful following tends to serve him well in the straw poll,
scoring a clear win this year may prove difficult, as CPAC organizers have
made some changes to the polling process to get more details on what
attendees think about policy issues and how their views on candidates
change over time.
This year's conference agenda is full of workshops intended to give
conservatives ground-game advantages that they have sometimes lacked.
Attendees will have the chance to learn skills such as video "tracking" to
spy on opponents' public events and record their embarrassing moments
and using tools like Facebook and Twitter to identify and galvanize likeminded voters.
Those heading to CPAC said they also wanted to hear clear answers from
would-be candidates on how they would fight the Islamic State, a concrete

strategy for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, and an
immigration policy that would respond to President Barack Obama's
executive actions.
Katrina Pierson, a Tea Party supporter from Dallas, said Obama's
immigration plan provided an opportunity for Republicans to widen their
tent and attract African-American voters. "We need to make clear that
amnesty is going to be a huge job killer in the black population," Pierson
said. "It's their lives that are going to be impacted the worst."
As the conference seeks to take itself more seriously, through audience
questions and the three-day-long "activism boot camp," attendees will still
have the freedom a popular word here to express themselves.
"There's far fewer Brooks Brothers blue blazers and Adam Smith ties, and I
think that's a healthy thing," said Kibbe, of FreedomWorks.
Indeed, that loosening up extends to the panels: For the first time since
2005, the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay conservatives, have been
invited not just to attend, but to speak on a panel, about Russia under
Vladimir Putin.
And, of course, there is the much-chronicled party scene, which Grover
Norquist once likened to the Burning Man festival, "but with more clothes."
"People play hard and work hard," said Robbins of American Majority, "and
there's nothing wrong with either of that.

At CPAC, Softball Questions


for 2016 GOP Frontrunners
By Rob Garver

February 26, 2015 6:08 PM

https://news.yahoo.com/cpac-softball-questions-2016-gop-230800432.html

The plan going into this years Conservative Political Action


Conference (CPAC) was to break from some established norms.
Speakers were going to be asked dicult questions; they would be
forced to take some risks. Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American
Conservative Union, the conference sponsor, had even promised a
stellar interaction with the assembled speakers.

The Republican Party, having lost two consecutive presidential


elections and now potentially facing the formidable Hillary Clinton in
2016, is anxious to select a candidate who can compete nationally.
As Schlapp told Washington Post columnist Dan Balz, CPAC could be
a chance to see how potential 2016 contenders do when required to
think on their feet about the issues.

Some folks didnt get the memo, apparently.

In his grilling of Sen. Ted Cruz, the conservative favorite from Texas,
Fox News host Sean Hannity oered up the most egregious softball
of the day, asking, Why does Ted Cruz love America? Cruz
launched into a crowd-pleasing answer that began with, This

country is the greatest country in the history of the world, and ended
in applause.

While Hannitys meatball may have been the worst, it was dierent
only in degree, not in kind, from most of the other discussions held on
the main stage.

In her appearance with N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, conservative radio


host Laura Ingrahams version of a pointed query was, What gives
with Common Core? Whyd you sign it? She was referring to the
controversial educational standards that many conservative
lawmakers oppose.

Christie was allowed to get away with blaming his decision on his
successor, Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, saying Corzine had teed it
up for him. We signed on to try to get funds for a really dicult
fiscal time, said Christie.

Christie, who is facing numerous problems in New Jersey, including a


struggling economy and a courts rejection of his plan for dealing with
state pension funds, glossed over those issues. He went on at length
about his tough-talking style.

Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up, he said
to a large round of applause. Quite frankly, Laura, more of that stu
should be happening in Washington, D.C. Because theres so much
ridiculous stu being spewed, especially out of the White House.
Someone should tell them to shut up. More applause.

(Ingraham also spent a considerable amount of the 20-minute


interview directly and indirectly attacking former Florida Gov. Jeb
Bush, one of the frontrunners for the Republican nomination, whose
views on immigration reform she appears to dislike intensely.)

Near the end of the Christie interview, Ingraham finally brought up the
elephant in the room: The governors terrible poll numbers. She noted
that hes polled in the single digits recently, near the bottom of the
GOP field.

Thats pretty low, she said.

There it was, right over the plate and Christie crushed it.

If Im going to run for president, Im not worried about what polls say
21 months before we elect the president of the United States, he
thundered.

What about Jeb Bush, she asked, and his massive fundraising
operation?

If the elites in Washington who make backroom deals decide who


the president is going to be, then hes the frontrunner, Christie said.
If the people of the United States decide to pick the next president
of the United States and they want someone who looks them in the
eye, connects with them and is one of them, Ill do okay if I run.

Christie left the stage as he had entered, to the strains of Enter


Sandman by Metallica.

Bush Says He Has The Right Kind of


Record
Ex-Florida governor tells anti-tax group he's a conservative who gets results
By THOMAS BEAUMONT
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10:42 p.m.
http://www.theledger.com/article/20150226/POLITICS/150229375

PALM BEACH | In an impassioned speech to an influential anti-tax group, former


Florida Gov. Jeb Bush ticked though eight years of tax cuts and economic growth, and
said it could be done nationally, should he continue on his path to an all-but-declared
Republican candidacy for president.
articlepicture2.pbo



Jeb Bush pauses as he speaks to the Club for Growth winter economic conference at the
Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach on Thursday.

JOE SKIPPER | THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

As if to his would be rivals, Bush said essentially: Talk is cheap.


"It's easy to talk about it," Bush told more than 200 at the exclusive Breakers Hotel for
the group's winter meeting going on through Saturday. "I hope you believe that you want
someone who has the proven leadership skills to make it happen."
Bush, who served as governor from 1999 to 2007, noted that his administration cut taxes
each year, totaling $19 billion in reductions.
He also told how he fully funding his state's pension program, cut the state government's
workforce by more than 13,000 and left the state with 1.3 million more jobs than when he
started.
He made the claims as other Republican governors weighing presidential campaigns are
dealing with daunting budget challenges.
He was scheduled to speak in Washington today to the Conservative Political Action
Conference, the largest annual meeting of conservative activists, some of whom have
grown skeptical of Bush's conservative credentials since he left office eight years ago.
Bush appeared more animated during the speech, unlike two previous policy speeches
this month on the economy in Detroit and on foreign policy in Chicago.
He was interrupted by applause and often smiled and joked with the club's president and
event moderator, David McIntosh.

Walker gets front-runner


treatment at CPAC

Conservatives attending the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference tell USA
TODAY what they are looking for in a presidential candidate. H. Darr Beiser, USA
TODAY
Martha T. Moore, 6:08 p.m. CST February 26, 2015
http://service.meltwaternews.com/mnews/redirect.html?
docId=3897234163&userId=2980165&cId=93155&agentId=864916&type=1&s=85595&
url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.news-leader.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2Fpolitics
%2Felections%2F2015%2F02%2F26%2Fcpac-presidential-candidates
%2F24079409%2F

!
(Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. It might be a sign you're a front runner if


you're the speaker who draws protesters.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker drew brief, shouted protests and chants of
"Run Scott run!" as he spoke to conservative activists at their annual
gathering on the cusp of the 2016 presidential season. In turn, he gave a
talk indistinguishable from a stump speech.
The Republican governor touted his success in ending collective bargaining
rights for public employees in Wisconsin. "We don't have seniority or tenure
anymore. ... We put the power back in the power of the hardworking
taxpayers.'' Then came the pitch: "If we can do it in Wisconsin, there's no
doubt we can do it in America.''
When asked how he would respond to ISIS as commander in chief he
replied that the U.S. needs a president who would project the "kind of
confidence" to protect both the U.S. and prevent terrorist attacks globally.
Referring to union opposition to Wisconsin's end to public employee
unions, he said, "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same
across the world.''
Before Walker spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, some
activists were already voting for him in the event's straw poll which for
the last two years has been won by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who speaks
Friday.
"He's principled, and he doesn't seem to back down,'' said Cheryl Howell,
an attendee and at-home mother from Oak Hill, Va. "He has lowered taxes,
he has done everything he said he would do. He's shown he has a spine.''
Many of the potential candidates have spoken at this annual event before,
but the upcoming presidential campaign raises the stakes, even the anxiety

level, for conservatives who believe the Republican Party should nominate
only a candidate who meets their conservative criteria.
Waiting in line to vote for Walker in the straw poll, Donna Robinson, a
registered nurse from Gainesville, Va., said Republicans should have
learned from the 2008 election not to run a moderate Republican like in Mitt
Romney. "The progressive Republicans think the party is with them and
they think they have to govern from the middle, and they don't,'' she said.

!
Customers browse the selection of buttons at the PC Button booth during
theConservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 27. (Photo:
H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

Carleton Goodnow, a legal writer from Malvern, Pa., said he's looking for a
candidate with an elusive quality shared by Ronald Reagan and, he
admitted, Barack Obama. "The crucial issue is a presence and a
personality that is widely appealing. I don't know where that candidate is.
I'm waiting for him to emerge.''

New Jersey's Chris Christie a governor who says he likes taking


questions got some tough ones when he sat for a conversation with talkradio host Laura Ingraham. He said he "of course" has regrets his past
support for Common Core educational standards, which are unpopular with
conservatives, and he brushed off negative coverage about his acceptance
of luxury travel paid for by foreign governments.
Christie added a dig at former Florida governor Jeb Bush, his potential
rival, whose recent speeches have included answering only pre-selected
questions from the audience.

!
ONPOLITICS

'Passionate' Christie wants Jeb Bush to answer more questions


The town hall meetings Christie conducts in New Jersey are "what elected
officials owe to their constituents," he said. "Everybody who aspires to high
positions of leadership should be willing to take unscreened,
unrehearsed questions from the people who pay their salary."
Donna Hurlock, a gynecologist from Alexandria, Va., appreciated Christie's
answering questions, but she's already made up her mind that he won't get
her vote if he runs.
"I'm surprised how likable he was," she said. "He gives the impression of
being an honest guy, but I want to support people who do conservative
things. Gov. Christie is probably as good as New Jersey will get, but I'd
much prefer Ted Cruz be the next president."
Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and the sole woman in
the large GOP field, was the most direct in criticizing Hillary Clinton to
the delight of the CPAC audience. "She tweets about women's rights in this
country and takes money from governments that deny women the most

basic human rights," Fiorina said, referring to donations to the Clinton


Foundation from foreign governments. Clinton is considered the prohibitive
favorite to be the Democratic nominee if she runs for president in 2016.

!
ONPOLITICS

Fiorina blasts Clinton at CPAC meeting

!
ONPOLITICS

Ted Cruz slams Obama, Clinton in fiery CPAC speech


Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also zinged Clinton for the same thing. "We could
have had Hillary here, but we couldn't find a foreign nation to foot the bill,"
he joked in a speech heavy with themes of liberty and freedom alongside
biting attacks on President Obama, Clinton and the ways of Washington.

Bush, who has taken the most overt steps toward running for president by
forming a super PAC and quickly raising a lot of money, will appear Friday
for a question-and-answer session. But there was little visible enthusiasm
for the son and brother of former presidents, who has supported Common
Core standards and a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
"I'm not a real fan of mainstream anymore and he's real mainstream,'' said
Scott Schein, a retired paramedic from Palm Bay, Fla. "I'm not sure he's
going in a direction I like on immigration.''
"Bush is for Common Core; Bush is for amnesty. He's for so many things I
disagree with,'' said Bob Kauffman, a retiree from Maple Grove, Minn.
(north of Minneapolis), who wore a red "Walker in 2016" button on his lapel.

At CPAC 'boot
from the Left

camp,' learning

http://stylemagazine.com/news/2015/feb/26/cpac-boot-camplearning-left/?page=1
By: Willie Grace | 2/26/2015, 6:51 p.m.


While 2016 hopefuls flocked to the National Harbor, Maryland, confab on Thursday, aspiring activists
listened attentively the day before as conservative operatives extolled the work of people who would only
be blamed and blasted at any other time during the conference. Barack Obama and his 2012 campaign
chief tech officer Harper Reed. Obama's campaign operatives and volunteers. The socialist organizer Saul
Alinsky.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (CNN) -- In a tightly packed room at the


Conservative Political Action Conference, more than a hundred conservatives sat
down in rows or leaned against the walls to hear a half-dozen political operatives

teach the basics of their trade and share one hard truth: the Left is a whole lot better
at modern campaigning.
While 2016 hopefuls flocked to the National Harbor, Maryland, confab on
Thursday, aspiring activists listened attentively the day before as conservative
operatives extolled the work of people who would only be blamed and blasted at
any other time during the conference. Barack Obama and his 2012 campaign chief
tech officer Harper Reed. Obama's campaign operatives and volunteers. The
socialist organizer Saul Alinsky.
"I disagree with the Left on their policy ideas, but on their organizing and
training...I swipe their ideas all the time," said Ned Ryun, founder and CEO of
American Majority, a group aimed at training conservative activists in grassroots
and campaign organizing.
But Ryun and his American Majority colleagues are neither dwelling on nor shying
away from the fact that Democrats and progressive activists have outpaced their
rivals on the right in areas ranging from get-out-the-vote efforts to social media
and data collection.
Instead, they're taking notes and sharing them with conservative activists who are
ready to win the next election, whether at the federal, state or local level.
And CPAC could be the ideal time to move the needle, with thousands of some of
the most enthusiastic, animated and often young conservatives gathered to fire each
other up and get inspired by the high-profile politicians and would-be-candidates
who are the main attraction.
So when Ryun joined last year the board of the American Conservative Union,
which organizes CPAC, he says he "started beating the drum from day one" that
CPAC should also be a venue to train activists and would-be campaign managers.
Matt Schlapp, first-year chairman of the ACU, was quickly on board.
"If you like their ideas and they have a compelling message, what are you actually
going to do to make them successful?" Ryun asked. "We're really trying to bridge
the gap between ideas and talking and action, and that bridging is really about
training."
The seminars drew all types of conservatives: most had volunteered on a campaign
before, but some had yet to take their conservative zeal to the next level.
The pupils-for-a-day picked up terms like "win number," learned about the need
for candidates to spend half their time fundraising and the number of votes you can
win per 100 phone calls.

And then there was Fernando Torrez, a first-time candidate vying for a seat on the
Alexandria, Va. city council.
The CPAC "boot camp" wasn't the first campaign training session Torrez had
attended, but the emphasis on get out the vote training and social media convinced
Torrez that he needs to buy into Twitter to head a successful campaign.
"I'm not a Twitter fan, but after today I think I'm going to have to be," he said at the
end of the day.
That's something most on the Left are already tuned into, American Majority's
National Executive Director Matt Batzel said during his session on harnessing
social media.
"The Left is naturally better at these things," he told the room of conservatives.
"We're lagging behind in these areas."
Republicans stressed after snagging a historic majority in Congress following the
midterms last fall that they had finally caught up with Democrats and, in some
cases, beat them at their own game online and on the ground.
But in an interview after his class, Batzel explained that while conservatives have
been making inroads online, "there's still a gap" and "a long ways to go" to close it.
"We don't necessarily come at it from the objective that what the right has done
works," Batzel said. "We want to look objectively at what has worked, what hasn't
worked. So the Right may be better at certain things, but online ... ."
For all the tactics employed by liberals shared Wednesday, the objective of the day
was clear: teaching would-be candidates and campaign staffers how to win and
booting liberals out of office.
It's the reason why Anthony Neutout drove from Indiana to the suburbs of
Washington, D.C. to enjoy his first CPAC and attend what was billed as "activism
boot camp."
"I'm here because I want to learn anything I can to get Rand Paul elected," Neutout
said. "I think I'm going to be more effective.

CPAC highlights, from the


speeches to the swag

!
Conservatives attending the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference tell USA
TODAY what they are looking for in a presidential candidate. H. Darr Beiser, USA
TODAY
USA TODAY Washington 7:16 p.m. EST February 26, 2015

!
(Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. The 2015 Conservative Political Action


Conference kicked off Thursday in National Harbor, Md., with a gaggle of
potential Republican presidential candidates pitching their 2016 credentials
at the annual event. The highlights so far:
WALKER'S MOMENT
Scott Walker blasted President Obama's leadership and vowed to restore
America's standing around the globe, couching himself as a standardbearer for conservatives eager to retake the White House.
"We need a leader in America who stands up and realizes that radical
Islamic terrorism is a threat to our way of life and to freedom-loving people
around the world," Walker said. "We need a leader who will stand up and
say we will take the fight to them and not wait until they take the fight to
American soil."
The CPAC audience rose to its feet several times as Walker spoke,
including sharing his now-familiar story of how he fought special interests in
Democratic-leaning Wisconsin to win three elections in the last four years.
He slammed the way politicians in Washington especially Obama
make govern and make decisions.

!
ONPOLITICS

Scott Walker bashes Washington to win over CPAC crowd


"The president measures success by the people who are dependent on
government," Walker said. "We should measure success by how many
people are no longer dependent on government."
The governor won raves inside the convention hall for his reference to
fighting unions back home in Wisconsin, but he also was criticized for this
comment: "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across
the globe," Walker said, responding to a question on how he would defeat
the Islamic State.
In an interview with the Wisconsin State Journal after his speech, Walker
said he did not regret his statement. "You all will misconstrue things the
way you see fit," he said. "That's the closest thing I have in terms of
handling a difficult situation, not that there's any parallel between the two."
Democrats and their labor allies shot back. "If Scott Walker thinks that it's
appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal
terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought.
Maybe he should go back to punting," said Mo Elleithee, communications
director for the Democratic National Committee.
Catalina Camia
STRONG WORDS FROM JINDAL
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal told conservatives that Washington lawmakers
need to do their jobs, and that includes congressional Republicans.
"It is time for them to govern the way they campaigned, and get rid of
Obamacare," Jindal said in his speech.
In addition to repealing Obama's health care program, Jindal also hit other
hot-button CPAC issues by saying the U.S. must remove Common Core

education standards "from every classroom" and "win the war against
radical Islamic extremism."

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ONPOLITICS

Jindal blasts Washington pols (including Republicans)


While Islamic State-style terrorism threatens the United States, Jindal said
that President Obama has proven himself "incapable of being our
commander-in-chief."
While saying "this president has done a lot of damage," the Louisiana
governor also had harsh words for Republican lawmakers who, in his view,
have failed to stand up to Obama.
"It is time for our Republican leaders in Congress to grow a spine," Jindal
said.
David Jackson

A woman piles up stickers for Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, at the Conservative Political
Action Conference on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: Alex Wong, Getty Images)

CRUZ: 'DEMAND ACTION, NOT TALK'


Ted Cruz served conservatives a red-meat diet, delivering a speech heavy
on themes of liberty and freedom laced with biting attacks on President
Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and the ways of Washington
"Washington wants Obamacare, the people want liberty," the Texas senator
said in one example. "Don't believe President Obama when he says when
you like your Internet, you get to keep your Internet."
Cruz took aim at Clinton, saying she's the embodiment of all that's wrong
with Washington. He also threw out a zinger amid reports that the Clinton
Foundation accepted funding from foreign governments while she was
secretary of State. "We could have had Hillary here, but we couldn't find a
foreign nation to foot the bill," he joked.

!
ONPOLITICS

Ted Cruz slams Obama, Clinton in fiery CPAC speech


As for his GOP rivals with their eye on the White House, Cruz seemed to
raise doubts about moderate-minded presidential candidates who say they
are conservative. He didn't mention anyone by name, but said there is a
way to test their conservative bona fides.
"Demand action, not talk," Cruz said. "If a candidate tells you the
Obamacare, fantastic. (But) when have you stood up and fought against it.
If a candidate says they oppose Obama's illegal executive amnesty, terrific.
When have you stood up and fought against it."
Invoking Ronald Reagan and his ability to build coalitions across
ideological lines, Cruz also exhorted the CPAC attendees to "paint in bold
colors" and avoid candidates who "talk the talk but don't walk the walk."
Catalina Camia

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks at the 2015 Conservative Political Action
Conference on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

CHRISTIE'S JEB DIG


Don't call him short-tempered or hot-headed. Call him "passionate.''
That's how New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie described himself before a full
house of conservative activists at the CPAC gathering Thursday, when talkshow host Laura Ingraham read off a list of the unflattering adjectives
sometimes applied to Christie.

!
ONPOLITICS

'Passionate' Christie wants Jeb Bush to answer more questions


"The word they miss is passionate," Christie said. Referring to a muchviewed video of Christie barking at a New Jersey resident during a town
hall meeting. "Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up,"
Christie said, to applause.
"Some more of that stuff should be happening in D.C.," he said. "There's so
much ridiculous stuff being spewed."
But he told Jeb Bush, in so many words, to stand up and start talking. The
town hall meetings he conducts in New Jersey are "what elected officials
owe to their constituents," Christie said, an unsubtle reference to Bush
answering only pre-screened questions at his recent speeches. "Everybody
who aspires to high positions of leadership should be willing to take
unscreened, unrehearsed questions from the people who pay their salary."
Martha T. Moore

Carly Fiorina waits to be interviewed at the annual Conservative Political Action


Conference on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)

FIORINA TAKES ON CLINTON


A Republican woman who may seek the presidency devoted part of her
CPAC speech Thursday to bashing another female candidate: Hillary
Rodham Clinton.
"Mrs. Clinton, name an accomplishment," Carly Fiorina told the
Conservative Political Action Conference, later adding: "Hillary may like
hashtags but she does not know what leadership means."

!
ONPOLITICS

Fiorina blasts Clinton at CPAC meeting


Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, criticized the Democratic frontrunner over foreign money: "Please explain why we should accept that the
millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation
from foreign governments do not represent a conflict of interest."
Asked about the importance of having a female candidate, Fiorina said, "I
think our party needs to be as diverse as the nation we seek to represent."
Women are not a "special interest group," she added "we are a majority
of the nation."
David Jackson

Ben Carson is surrounded by supporters as he waits to be interviewed at the annual


Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26,
2015. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty Images)

CARSON'S KICKOFF
Ben Carson kicked off CPAC on Thursday morning with an attack on big
government liberalism, saying it cannot solve problems ranging from health
care to the federal debt.
"We need to move in a very different direction," Carson said.
ONPOLITICS

Ben Carson to CPAC: We need new direction


In a critique that stretched back to the Great Society programs of the
1960s, Carson said that government programs are about "redistribution
and control," while debt and radical Islam are threatening to "destroy" the
United States.
Carson, a neurosurgeon, has not formally announced his candidacy, but is
considered a potential 2016 presidential contender. But he is backed by a

group of supporters who have organized in early primary and caucus


states, including every county in Iowa.
The government should have a "safety net" for people in need, Carson said
during a question-and-answer session, but eliminate programs that create
"dependency " for too many people.
"What I want is for people to have real freedom," Carson said.
David Jackson

DEMS ARE WATCHING


CPAC isn't just a must-see event for Republicans eager to win back the
White House. Democrats are also focused on CPAC, but as fact-checkers
and critics.
Trackers from American Bridge, a Democratic opposition research group,
are roaming the hallways with cameras in hand in the hopes of catching an
"oops" moment or quote that will become fodder for attacks. They're also
trained on the main stage, where Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul,
Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and other Republicans hoping to
become president will speak.

!
ONPOLITICS

Democrats ready to pounce at the CPAC 'circus'


"We've seen this circus before," said Debbie Wasserman Schultz,
chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. "We have to watch if
any of the speakers lose the general election before we get to 2016."

Catalina Camia

Supporters of Sen. Rand Paul work at a stand at the annual Conservative Political Action
Conference at National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm, AFP/Getty
Images)

RACKING UP SWAG
Ah, political conventions an opportunity to meet new friends
reconnect with like-minded activists and get a whole lot of free stuff.
"That's a stress ball," says Edwina Rogers, CEO of the Secular Policy
Institute, offering a rubber ball painted like a globe.

!
ONPOLITICS

CPAC delegates rack up free gifts


Vendors at the CPAC are offering a variety of products in efforts to attract
delegates, and potential customers. Attendees can get a Townhall Media
coffee thermos, or free one-on-one career counseling sessions. The 60
Plus Association, which wants to repeal the "death tax," is offering free Tshirts, letter openers and candy.
Whether candy or comic books, the goal is the same: Get attention for gifts,
but promote your ideas to interested parties.
"The freebies are helping a lot," Rogers said. "Especially with the younger
folks."
David Jackson

Jack Baumann looks out through American flag glasses during the Conservative Political
Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

SELLING IDEAS
Like many conventions, CPAC includes sessions on how to sell various
products in this case, conservative political ideas.
Delegates are looking to promote both policies particularly health care
and education as well as the simple nuts and bolts of getting
conservative-leaning people out to vote.

!
ONPOLITICS

"Yes, We Won in 2014 but Still Fail on the Ground and Online,"
announces the title of one breakout session.
Other sessions are devoted to "The Conservative Replacement to
Obamacare," "Common Core: Rotten to the Core?" "When Should America
Go To War?" and "The New Frontiers of Data."
Meanwhile, conservative activists roam the halls of the convention center at
National Harbor, selling causes that range from legalization of marijuana to
asset forfeiture laws. One group hands out buttons reading "God Bless
Free Enterprise."

Sen. Marco Rubio sees opportunity for


redemption on the right
BY CHRIS ADAMSMCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU
02/26/2015 6:08 PM 02/26/2015 6:19 PM
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article11261348.html

GALLERY SLIDES


Sen. Marco Rubio will address thousands of activists at the Conservative Political Action
Conference, a four-day gathering just outside Washington, on Friday. In attendance will
be the heavyweights of todays GOP, as well as the thought leaders, pundits and
conservatives Rubio needs to reach and persuade in order for him to be a viable
contender in 2016. EVY MAGES GETTY IMAGES

OXON HILL, MD.


They should love him.
He has one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate. He
talks forcefully about fighting the Washington establishments biggovernment vision for America, Obamacare and excessive spending.
Yet Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has met with a yawn so far from
conservatives, the people who may hold the key to his shot at the 2016
Republican presidential nomination.
Rubio will get a prime chance to do something about it Friday, when he
addresses thousands of activists at the Conservative Political Action
Conference, a four-day gathering just outside Washington. In attendance
will be the heavyweights of todays GOP, as well as the thought leaders,
pundits and conservatives Rubio needs to reach and persuade in order
for him to be a viable contender in 2016.
So far, hes polling low, and his numbers among conservatives have
been lower than those among Republicans overall.
His name, to grass-roots activists in Iowa, never comes up, said Steve
Deace, a nationally syndicated radio host based in Iowa, a pivotal early
test for the presidential nomination.
Rubios actions over the past two years, Deace said, opened the door for
others, such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, whose voting record is one tick
to the right of Rubios.
Cruz wins the space now that Rubio had a year and a half ago, Deace
said.
The reason, of course, is Rubios celebrated role in a 2013 immigration
debate. Rubio pushed a bipartisan overhaul of the nations immigration
system that made it through the Senate but stalled in the House of
Representatives. Many conservatives lambasted him.
Brent Bozell, chairman of the national conservative advocacy group
ForAmerica, said he was shocked by how harsh the response was
among the grass roots toward Rubios immigration role.

I asked if they could give him a mulligan because he was a brand-new


face, Bozell said. Nobody was willing to do so. I think he hurt himself,
and I think he knows it.
Even so, Rubios actions on immigration are certainly not a death
sentence among conservatives, said Richard S. Conley, an associate
professor of political science at the University of Florida.
If Rubio is as astute as I think he is, I think he can turn this back around
and the memory of two years ago will be short-lived.
Looking ahead to the high-profile appearance Friday, Rubio told
McClatchy his message isnt going to change for the audience.
That message, he said, is one of acknowledging the difficult time for
millions of Americans and the rough transition from the old economy to
the new. Globalization and automation have eliminated or replaced
millions of jobs, he said, and those that remain dont pay enough.
Rubios message should hit right at the heart of conservatives. But the
potential GOP field is crowded with contenders who do the same. Some,
such as Cruz, dont need to spend time regaining the trust of
conservatives it never went away.
After bursting onto the political scene in 2010, Rubio did build a solidly
conservative record in the Senate.
According to the American Conservative Union, which organized this
weeks event, Rubios lifetime voting record rates 98.67; two senators
are tied with him and two others have 100 ratings (the highest possible).
By another measure, Rubio was the 17th most-conservative senator in
2013, according to ratings by the National Journal. Among other
potential presidential candidates, Cruz fell to Rubios right and Sen.
Rand Paul of Kentucky just to his left.
Rubio has started to regain his footing publicly, receiving positive press
and political buzz in recent weeks in part because of his high-octane
role battling the White Houses opening to Cuba. But that has yet to
translate into significant support.
In recent national polls, his support has been in single digits among
Republicans, ranking sixth or seventh. While a CNN poll showed his

support among self-described conservatives to be in line with his support


among all Republicans, other polls have found his support among
conservatives to pale in comparison.
A December McClatchy-Marist poll showed Rubio at 5 percent among
moderate Republicans and Republican-leaners and at 3 percent among
conservative/very conservative ones. His standing among conservatives
tied him for ninth. Rubios support among those who identified
themselves as supporters of the tea party was 0 percent.
As for voters in Iowa, a Quinnipiac University poll of Republicans likely
to attend the states caucus that was released this week showed Rubio at
4 percent; moderates gave him slightly more support than conservatives
did.
I dont think he has a standing, said Deace, the Iowa-based radio host,
who has a strong following among conservatives. I think hes a
nonentity, presidential-wise. He doesnt have a home-state
constituency, and he doesnt have an issue constituency. And it all goes
back to the immigration battle, he said.
Rubio has plenty of room to improve, however, and he has the kind of
support among Washington pundits that could translate into a viable
candidacy. A recent Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll of
definite or probable Iowa caucus-goers found Rubio with views that
were about right not too conservative or too moderate and positive
favorability ratings.
And as Rubio points out, he was once a long shot in Florida to win his
Senate seat.
Added Bozell: If you look at the short list of conservative candidates
out there, hes on it. If you look at the short list of moderate candidates,
hes on it. That makes him formidable.

Walker says Wisconsin


protests prepared him to fight
terrorism
Kathie Obradovich, kobradov@dmreg.com 3:21 p.m. CST February 28, 2015

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/
kathie-obradovich/caucus/2015/02/26/cpac-live-coverage-kathieobradovich/23994375/

!
(Photo: Cliff Owen, AP)

Washington, D.C. -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, speaking at CPAC on


Thursday, suggested his experience in dealing with angry
protesters in Wisconsin prepared him to take on terrorists as
president.
"I want a commander-in-chief that will do everything in their power to
ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on
American soil," he said.
Then he added, "If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same
across the world.
That sounds like a stretch, to say the least. Walker has detailed violence
and threats from people angry about his actions to challenge union power
in Wisconsin. But that's a far cry from dealing with ISIS and other terrorists
being armed and trained by foreign governments.
A spokeswoman for Walker said in an email Thursday night that he was "in
no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS" and that his comment was
meant to convey that when faced with adversity, he chooses strength and
leadership.
Walker's star has been on the rise since last month's crowd-pleasing
speech at the Freedom Summit in Iowa. He proved popular with the
conservative audience at CPAC. Many of his comments were met with
cheers and applause, especially references to defunding Planned
Parenthood, requiring voters to show ID and implementing a right-to-work
law. A reference to his potential presidential run sparked shouts from some
in the audience of "Run, Scott, run!"
He was also interrupted by a heckler or two. He effectively shut down the
shouts with a joke about protests following him from Wisconsin. "Apparently
the protesters come from Wisconsin as well. But you know, those voices
can't drown out the voices of millions of Americans who want us to stand up
for the hard-working taxpayer," Walker said.
Jindal: GOP about to surrender on Obamacare
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal argued that Republicans didn't win elections in
2014 by promising to change parts of Obamacare.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference
(CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (Photo:
Cliff Owen, AP)

"It's time for them to govern the way they campaigned and repeal
Obamacare," he said.
Jindal added, "This election wasn't about getting a nicer office for Sen.
Mitch McConnell."
He spoke more expansively about repealing Obamacare than other
potential 2016 candidates. "At the same time that Republicans in
Washington are about to wave the white flag of surrender on amnesty, they
are about to wave the white flag of surrender on repealing Obamacare. And
I'm here to tell you, we've got to tell them, we won't stand for that."
Cruz: Senate GOP leaders not listening to Americans
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz lashed out at Hillary Clinton at CPAC on Thursday but
was nearly as scathing about entrenched GOP politicians in Washington.
Cruz said Clinton "embodies the corruption" of Washington. He also
accused the GOP leadership in the Senate of not listening to Americans on
immigration.

"Unfortunately, Republican leadership is cutting a deal with Harry Reid and


the Democrats to give in on executive amnesty," Cruz said. "And the
question why is because they are not listening to you."
The audience booed.
Senate Republican leaders reportedly are trying to move forward with the
budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which some Republicans
wanted to use as leverage against the president's executive actions on
immigration.
Cruz compared the Washington establishment to taxi companies resisting
the encroachment of ride services like Uber. "In both parties, they fight
vigorously because they don't want the power to be back with the American
people," he said.
During a lively interview session with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Cruz also
addressed the question about how he could run for president even though
he was born in Canada.
"Look, I was born in Calgary. My mother was an American citizen by birth.
Under federal law, that made me an American citizen by birth. The
constitution requires that you be a natural-born citizen," Cruz said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks with Laura Ingraham during the Conservative
Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md., Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. (AP
Photo/Carolyn Kaster) (Photo: Carolyn Kaster, AP)

Christie: Listen to Americans, not media


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie seemed to think there was a prize at CPAC
for whoever hated the New York Times the most.
He bashed the newspaper at least three times, saying politicians pay too
much attention to Beltway media and too little to middle-income Americans.
He joked that he told his priest he was giving up the New York Times for
Lent.
When the audience started to clap, he said: "Don't cheer; it's bad news. He
said, 'Chris, that's not acceptable. You have to give up something you'll
actually miss.'"
He also jabbed at the Beltway media when asked about his sinking
standing in some polls relative to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
"If what happens is the elites in Washington who make backroom deals
decide who the president is going to be, then he's definitely the frontrunner. If the people of the United States decide to pick the next president
of the United States and they want someone who looks them in the eye,
connects with them and is one of them, I'll do OK on my own."
Christie didn't give a speech but instead sat for an on-stage interview with
national conservative radio host Laura Ingraham. She asked him about the
increasing unwillingness of Congress members to hold town hall meetings
with constituents.
Christie said he held his 128th town-hall meeting on Wednesday. He said
people can raise their hands and ask questions instead of having to submit
questions on cards for pre-screening.
"That's what elected officials owe to their constituents," Christie said.
I absolutely agree, by the way. Christie is criticized for matching belligerent
questions with belligerent answers, but he pointed out, "We're all from New
Jersey."
Ingraham wondered if Christie was taking a swipe at Bush.
"What's I'm saying, Laura, is that everybody who aspires to high positions
of leadership in their state or in their country should be willing to take
unscreened, unrehearsed questions from the people who pay their salary."
Fiorina taunts Hillary Clinton
Former tech industry executive Carly Fiorina made a blunt case at CPAC
on Thursday for having a Republican woman in the race for president in
2016.
Fiorina, who has two trips to Iowa scheduled in March, was asked how
important she thinks it is for the GOP to have a woman in the presidential
race. She said the party ought to be as diverse as the U.S. population.



"Women are now 53 percent of voters. So as I like to tell some of my


Democratic friends who continue to talk about the war on women, we are
not a special interest group. We are the majority of the nation," Fiorina said
to cheers and applause.
"And I will say this, if Hillary Clinton had to face me on the debate stage, at
the very least, she would have a hitch in her swing," Fiorina said.
The former Hewlett-Packard CEO reprised the harsh criticism of Clinton
that she brought to the Freedom Summit in Des Moines last month. She
also slammed the former New York senator and first lady for contributions
to the non-profit Clinton Foundation from foreign governments.
"She tweets about women's rights in this country and takes money from
governments that deny women the most basic human rights,"
Fiorina said of Clinton. " Hillary likes hashtags. But she doesn't
know what leadership means."
Fiorina is among potential 2016 presidential candidates headed to Iowa
next week for an agricultural summit. She's also scheduled to
speak at a GOP women's conference on March 14 in West Des
Moines.

Atheists Actually Allowed at


CPAC This Year
Last year they got the boot, this year they got a
booth and a speaking slot.
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/02/26/
atheists-actually-allowed-at-cpac-this-year
By Nikki Schwab
Feb. 26, 2015 | 4:40 p.m. EST

The American Atheists got very close to having a booth at the Conservative
Political Action Conference last year, but then the groups president David
Silverman got a little mouthy. I used the word attack, he says sheepishly

at this years conference. (He also said on CNN that, The Christian right
should be threatened by us, but thats neither here nor there.)
[FLASHBACK: Big Mouth Gets Atheists Booted From CPAC Booth]
A year later, the secular group has made nice with the American
Conservative Union and was rewarded with a booth in CPACs exhibit hall
and a speaking slot, utilized by American Atheists board member Jamila
Bey.
Were not here to create trouble, Bey swears. We are here to say, You
cant say in order to believe in small government, you have to believe in
Jesus.
The audience reacted pleasantly to Bey who had an early morning
speaking slot on Thursday. (Though not with the same enthusiasm as, say,
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas).
Holding court at the downstairs booth, which holds buttons and a brochure
answering the question Why are we here? an attendee dips by to wish
Bey and Silverman well.
[READ: Meet CPACs Liberty-Loving Purse Lady]
Thats what people have been doing all day to me, Bey says. Shes
maybe the 100th person whos walked by me and said, Hi, good job, thank
you.
Silverman said hes also gotten a mostly positive reception. We have met
so many atheists, he says. The other thing, not only have we met so
many atheists, but we met so many Christians who agree that we ought to
have a table and so many Christians who agree that there should not be
Christianity in conservatism.
But have there been haters?
Oh yeah, yeah, there have been some haters, but they have been the
minority, Silverman says.

You May Not Know Who This


Woman Is, but She Just Hinted She
Could Take on Hillary in 2016
By: Zach Noble
http://cnmnewz.com/you-may-not-know-who-this-woman-is-but-she-just-hintedshe-could-take-on-hillary-in-2016/

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. Hillary Clintons receiving no quarter from


conservatives assembled on the doorstep of the nations capital.
She was slammed in particular by a powerful woman who could give her a run
for her presidential money.

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, walks the hallway before her
speech at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 26, 2015. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll
Call, Inc.)
Addressing the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday
afternoon, Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard and chair of the
American Conservative Union Foundation, hammered the presumptive 2016
Democratic presidential candidate.
Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have travelled the globe, said Fiorina, who mounted a
failed bid for U.S. Senate in California in 2010. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know that
flying is an activity, not an accomplishment.Mrs. Clinton, name an
accomplishment.
Then she doubled down.
Please explain why we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars
that have flowed into the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments dont
represent a conflict of interest, Fiorina implored Clinton
Fiorina,an established business leader with a net worth north of $100 million,
was referencingthe news that broke Wednesday night that the Clinton
Foundation accepted millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments
duringher tenure as secretary of state.
Fiorinas harsh assessment of Clinton wasnt over.
[Clinton] tweets about womens rights in this country and takes money from
governments that deny women the most basic human rights, Fiorina said. She
tweets about equal pay for women but wont answer basic questions about
her own offices pay standards and neither will our president. Hillary likes
hashtags. But she doesnt know what leadership means.
Fiorina may not be on many voters radar for 2016, but when asked about the
need for female candidates in 2016, she fired back with a hint that she may
run.
If Hillary Clinton had to face me on the debate stage, I guarantee she would
have a hitch in her swing, Fiorina said.

Behind the 2016 scenes, Jeb Bush's


team taking steps to reassert his
conservative credentials
Article by: STEVE PEOPLES and THOMAS BEAUMONT, Associated Press
February 26, 2015 - 9:55 PM
http://www.startribune.com/politics/national/294256061.html?
page=all&prepage=1&c=y#continue

OXON HILL, Md. As Florida's governor, Jeb Bush was among the
nation's most conservative state chief executives. He's quietly embarking
on work to convince the right flank of the Republican Party that he would be
that same kind of conservative in the White House.
Eight years removed from office, Bush is viewed by some conservatives as
a squishy moderate: a member of the GOP's most established family with
toxic positions on immigration and education standards.
For that reason, perhaps none of the likely 2016 candidates has more to
gain than Bush at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference, the
nation's largest annual conference of conservative activists.
"The challenge for him is this isn't about yesterday, it's about tomorrow,"
said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which
hosts CPAC. "The key is, what will he do if he's president of the United
States, and does he have a message that will appeal to conservatives?"
Bush speaks at CPAC on Friday, and amid his aggressive fundraising
efforts nationwide, his team and key backers are also taking steps to
remind the party of his history as a conservative in office.
In a possible trial run for his Friday speech, Bush asserted a fiscally
conservative stance and record during a speech to the Club for Growth, an
influential anti-tax group, at its winter meeting in Florida.
"If you apply conservative principles and you stick with it, and you have the
leadership skills to bring people toward the cause, you can move the
needle on these things," Bush said. "Trust me, I did."
In phone calls and private meetings, Bush's team is reviving old alliances
with top social and economic conservatives, broadening his network of

conservative opinion leaders and trying to quiet his more aggressive critics.
Al Cardenas, a longtime Bush supporter and former chairman of the
American Conservative Union, said it would take Bush six to eight months
to "totally set the record straight."
"As I've told the governor, the key word is patience," Cardenas said. "I can
tell you as a matter of fact those meetings have begun to be placed on the
calendar and are beginning to take place. He wants leaders of the
movement to be comfortable with his leadership."
Cardenas and other Bush allies say the problem is one of misperception,
as conservatives of a new era are simply less familiar with his record as
Florida governor.
Aides say that while in office from 1999 to 2007, Bush was among the first
state executives to take on teachers unions, lowered taxes each year and
signed Florida's "stand your ground" gun law. He was a hero among social
conservatives for his actions to keep Michael Schiavo from removing the
feeding tube from his brain-damaged wife, Terri.
Today's criticism centers almost entirely on Bush's support for Common
Core education standards and an immigration policy that would create a
path to citizenship for people living in the country illegally. He is also hurt by
lingering resentment over the rise in government spending during brother
George W. Bush's administration.
Skeptics were reminded of their misgivings late last year, when Bush said a
Republican might need to "lose the primary to win the general," viewed by
some as a swipe at the heavy influence of conservatives in picking the
party's White House nominee.
Just four in 10 self-identified conservatives and tea party supporters rated
Bush favorably in an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted earlier this
month. There was evidence, too, of anti-Bush sentiment in the crowded
hotel lobbies Thursday as thousands of activists gathered for CPAC.
"I have not seen a single Jeb Bush button here," said Neil McGettigan, 25,
of New Jersey. "Honestly, I think the media's more excited about him than
anyone here."
As they privately court prominent conservatives, Bush's confidants are also
encouraging him to outline his conservative bona fides more publicly.
Longtime Bush donor Al Hoffman said he recently told the governor he
needs to openly explain how his positions on immigration and Common
Core are in line with conservative economic principles.
Bush's team is also trying to win over some of his most aggressive critics.
They include Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist, who
praises Bush's economic record as Florida governor, but regularly attacks

his refusal to sign a pledge not to raise taxes if elected president. Bush is
one of the only top-tier GOP presidential contenders not to sign.
"I've had a bunch of people from Jeb's world call me on behalf of the
campaign," Norquist said. "There are many things he did well as
governor. ... But it's all about the pledge. It makes you wonder about
whether he's a team player."
Some conservatives need no convincing. Bush already enjoys formal and
informal support from a growing network of well-connected conservative
leaders with whom he maintains regular contact.
"It'd be hard to be better than Bush on the life issue," said Marjorie
Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national group that
advocates for social conservative values and supports candidates who
oppose abortion. "He's said many times said it to me that he can be
counted on."
While Schlapp won't formally endorse a presidential candidate as leader of
the American Conservative Union, he said Bush had "sterling conservative
credentials" as Florida governor and "took prominent conservative positions
in a battleground state."
"Conservatives play a large role in determining who the Republican
nominee is," said Schlapp, who served as political director in Bush's
brother's White House. "People will forgive him if they connect to him when
he makes his pitch. I think that's what's critical."

Republicans seek the


perfect date (read:
candidate) for 2016

AP
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2014, file photo Texas Gov. Rick Perry stands by a
painting presented to him of his likeness by Erick Erickson after the governor
spoke to attendees at the 2014 Red State Gathering in Fort Worth, Texas.
Lets say that America has given you the job of picking the perfect candidate
for president. There are all sorts of things to start the list: leadership, vision,
charisma, communication skills and foreign policy cred. And more:
fundraising prowess, authenticity, empathy, a keen understanding of the
presidency and maybe a little familiarity with running for the office. Theres
no People magazine list of the hottest candidates. But you can bet most of
these candidates like what they see in the mirror. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez,
File)

By NANCY BENAC, Associated Press

Posted Feb. 26, 2015 at 2:00 PM


http://www.pjstar.com/article/20150226/NEWS/150229449


WASHINGTON, D.C. Let's say, for a moment, that America has
given you the job of picking the perfect candidate for president.
Good luck, Mr. or Ms. Voter, deciding what they've got to have
and what they can do without.
There are all sorts of things to start the list: leadership, vision,
charisma, communication skills and foreign policy cred. And
more: fundraising prowess, authenticity, empathy, a keen
understanding of the presidency and maybe a little familiarity
with running for the office.
And even more: good looks are always a plus, even if people
don't want to admit it. For many, being an "outsider" is a must at
a time when "Washington" is on the outs with a lot of people.
Where do you even start? For Republicans, you can't do much
better than this week's Conservative Political Action Conference.
There are as many as two dozen GOP hopefuls eyeing the party's
nomination in 2016, and many of them will be offering
themselves at CPAC as the perfect prom date for conservatives in
search of a winning candidate.
Can anyone claim the total package? Matt Schlapp, chairman of
the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC, sees a
strong lineup of potential candidates and says that now, "they're
going to preen and strut and we're going to see a president
emerge."
But you know how schoolgirls may dream up the perfect
boyfriend by imagining a mashup of the jock, the hottie and the
smart kid, with a whiff of bad boy for excitement? What if
Republicans could do the same to assemble their dream
candidate to go up against the Democratic nominee, who most
expect will be Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Here's a look at a few qualities they might want to pick from, and
some of the candidates with something to offer.
___
LEADERSHIP
Pick a governor. Wisconsin's Scott Walker, New Jersey's Chris
Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are among at least 10
current and former governors considering a bid. Says Walker,
"Governors are the ones who get things done." One other option:
Carly Fiorina, a former tech executive, has the initials "CEO" on
her resume.

___
COMMUNICATION
Grab a senator. Boy, do they know how to talk. There are at least
five current and former senators considering running, and
Florida's Marco Rubio, Kentucky's Rand Paul and Texan Ted Cruz
are all known for giving a good speech. Rubio has the added
benefit of a compelling back story to share on the stump: he's
the son of Cuban immigrants who came to the U.S. seeking a
better life.
___
THE OUTSIDER
Walker is a Harley-riding preacher's son who's been governor
since 2011 and cultivated the image of the outside-Washington
upstart. He's best known for a taking on public unions, and
surviving a 2012 recall election after that brouhaha.

Chris Christie: Some in


DC 'Need to Sit Down and
Shut Up'
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 03:18 PM
By Sandy Fitzgerald
http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/Chris-Christie-2016-election-Common-Corepro-life/2015/02/26/id/627107/

Sometimes there are people who "need to be told to sit down and shut
up," and that includes plenty of people in Washington, New Jersey
Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday during the Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC) being held in Maryland through the
weekend.
Christie, who sat down with conservative radio show host Laura
Ingraham for an interview rather than doing a traditional speech
before the conservative crowd, fielded questions on his brash
reputation, how he'd separate himself from other contenders, and
even the early 2016 polls that show him trailing behind other
candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov.
Scott Walker.
The American Conservative Union posted video of the conversation
onto YoutTube.
And when it comes to some people who describe of him as "explosive,
short-tempered, and impatient" they forget the real word,
"passionate," said Christie, explaining that he is the offspring of an

Irish father and a Sicilian mother and grew up learning the value of
being passionate on subjects.
Ingraham referred to the time Christie told a heckler to "sit down and
shut up," and Christie told her that not only do some people need to do
that, but "some more of that stuff should be happening in D.C.,"
making a dig at the Obama administration.
Meanwhile, Christie told Ingraham he is not worried about recent
polls, including a Public Policy Polling survey that showed him
with just five percent of the voters, far behind Walker at 25 percent,
Dr. Ben Carson at 18 percent, Bush at 17 percent, and former Arkansas
Gov. Mike Huckabee at 10 percent.
"Is the election next week?" the governor told Ingraham.
Christie also used the interview to bash the media, particularly The
New York Times.
"Here I am, I'm still standing," he said. "What matters more...I wake
up every morning knowing how to fight for the people in my state."
Ingraham also noted in her interview that Christie has been criticized
over signing an application for Race to the Top Funds in 2010 under
the federal Common Core standards.
But he noted that he has a hesitation over it all now, because he
believes states need to be under the control of local boards and
parents, not the federal government.
Christie also used the platform to remind listeners that he has always
held a pro-life stance, running for governor both times on his record
and vetoing Planned Parenthood five times out of his state's budget.
"My record has always been strong and resolute," he said. "Don't
believe what the media tells you if you're pro-life you can't get elected."

Christie also questioned the stance of potential challenger Bush on


Detroit and immigration, with Bush suggesting that the city should be
repopulated with immigrants, and saying they have a stronger work
ethic.
"The fact of the matter is the most entrepreneurial people in the world
are in the United States, that's why people want to come here," he told
Ingraham.
But overall, Christie called for more open politicians like himself who
stand up firmly for their principles, including when it comes to the
challenge of beating someone like probable Democrat nominee Hillary
Clinton for the White House, who he says believes in giving a handout
that includes a minimum wage increase.
"Parents aren't sitting around the table and saying 'if my kids could get
a higher minimum wage' " how much better off they would be. Rather,
Christie said he wants a country where parents can look at their
children and tell them they can be anything they want.

February 26, 2015 3:11 PM

The Designated Hillary-Slapper


By Ed Kilgore
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal-a/2015_02/
the_designated_hillaryslapper054388.php#

When Carly Fiorinas name first got circulated as a potential 2016 president
candidate, I was more than a little puzzled, given her dubious record as a
business executive and her dismal performance in her one run for political office.
I did figure GOPers would welcome her to the field because it was unseemly to
have no women running the year Democrats will likely nominate Hillary Clinton.
But now that shes spoken at CPAC (her position as a board member of the
sponsoring organization, the American Conservative Union, scored her a prime
first-day speaking slot), her role in the campaign is a lot clearer: she gets to
hammer Clinton day in and day out without risking the Lazio Problem: the
phenomenon (named after her 2000 Senate opponent Rick Lazio) of voters,
particularly women, not particularly liking it when a bunch of white men beat up
on a very accomplished woman. Fiorinas presence guarantees theres no
gathering of candidates without a good, uninhibited attack on HRCincluding
the gathering today (per a report from Bloomberg Politics Ben Brody:)
Potential Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina took on Hillary Clinton in her
speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, questioning the
former secretary of states record and launching an apparent attack on contributions
that her familys foundation received from foreign governments.
Mrs. Clinton, please name an accomplishment, Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard
CEO and Senate candidate, said. And in the meantime, please explain why we should
accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed into the Clinton Global
Initiative from foreign governments does not represent a conflict of interest.
She also hit the presumed frontrunner for the 2016 Democratic nomination on her
record on womens right, the Benghazi attacks, and her approach to Russian President
Vladimir Putin.
I have met Vladimir Putin, and I know that his ambition will not be deterred by a
gimmicky red reset button, she said.
The mentions of Clinton prompted boos from the audience and applause for Fiorina.

Of course it did.
Now one thing I said back in September that I havent changed my mind on at all
is this: the relative effectiveness of Fiorina in bashing Clinton day in and day out
will help Republicans figure out if its a good idea to nominate a woman for Vice
President this time around. And who knows? If shes really effective, Fiorina

could even get her own name on the veep list, though more likely theyll go with
someone a bit more successful, like Gov. Susana Martinez or Rep. Cathy
McMorris Rodgers or (shudder) Sen. Joni Ernst.
If Carly does well, though, shes almost certainly in line for a decent cabinet post
or a prime ambassadorship, and every time she lands a blow against HRC, she
probably scores another corporate board appointment if she stays in the private
sector. But she wont impress me unless she makes one whole speech without
mentioning Clinton.

Carly Fiorina Just Offered the Harshest


Criticism of Hillary Clinton at CPAC So
Far
"Hillary may like hashtags, but she does not know what
leadership means." #CPAC2015
BY EMMA ROLLER
February 26, 2015
http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/carly-fiorina-just-offered-theharshest-criticism-of-hillary-clinton-at-cpac-so-far-20150226

Carly Fiorina embedded a message deep within her speech at the


Conservative Political Action Conference: Don't count me out of 2016.
As National Journal's Shane Goldmacher astutely points out, Fiorina is on
the board of the American Conservative Unionthe group that organizes
CPACmeaning she likely had sway over when she gave her speech. And
she got a nice deal: Going in between Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Ted
Cruz guaranteed a big audience.

And that audience got a good show, including some red meat they may not
have expected from the lesser-known Fiorina, who served as CEO at
Hewlett-Packard until 2005. Unlike every other Republican presidential
hopeful at CPAC, Fiorina is uniquely able to criticize Clinton without having
to worry about cries of sexism. And it's an ability that she did not take for
granted on Thursday.
"This is not leadership," she said of Obama. "Nor is it leadership when
Secretary Clinton asks what difference does it make when our embassy is
deliberately attacked by terrorists and four Americans are murdered,"
Fiorina said. "It makes all the difference, Mrs. Clinton, and the required
response has never come."
Fiorina also took the opportunity to slam the other leading lady in
Democratic politics: Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
"Elizabeth Warren is right: Crony capitalism is indeed alive and well,"
Fiorina said. "Government and government programs have grown so big,
so powerful, so costly, and so complex that only the big and the powerful
can prosper. But Elizabeth Warren is dead wrong about how to end crony
capitalism. You see, whether it is Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, or net
neutrality, all this government complexity means the big get bigger, the
small disappear, and the powerless are trapped."
Fiorina also readministered a burn notice to Clinton about her claim of
traveling to 112 countries during her time as secretary of State. "Like Mrs.
Clinton, I too have traveled the globe," Fiorina said, adding that "flying is an
activity, not an accomplishment."
"I have met Vladimir Putin, and I know his determination will not be
deterred by a gimmicky red reset button," Fiorina continued. "Mrs. Clinton,
please name an accomplishment. And in the meantime, please explain why
we should accept that the millions and millions of dollars that have flowed
into the Clinton Global Initiative from from foreign governments doesn't
represent a conflict of interest."
"She tweets about women's rights in this country and takes money from
governments that deny women the most basic human rights. She tweets
about equal pay for women, but won't answer basic questions about her
own office's pay standardsand neither will our president. Hillary may like
hashtags, but she does not know what leadership means."

In the question-and-answer period after her remarks, Fiorina was asked


how important it is to have a female candidate in the 2016 presidential
race. "Any suggestions on who that should be?" the interviewer asked
cheekily.
"I think our party needs to be as diverse as the nation we hope to
represent," Fiorina said, noting that women now make up 53 percent of the
electorate. "We are not a special-interest group., We are the majority of the
nation."
At the end of her appearance, Fiorinagot in final jab: "If Hillary Clinton had
to face me on a debate stage, at the very least she would have a hitch in
her swing.

Leaders gather for CPAC 'boot camp'


Group gives praise to the Left for strong campaigning
skills
Author: By Jeremy Diamond CNN
Published On: Feb 26 2015 12:00:49 PM EST Updated On: Feb 26 2015 09:57:58 PM EST
http://www.news4jax.com/politics/at-cpac-boot-camp-learning-from-the-left/31497660

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (CNN) In a tightly packed room at the Conservative Political Action Conference,
more than a hundred conservatives sat down in rows or leaned against the
walls to hear a half-dozen political operatives teach the basics of their trade
and share one hard truth: the Left is a whole lot better at modern
campaigning.
While 2016 hopefuls flocked to the National Harbor, Maryland, confab on
Thursday, aspiring activists listened attentively the day before as
conservative operatives extolled the work of people who would only be
blamed and blasted at any other time during the conference. Barack
Obama and his 2012 campaign chief tech officer Harper Reed. Obama's
campaign operatives and volunteers. The socialist organizer Saul Alinsky.
"I disagree with the Left on their policy ideas, but on their organizing and
training...I swipe their ideas all the time," said Ned Ryun, founder and CEO
of American Majority, a group aimed at training conservative activists in
grassroots and campaign organizing.
But Ryun and his American Majority colleagues are neither dwelling on nor
shying away from the fact that Democrats and progressive activists have
outpaced their rivals on the right in areas ranging from get-out-the-vote
efforts to social media and data collection.
Instead, they're taking notes and sharing them with conservative activists
who are ready to win the next election, whether at the federal, state or local
level.
And CPAC could be the ideal time to move the needle, with thousands of
some of the most enthusiastic, animated and often young conservatives

gathered to fire each other up and get inspired by the high-profile politicians
and would-be-candidates who are the main attraction.
So when Ryun joined last year the board of the American Conservative
Union, which organizes CPAC, he says he "started beating the drum from
day one" that CPAC should also be a venue to train activists and would-be
campaign managers. Matt Schlapp, first-year chairman of the ACU, was
quickly on board.
"If you like their ideas and they have a compelling message, what are you
actually going to do to make them successful?" Ryun asked. "We're really
trying to bridge the gap between ideas and talking and action, and that
bridging is really about training."
The seminars drew all types of conservatives: most had volunteered on a
campaign before, but some had yet to take their conservative zeal to the
next level.
The pupils-for-a-day picked up terms like "win number," learned about the
need for candidates to spend half their time fundraising and the number of
votes you can win per 100 phone calls.
And then there was Fernando Torrez, a first-time candidate vying for a seat
on the Alexandria, Va. city council.
The CPAC "boot camp" wasn't the first campaign training session Torrez
had attended, but the emphasis on get out the vote training and social
media convinced Torrez that he needs to buy into Twitter to head a
successful campaign.
"I'm not a Twitter fan, but after today I think I'm going to have to be," he said
at the end of the day.
That's something most on the Left are already tuned into, American
Majority's National Executive Director Matt Batzel said during his session
on harnessing social media.
"The Left is naturally better at these things," he told the room of
conservatives. "We're lagging behind in these areas."
Republicans stressed after snagging a historic majority in Congress
following the midterms last fall that they had finally caught up with
Democrats and, in some cases, beat them at their own game online and on
the ground.
But in an interview after his class, Batzel explained that while conservatives
have been making inroads online, "there's still a gap" and "a long ways to
go" to close it.
"We don't necessarily come at it from the objective that what the right has
done works," Batzel said. "We want to look objectively at what has worked,

what hasn't worked. So the Right may be better at certain things, but online
... ."
For all the tactics employed by liberals shared Wednesday, the objective of
the day was clear: teaching would-be candidates and campaign staffers
how to win and booting liberals out of office.
It's the reason why Anthony Neutout drove from Indiana to the suburbs of
Washington, D.C. to enjoy his first CPAC and attend what was billed as
"activism boot camp."
"I'm here because I want to learn anything I can to get Rand Paul elected,"
Neutout said. "I think I'm going to be more effective.

Conservatives convene in
Washington for CPAC
Three-day event is a testing ground for potential 2016 Republican
hopefuls
By Ed Adamczyk   | Feb. 26, 2015 at 12:20 PM
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/02/26/Conservativesconvene-in-Washington-for-CPAC/1311424968707/#ixzz3SszYmtNP



Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in
National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License
Photo

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Conservative Republicans


have convened just outside Washington at CPAC 2015, a three-day
parade of speeches designed to rouse the faithful and perhaps make a
presidential candidate a front-runner.
The Conservative Political Action Conference is an annual carnival of
conservatism for donors, activists and potential candidates. This year it
can be seen as a battleground, not only for presidential hopefuls invited
to speak but for the direction the embattled party will take as it heads to
2016.
The guest list of speakers includes the names Bush, Palin, Cruz, Christie,
Trump, Fiorina, Jindal, Rubio, Perry, Paul, Santorum and others
including Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association and Nigel
Farage of the small-government United Kingdom Independence Party
(UKIP). Many of these names are someone's idea of a presidential
candidate, and for all intents, the GOP run for the White House starts
Thursday with something of an adventure in comparison-shopping.
"Conservatives are hungry to find a standard-bearer, but they're open to
who it is," said Matt Schlapp, the new chairman of the American
Conservative Union, sponsor of the event, told the Washington Post.
"They're actually shopping right now. ... How (potential candidates)
execute will have a huge impact on where the race goes next."
The Republican Party has cracks in its policies, a perception problem, a
lack of unity and concerns about its future as it applies to growing
demographic minorities. Furthermore, not every Republican in the
United States thinks he or she is represented at a conference which
blatantly panders to the conservative mindset, and yet the campaign for
an election 20 months away has to begin somewhere.
The party is unified in its opposition to President Barack Obama and its
contempt for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Expect a
three-day festival of mudslinging, except in those moments the
conventioneers stop to ponder the future and of how the GOP has not
been well-served by negativity.

Each of the speakers regarded as presidential timber (Jeb Bush will use
his allotted time not for an address but for a question-and-answer session
with conservative commentator Sean Hannity) already has a loyal core
of supporters; CPAC will reveal if the prospective candidates can bridge
gaps and turn themselves into favorites, at the expense of their rivals.
The conference thus has the elements of a tent revival meeting, a
boardroom debate about funding and an "American Idol" audition: Take
an up-close look, note the talent and potential and choose one.
Going into this year's event it is difficult to point to a front-runner. Mitt
Romney's star was ascending until he chose not to contest for the
nomination; Jeb Bush and Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., are currently at
the top of polls. No one seems completely in line with the party line; the
take on immigration of Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., or the
isolationist stance of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for example, are at odds
with standard Republican ideology.
Attendees' opinions will mesh on gun control, small government and
messages on bumper stickers for sale ("Fight crime, shoot back"). Who
walks away, Saturday, a winner, or at least a front-runner, remains to be
seen.

CPAC: Were not a church


theres no dogma
BY DAVID LIGHTMAN
February 26, 2015
http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/02/26/4153842_cpac-were-not-a-churchtheres.html?rh=1

OXON HILL, MD. The Conservative Political Action Conference, which is


scheduled to feature a parade of potential Republican presidential
candidates testing their messages and their appeal to thousands of party
activists from all over the country, began Wednesday and continues
through Saturday.
McClatchy sat down with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American
Conservative Union, which sponsors the event, for a preview. Schlapp,
former political director for President George W. Bush, became chairman in
June.
McClatchy: How do you define conservatism today?
Schlapp: Thats really something that CPAC is all about trying to
determine. Were not a church. Its a mistake to somehow think theres a
book of dogma and you accept those teachings if youre a conservative,
and if you dont, youre not. People who approach politics that way are
making a mistake.
Its more a political coalition than anything else. Conservatism is the . . .
desire to have a limited government that doesnt get involved in my life, that
doesnt have a bloated bureaucracy that (gets) involved in every aspect of
the economy, that isnt a big regulatory state.
McClatchy: Fairly or unfairly, conservatives have developed a reputation
as somewhat intolerant. Is that a fair conclusion and if so, how do you
overcome that?
Schlapp: It is our intent to be open-minded, to be inviting and to have a
conversation with anybody. Certainly conservatives who have diversity of
opinion on all kinds of issues need to be welcome at CPAC and play a
large role.

McClatchy: So have you invited any activists for abortion rights?


Schlapp: We havent invited anyone here because theyre pro-choice but I
know there are people in our program that have those views; there are
sponsors that have those views. Take the concept of libertarianism alone
its a huge part of our movement. They believe government shouldnt be
involved in those issues, and they are welcome here.
McClatchy: Why are the Log Cabin Republicans, a conservative gay-rights
group, not a CPAC sponsor? (Greg Angelo, the groups executive director,
will speak as part of a Saturday panel on Russia.)
Schlapp: There was a certain amount of confusion whether theyve signed
up or not. . . . After CPAC is over and weve gotten a good nights sleep,
were going to meet and discuss what issues we can work on together.
Gay conservatives are welcome at CPAC. . . . We cant be any more
forthright that this is an event for conservatives and that includes
conservatives who are gay.
trim_indicator EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM
McClatchy: Are you concerned that modern conservatism is being defined
as simply anything that President Obama is against? Is conservatism being
oversimplified?
Schlapp: Its always hard for conservatives. Theyre usually in the lane as
saying the growth of government is a threat. And liberals are in the lane
where they get to come up with new government programs. The way the
argument goes is liberals come up with new programs to help someone
and the conservative then says Im against that new government program.
The problem with that from a marketing standpoint is that we always say no
and the liberal looks like hes trying to help someone. Thats a completely
false argument, but that is a little bit what happens.
McClatchy: Give me an example where government works.
Schlapp: I think America in the world is one of the few positive forces to
keep the world stable. I like that were feared. I worry were not feared as
much as we should be. The second thing is that government has a big role,
an important role, in assuring our rights are protected.
trim_indicator EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM
McClatchy: Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. Lindsey
Graham, R-S.C., are not listed as speakers. Where are they?
Schlapp: Mike Huckabee had had some past criticisms of CPAC. I think he
couldnt get here because of his schedule. We would have loved to have
had him and we did invite him.
McClatchy: Sen. Graham?

Schlapp: Lindsey Graham, this idea hes running for president is a


boomlet. Its happened in very short order. Unfortunately, I wish if he is
going to run for president and wanted to speak at CPAC, I wish hed
communicated much earlier. I assume we would have been open to inviting
him. . . . We werent trying to be disrespectful to Sen. Graham.
McClatchy: What about Jeb Bush?
Schlapp: Jeb Bush is coming to CPAC because Jeb Bush wants to be at
CPAC and he knows the importance of talking to these activists, and I give
him credit for coming. The words he chooses as he explains his positions
on these issues will be incredibly important. He has a chance at CPAC to,
without any filter at all, explain to these activists what his philosophy is and
what his approach is on these issues and other issues he faced when he
was gov.
McClatchy: What are the concerns about Gov. Bush?
Schlapp: You know what they are. Theyve been so widely reported. When
was governor he cut taxes every year. He was seen as a governor who
took on the teachers union. He was tightfisted with the budget. But its
been several years since hes been governor. As you know, politics is about
tomorrow, not yesterday. He has to tell these people what he wants to do
for them tomorrow.
McClatchy: Discuss national security and the divide among conservatives.
Schlapp: I worked for Bush and Cheney. Is that the conservative position?
Rand Paul (Kentucky senator and possible 2016 candidate for president)
has really found a voice thats less interventionist. Is he the conservative
consensus after so many wars, so many deaths?
I talked to a lot of candidates. They dont know where to go. They dont
know where that consensus is. They dont know which book to pull off the
shelf, to study, to learn what the consensus is. Theres a lot of diverse
opinions on what the consensus should be.
Conservatives agree on this: We didnt get hit after 9/11 in a major way.
That is a pretty major achievement. I think theres a growing fear were
taking our eye off that ball.

Which Republican has


the most to prove at
CPAC 2015?
By: JAKE MILLERCBS NEWS
February 26, 2015, 5:56 AM
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/which-2016-republican-has-the-most-toprove-at-cpac-2015/

The 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)


kicks off in Maryland Thursday, and a number of potential
Republican presidential candidates are descending on the
three-day event to woo the people whose votes they might
need next year.
First held in 1973, CPAC has emerged as a marquee annual
event for the American right wing: an opportunity for leading
lights and rising stars to consult with one another and
appraise the political figures who could stake a claim to their

allegiance. The organizers bill the event as the "nation's


largest gathering of conservatives."

Focus on 2016: Tightening race among GOP favorites


"This really is the first chance that these folks will have to say
before such a large audience, 'This is who I am, this is what I
believe in,'" said Ross Hemminger, a spokesman for the
American Conservative Union, which spearheads CPAC.
The conference takes on an added sense of urgency in the year
before a presidential race, as battle lines are drawn and the
jockeying among potential GOP primary rivals intensifies.
That's especially true this year, with a wide-open race for the
Republican nomination and no fewer than a dozen potential
candidates scheduled to speak.
The speeches will provide an early look each candidate's
strategy for courting the conservative base. And the potential
payoff could be huge. The rapid rise of Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker in the wake of his well-received speech at the Iowa
Freedom Summit last month illustrates how quickly a rousing
appearance at a conservative confab can alter the early
primary landscape.

With that in mind, here's a look at the pressures and


expectations some potential candidates face when they take
the stage over the next three days.

Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush's signal last December that he's planning to run for
president dramatically reorganized the GOP landscape
heading into 2016, and the former Florida governor is already
assembling formidable a team of operatives and fundraisers.

Play VIDEO

James Baker: Jeb Bush is the 2016 Republican


frontrunner
Bush is expected to post a strong showing among the GOP's
donor class and its more moderate, business-friendly wing.
But his speech at CPAC could demonstrate how Bush will
court the party's base, which views him with suspicion due to
his heterodox views on immigration and education.
"In some ways, Jeb Bush has the most to prove of anyone,"
said GOP pollster and strategist Frank Luntz, a CBS News
contributor. "His record as governor is unassailable, but his
more recent positions on immigration reform and education
are problematic with the conservative base. He doesn't have to

change their minds on those issues, but he does have to


convince them that these issues should not disqualify him
from consideration."
Rick Wilson, a Florida-based GOP strategist, said Bush "ought
to show them the kind of conservative leader he was in
Florida. He needs to reacquaint them with his record and his
philosophy."
"He also has to show some passion," Luntz added. "His
speeches in recent days have lacked the intensity and fire that
crowds like the one at CPAC expect."

Chris Christie
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, once considered a top
contender for the 2016 GOP nomination, has slipped out of
the conversation recently. His appeal among the GOP's
establishment wing has been corroded by the arrival of Jeb
Bush, and he faces problems at home in New Jersey, including
record low approval ratings and a still-simmering traffic
scandal involving the George Washington Bridge.
And while his bombastic style helped make him a national
figure, there is ample concern about how well it would wear
over the course of a long presidential campaign.
"I think Christie has a high hill to climb at CPAC," said
Wilson. "He may be trying for a reboot to show people the
kind of spark and energy that he used to have is still
something he can bring to a discussion."
Some aren't counting Christie out just yet, though. "Not only
do I think he's still viable, I think he's one of the top three.
There just needs to be a mute button added to the Christie
repertoire," said Luntz. "Christie has only one volume: loud.
And that pays off for this audience, but it's not enough. He

needs to use CPAC to lay out a more comprehensive, positive


agenda."

Scott Walker
As noted before, Walker's speech at the Iowa Freedom
Summit last month catapulted him into the top tier of
potential GOP contenders - juicing his early poll numbers and
adding a healthy dose of name recognition. Since then,
though, Walker has stumbled over questions about evolution,
his lack of a college degree, and President Obama's Christian
faith.

Play VIDEO

Scott Walker punts a question on evolution


With his speech at CPAC, Walker will look to prove that he's
not just the flavor of the month, but a viable candidate for the
Republican nomination who can weather a rough news cycle
or two (and punch back, if need be). He'll likely nod at his
effort to curtail the power of public employee unions in his
state - a push that earned him an unsuccessful recall election
and plenty of goodwill among the GOP base.
"Walker has replaced Chris Christie as the number-two
candidate for Republicans in 2016," said Luntz.

"Conservatives know what he did on unions, now they need to


know what he would do on other issues - it's much more
informational. They are predisposed to like him. He has to
turn that like into love."
"Scott Walker needs to show he's not just a flash in the pan,"
said Wilson. "He also needs to remind these guys that he...has
been up against every single thing the Democratic hate
machine can throw at him, and not only has he survived it,
he's crushed them."

Rand Paul
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul won the last two CPAC straw polls,
and his supporters will be out in force at this year's
conference. His libertarian leanings have endeared him to
parts of the Republican base on economic policy and
government surveillance issues, but they've also distinguished
him from his party at times, particularly on foreign policy.
GOP security hawks have been very critical of Paul, saying his
aversion to foreign entanglements is simply dangerous.
At CPAC, look for Paul to emphasize those issues on which he
and the conservative base align, while alleviating any doubts
on issues on which they disagree.
"Rand Paul is one of the best GOP spokespeople right now,"
said Luntz. "When he speaks, people listen, and for the most
part people like what they hear. The challenge is a single
issue: foreign policy. And foreign policy does matter to the
conservative faithful. Paul's position on foreign policy is not
the mainstream of conservative Republicans right now. So it's
an interesting challenge for him: Does he try to change them,
or does he accept that the issue will always be an Achilles heel
for him?"

"Rand Paul needs to show, in an era in which ISIS is rising


and the loss of America's foreign status is starting to hurt us
so much, that he's not just going to offer isolationism," said
Wilson. "He's done some good work on that in the last two
years, but not perhaps enough for people to swallow their
objections."

Ted Cruz
The Republican base loves Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. The party's
old bulls, though, are wary of the freshman senator, who's
repeatedly clashed with GOP congressional leaders on policy
and legislative strategy over the last several years. Cruz will
likely bask in the adulation of a friendly crowd at CPAC, but
he may also use his speech to extend an olive branch to the
party establishment.
"This will be a party atmosphere for Cruz - it will be like a
coronation," said Luntz. "He's got these people in his corner
already, and he'll celebrate with them. But these people alone
do not win the Republican primary. He needs to be able to
reach people who don't attend CPAC and aren't as
conservative as those in the room."
"It's good to have fluency with the conservative base, and Cruz
certainly has that," added Wilson. "That said, the election isn't
CPAC, and CPAC isn't the election."

Marco Rubio
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is not the firebrand that Ted Cruz or
even Rand Paul can be, and he doesn't have the some level of
establishment support as someone like Jeb Bush. But he's
young, articulate, and well-liked by a broad spectrum of
conservative voters. He also speaks about foreign policy more
fluently than many potential GOP candidates, thanks to his

work on foreign affairs in the Senate. Expect him to try to


solidify those strengths during his CPAC speech.

Play VIDEO

Sen. Marco Rubio taking steps toward presidential run


Luntz said Rubio "consistently does the best" of any potential
GOP candidate in focus group dial testing. "In terms of simple
messaging, Rubio's is the most positive of all the candidates,"
Luntz said. "He may appear young to some, but the more they
hear from him, the more they like him."
Wilson predicted Rubio would "surprise the hell" out of the
CPAC audience, despite his support for comprehensive
immigration reform, which has earned him brickbats from
conservatives.
"When people see Marco talking about his life story, his family
history, his view of American exceptionalism, they're going to
come out of their chairs," Wilson said. "They're going to be
blown away. He's got a Reaganesque vision of optimism that I
think will surprise some folks at CPAC who have only seen
Marco Rubio in recent years through the filter of talk radio."

Rick Perry

Play VIDEO

Rick Perry slams Obama, says 2008 was an "oops"


During twelve-plus years as governor of Texas, Rick Perry
amassed a conservative record that could serve him well in a
GOP primary. But when he ran in 2012, his record took a
backseat to his often unusual performance on the campaign
trail, including a painful moment at one primary debate when
he offered an "oops" after failing to remember the third
federal department he'd proposed shuttering. If he hopes to
succeed in 2016, he'll need to remind GOP voters about his
record in Texas while assuaging any doubts sown by his illfated 2012 bid.
"Rick Perry is much more animated, much more passionate,
and much more focused today than he was three years ago,
and when people hear his record, they do give him a second
look," said Luntz. "The question is whether he can erase
perceptions of 2012 over the next year."
"Rick Perry has been born again hard," added Wilson. "He
recognized what went off the rails in 2012, he's out telling the
Texas story, and he needs to keep telling the Texas story. He
needs to show the folks at CPAC that the Saturday Night Live
clich version of Rick Perry was an exception to his actual
story.

Ben Carson
Carson, a retired neurosurgeon and conservative activist,
burst onto the scene in 2013 by condemning Obamacare at the
National Prayer Breakfast as the president looked on. He's
earned a passionate core of disciples, some of whom have
even set up an effort to draft him into the presidential race.
But if he hopes to have a real shot at the GOP nomination in
2016, he'll need to broaden his focus, sharpen his message,
and demonstrate the kind of political aptitude expected of a
presidential candidate.
Some aren't sure he can rise to that level.
"I'm not convinced that he and his team are prepared to
mount a serious national campaign," said Wilson. "There's a
bit of rising concern that Ben Carson is a fundraising effort by
a few consultants and not a national campaign."
"Ben Carson has to prove that he deserves more than just a
second look," added Luntz. "He has to prove that someone
who's never run before is worthy of a primary or caucus vote
when there are so many other more qualified candidates."

Carly Fiorina
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina's last political
foray - a 2010 California Senate bid - fell short. But she's
earning some early buzz as a potential dark horse presidential
candidate for the GOP in 2016. Hemminger, the ACU
spokesman, tagged Fiorina as one to watch.
"Every campaign cycle, people are looking for something
different," he said. "Her experience is so broad, and so vast, I
really think she is that something special. I think you're going
to see a lot more from her. I wouldn't be surprised to see a
groundswell of support for her, particularly here at CPAC."

The fact that she's among the only women in the GOP's 2016
bullpen could help set her apart, but she will need to address
concerns that someone with her nonpolitical background is
prepared to carry a national party through a presidential
election.
Luntz said Fiorina's business experience could be a selling
point for her among conservatives, "but that alone isn't
enough. She has to prove that someone without any political
experience whatsoever not only knows the policies but also
knows how to get elected."
"She's got some dark horse potential," Wilson added. "She
needs to work on that and make sure people view her as
someone who can play in the national space."

Conservatives convene in
Washington for CPAC
Three-day event is a testing ground for potential 2016 Republican
hopefuls
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2015/02/26/Conservativesconvene-in-Washington-for-CPAC/1311424968707/
By Ed Adamczyk   | Feb. 26, 2015 at 12:20 PM


Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in
National Harbor, Maryland, February 26, 2015. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License
Photo

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Conservative Republicans


have convened just outside Washington at CPAC 2015, a three-day
parade of speeches designed to rouse the faithful and perhaps make a
presidential candidate a front-runner.
The Conservative Political Action Conference is an annual carnival of
conservatism for donors, activists and potential candidates. This year it
can be seen as a battleground, not only for presidential hopefuls invited
to speak but for the direction the embattled party will take as it heads to
2016.
The guest list of speakers includes the names Bush, Palin, Cruz, Christie,
Trump, Fiorina, Jindal, Rubio, Perry, Paul, Santorum and others
including Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association and Nigel
Farage of the small-government United Kingdom Independence Party
(UKIP). Many of these names are someone's idea of a presidential
candidate, and for all intents, the GOP run for the White House starts
Thursday with something of an adventure in comparison-shopping.
"Conservatives are hungry to find a standard-bearer, but they're open to
who it is," said Matt Schlapp, the new chairman of the American
Conservative Union, sponsor of the event, told the Washington Post.
"They're actually shopping right now. ... How (potential candidates)
execute will have a huge impact on where the race goes next."
The Republican Party has cracks in its policies, a perception problem, a
lack of unity and concerns about its future as it applies to growing
demographic minorities. Furthermore, not every Republican in the
United States thinks he or she is represented at a conference which
blatantly panders to the conservative mindset, and yet the campaign for
an election 20 months away has to begin somewhere.
The party is unified in its opposition to President Barack Obama and its
contempt for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Expect a
three-day festival of mudslinging, except in those moments the

conventioneers stop to ponder the future and of how the GOP has not
been well-served by negativity.
Each of the speakers regarded as presidential timber (Jeb Bush will use
his allotted time not for an address but for a question-and-answer session
with conservative commentator Sean Hannity) already has a loyal core
of supporters; CPAC will reveal if the prospective candidates can bridge
gaps and turn themselves into favorites, at the expense of their rivals.
The conference thus has the elements of a tent revival meeting, a
boardroom debate about funding and an "American Idol" audition: Take
an up-close look, note the talent and potential and choose one.
Going into this year's event it is difficult to point to a front-runner. Mitt
Romney's star was ascending until he chose not to contest for the
nomination; Jeb Bush and Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., are currently at
the top of polls. No one seems completely in line with the party line; the
take on immigration of Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., or the
isolationist stance of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for example, are at odds
with standard Republican ideology.
Attendees' opinions will mesh on gun control, small government and
messages on bumper stickers for sale ("Fight crime, shoot back"). Who
walks away, Saturday, a winner, or at least a front-runner, remains to be
seen.

Show Time: CPAC kicks o next phase


of GOP campaign

By Chris Stirewalt

Published February 26, 2015

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/02/26/show-time-cpac-kicks-o-next-phasegop-campaign/

SHOW TIME: CPAC KICKS OFF NEXT PHASE OF GOP


CAMPAIGN
Every major player for the Republican presidential nomination
knows where to be this week: the Conservative Political Action
Conference in suburban Washington. Its always a big deal, but
CPAC takes on new significance this year as Republicans try to
sort through a bumper crop of presidential contenders. And they
will all, with the exception of Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, make the trip to Prince Georges
County, Md. to audition for the partys activist base. Think of it

this way: There a two concurrent contests going on in the GOP.


One is a fundraising drag race in the first eight months of the
year. Well see the results as quarterly filing come in. But the
other fight is for the hearts and minds of issue-driven activists
social, fiscal, libertarian, national security and even more niche
concerns who propel the party. Well know by Saturday whos in
the lead for that prize.

[Watch Fox: Campaign Carl Cameron with the latest on GOP


2016ers live from CPAC.]

Schlapp-ed - The American Conservative Union, under the


leadership of new Chairman Matt Schlapp has rebooted the
event, which had in recent years come to cater to the partys
libertarian wing, in favor of the more broad-spectrum Reaganite
conservatism that animated the organization at its outset. The
response has been dramatic. Moderates (Jeb Bush), social
conservatives (Rick Santorum), libertarian leaners (Rand Paul)
and defense hawks (Marco Rubio) will all be making their case
to attendees and competing in the events annual presidential
straw poll. And rather than just canned speeches, candidates are
consenting to be questioned by conservative opinion-makers like
Laura Ingraham, who will be sauting Gov. Chris Christie, RN.J., today.

[Ben Carson kicked o the event in the morning. Other speakers


today include Christie, Carli Fiorina, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas,
Gov.Scott Walker, R-Wisc., and Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La.]

Fearless forecast - Walker has the most to gain or lose as he is


arriving amid a rapid ascent to frontrunner status. Heres the Fox
News First fearless forecast: Several candidates will get a boost
out of the weekend but at least one will start to see the window
close on his or her presidential hopes. In a field this crowded, the

same rule applies as to college admissions and suspensions:


Easy in, easy out.

[Meanwhile, in Florida - Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush;


Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker;
Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; and Louisiana
Gov. Bobby Jindal are confirmed to speak at the Club for
Growth three-day winter meeting which begins today Palm
Beach, Fla.]

Schiavo brother stands up for Jeb - In a WSJ op-ed, Terry


Schiavos brother, Bobby Schindler, writes, The usual media
suspects are excoriating Jeb Bush, again, for trying to help save
my sister Terri Schiavos life. An article last month in the Tampa
Bay Times, The Audacity of Jeb Bush, later quoted in a New
Yorker article titled The Punisher, accused the former Florida
governor of going all in on Schiavo and running roughshod over
Florida state law. I suppose attacks like these go with the territory
of what appears to be a presidential run by Mr. Bush. But it is
telling that the attacks never tell my sisters whole story, or
identify the coalition of liberals and conservatives, believers and
nonbelievers, that tried to prevent her slow death by
dehydration.

[USA Today: Former President George W. Bush will join


President Obama in Selma, Ala., on March 7 for the 50th
anniversary of the voting rights marches there.]

Rand smokes Jeb over pot laws - In an interview on The Kelly


File, Sen. Rand Paul R-Ky. had a message for Jeb Bush: stop
being a hypocrite. The presidential hopeful said that Bushs
admission to being a stoner in prep school and current stance on
tough drug laws make him unfavorable to young voters. Rand
said, I think if you talk to young people theyre not very tolerant
of hypocrisy. And the fact that Jeb admits that when he was in an

elite prep school where very wealthy kids, went to school, that he
smoked pot but hes still willing to put somebody in jail for
medical marijuana in Florida. Watch the exchange here.

[Now legal in D.C. - USA Today: Despite warnings from


congressional Republicans, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser
allowed D.C.s marijuana legalization law to take eect at 12:01
a.m. Thursday. Under Initiative 71, people ages 21 or older will
be allowed to possess two ounces or less of marijuana, use
marijuana on private property and give one ounce or less to
another person as long as no money, goods or services are
exchanged.]

Walker ready to wallop unions again - NYT: It was a flashback


to 2011: Hundreds of union members in hard hats and work
boots waved signs under falling snow, denouncing Gov. Scott
Walkerand his fellow Republican lawmakers outside this Capitol
building on Wednesday. Yet this time, their numbers were smaller,
their chants softer. As Mr. Walker builds a presidential run on his
eort to take on unions four years ago, he is poised to deliver a
second walloping blow to labor. After saying for months that an
eort to advance so-called right-to-work legislation would be a
distraction from dealing with larger issues like the states
economy and job growth, Mr. Walker is now preparing to sign a
measure, being fast-tracked through the Republican-held State
Legislature, that would bar unions from requiring workers to pay
the equivalent of dues.

Perry takes a shot at Dubyas Putin policy - In a new campaign


video, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry takes an indirect swipe at
the foreign policy of former President George W. Bush. Perry,
who has been focused on Russias partition of Ukraine says
administrations of both parties have badly miscalculated the
intentions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian state over the last
decade and a half. Perry calls for confronting Russia head-on.

We need to lead our allies, this is Russia were talking about, we


have to stop telling President Putin what we wont do and
telegraphing our limitations. The peace and the security of the
world is at stake and the consequences of inaction are too great
to be ignored.

Carson backs boots on the ground in Iraq, Syria - Wash


Times: In an exclusive interview with The Washington Times,
Ben S. Carson said radical Islamic terrorists threaten the United
States, and he called for boots on the ground to defeat the
organization. We have to, first of all be able to identify them, who
they are, but we have to recognize that right now, theyre sort of
in an adolescent stage. If we continue to let them grow, they will
be in a full-grown adult stage and able to inflict more damage.
The retired neurosurgeon and possible presidential candidate
said U.S. air support alone isnt recognizing the real danger
America faces from the Islamic State.

Christie courts Cantor - Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) will meet


with business leaders and potential donors today in Richmond,
Va. His hosts include former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

Trump threatens real run - WaPo: This time, Donald J. Trump


says, he really means it. The billionaire real-estate mogul, who
has long amounted to a one-man sideshow in GOP presidential
politics, said in an interview Wednesday that he is more serious
than ever about pursuing a run for the White House in 2016. In
recent days, Trump said, he has hired staers in key primary
states, retained an election attorney and delayed signing on for
another season as host of NBCs The Celebrity Apprentice
because of his political projects. Everybody feels Im doing this
just to have fun or because its good for the brand, Trump said in
an interview with The Washington Post. Well, its not fun. Im not
doing this for enjoyment. Im doing this because the country is in
serious trouble.

CLINTON CASH VIOLATED ETHICS RULES


WaPo: TheClinton Foundationaccepted millions of dollars from
seven foreign governments during Hillary Rodham Clintons
tenure as secretary of state, including one donation that violated
its ethics agreement with the Obama administration, foundation
ocials disclosed Wednesday. Most of the contributions were
possible because of exceptions written into the foundations
2008 agreement, which included limits on foreign-government
donations. The agreement, reached before Clintons nomination
amid concerns that countries could use foundation donations to
gain favor with a Clinton-led State Department, allowed
governments that had previously donated money to continue
making contributions at similar levels. The new disclosures,
provided in response to questions from The Washington Post,
make clear that the 2008 agreement did not prohibit foreign
countries with interests before the U.S. government from giving
money to the charity closely linked to the secretary of state.

[Clintons fundraising flap has not hurt her with Iowa Democrats.
Quinnipiac Universitys first poll of potential Iowa Democratic
caucus shows Clinton leads with 61 percent, followed by Sen.
Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at 19 percent, and Vice President
Joe Biden at 7 percent. All other contenders were at 5 percent or
below.]

Biden claims ignorance - BuzzFeed: Vice President Joe Biden


had little to say Wednesday about the Clinton Foundations
acceptance of foreign donations. No, I dont have any comment.
I dont know enough about it, Biden said when asked by
BuzzFeed News about the donations to the foundation, which
have come under scrutiny in recent weeks.

[A headline in Wednesdays Fox News First wrongly stated that a


questionable speech by Bill Clinton had been approved by his
wifes State Department. We regret the error.]

No time to lose - WaPos Al Kamen noted that Hillary Clintons


campaign in waiting, Ready for Hillary, is holding a fire sale on
geegaws . Its a move that suggests the campaign is getting
ready to reboot with its permanent designs and logos.

#TBT - The Atlantic looks at the Democratic candidates seeking


to retake the Senate in 2016, including Ohios Ted Strickland,
Wisconsins Russ Feingold, North Carolinas Kay Hagan and
Pennsylvanias Joe Sestak, and what they have in common with
their partys presumptive presidential nominee. Theyre all aging
baby boomers who have lost before. Clinton isnt that old
she'll be 69 on Election Day 2016but all this talk of age has
some Democrats worried about the graying of the partys pool of
candidates, and the shallow bench of youngsters behind them.
Many in the party are worried about the age of party leaders in
Congress. But one of the clearest demonstrations of the age gap
is in races for the U.S. Senate, where Democrats hope to recover
control in 2016.

Crossroads wades into N.H. Senate race Talk about first in


the nation! In the groups first 2015 ad buy, Crossroads GPS
launches radio ads today in New Hampshire, hitting Democratic
Gov. Maggie Hassans anticipated bid for Republican Sen. Kelly
Ayottes seat, in the Senate. This ad encourages Granite Staters
to speak out on Gov. Hassans tax-laden budget.

WITH YOURSECOND CUP OF COFFEE...


For nearly every parent who has ever had their eyes glaze over
and brains go numb at reading with their children, the great E.B.
White has been a salvation. His books Charlottes Web, Stuart
Little and Trumpet of the Swan boast writing far superior to

most adult literature but still captivate children as young as four.


How did he do it? By not trying. Brain Pickings discovered a
treasure of an interview White gave to the Paris Review in 1969 in
which he laid out his philosophy for kid lit. Anyone who writes
down to children is simply wasting his time. You have to write up,
not down. Children are demanding, White said. They are the
most attentive, curious, eager, observant, sensitive, quick, and
generally congenial readers on earth. White, who also coauthored the definitive style guide for writers of all ages, said
there was a particular advantage to writing for an audience that
the members of which had not yet surrendered their imaginations
to the workaday cares of adult life. [Children] accept, almost
without question, anything you present them with, as long as it is
presented honestly, fearlessly, and clearly, he said. I handed
them, against the advice of experts, a mouse-boy, and they
accepted it without a quiver. InCharlottes Web, I gave them a
literate spider, and they took that.

POLL CHECK
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve 45.1 percent//Disapprove
50.3 percent

Direction of Country: Right Direction 33.2 percent//Wrong


Track 58.4 percent

BAIER TRACKS: THREAT MATRIX


When Secretary of State John Kerry decided to try to put the
threat from ISIS into perspective in congressional testimony, he
raised some eyebrows in the intelligence community. Kerry told
lawmakers, Our citizens, our world today, is actually, despite
ISIL, despite the visible killings that you see and how horrific they
are, we are actually living in a period of less daily threat to
Americans and to people in the world than normally; less deaths,
less violent deaths today, than through the last century.

That prompted a quick response from lawmakers and from inside


the intelligence community. Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn,
former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President
Obama told Fox News, Secretary Kerryis out of touch with
reality, he clearly is not listening to the entire U.S. intelligence
community, he is not reading any of the intelligence or other
things that have been written over the last few weeks, months,
years. [ F]or him to make those statements is totally
irresponsible and he should be challenged by anyone who cares
about the future of this country. Kerrys comments appear to be
part of a pattern. The president, for example, recently told Vox
that he believed the media was hyping the threat from terrorists.

But we have a reminder today about the relentless enemy we


face. It was on this day 22 years ago that terrorists detonated a
truck bomb in the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New
York. It killed six Americans and injuring hundreds more, but it
didn't have the intended eect of bringing down the tower. Eight
years later, though, the terrorists would not only accomplish that
goal, but bring down both towers in the most audacious attack
on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbor.

The administrations assurances would be comforting if true. But


the people we talk to in and around the intelligence community
the people who actually analyze the data see things very
dierently. They see a threat matrix exponentially more deadly
than it was 22 years ago today. Bret Baier.

Ummm - The prime minister, as you will recall, was


profoundly forward-leaning and outspoken about the importance
of invading Iraq under George W. Bush, and we all know what
happened with that decision. Secretary of State John Kerry,
who voted for the Iraq war as a Senator, testifying before the
House Foreign Relations Committee, Wednesday.

[Director of National Intelligence James Clapper testifies today


before the Senate Armed Services Committee.]

The Judges Ruling - Citing challenges to the protection against


unreasonable search and seizure provided by the Constitutions
Fourth Amendment, Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge
Andrew Napolitano ponders the notion of a government fearful
of freedom: What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe?
What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What
if the government doesnt like freedoms? What if the government
is afraid we will exercise them?

OBAMA VOWS AGGRESSIVE RESPONSE ON COURT


DEFEAT FOR AMNESTY: THIS IS JUST ONE JUDGE
The Hill: Participating in a town hall-style immigration forum in
Miami, [President Obama] said a recent ruling against his new
immigration policies by a federal judge in Texas was wrongly
decided and promised to use all his legal options to ensure the
new programs are ultimately adopted. This is just one federal
judge. We have appealed it very aggressively. Were going to be
as aggressive as we can, Obama said during the event at Florida
International University, hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo, the
Spanish-language media giant. Im using all of the legal power
vested in me in order to solve this problem.

Denied using immigration for a political advantage - Rejecting


accusations that he failed to push through immigration reform
when Democrats controlled Congress, President Obama blamed
Republicans, then and now, and seemed a perturbed when
asked if both parties are playing political ping pong with
immigration. Thats just not true,Obama said. Democrats have
consistently stood on the side of comprehensive immigration
reform. You do a disservice when you suggest that, Ah, nobody
was focused on this," the president added. Because then you
don't know who's fighting for you and who's fighting against
you.

Homeland funding fight will return to House - WaPo: The


Senate voted Wednesday to move ahead with a bill to fund the
Department of Homeland Security after Democratic leaders
dropped an earlier pledge to block it unless they get assurances
from House Republican leaders that it would pass their chamber.
The bill advanced on a procedural vote by a 98-2 margin. The
only dissenters were Republican Sens. James Inhofe (Okla.) and
Je Sessions (Ala.) Final passage could come before Friday
when current funding will run out at DHS. We're going to do
everything we can to make sure it passes by an overwhelming
vote,Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) told
reporters. He said he looked forward to working with
Republicans "in thenext 24 hours" to get this done. Even if the
bill clears the Senate, it's unclear how the House will respond.

A.G. nominee to advance today - The Senate Judiciary


Committee is expected to endorse today the confirmation of
President Obamas nominee to replace Eric Holder as attorney
general. Former U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch is likely to receive
some bipartisan support from the committee, but her embrace of
Obamas executive amnesty for illegal immigrants will set up a
contentious vote in the full Senate.

Obama foundation polls Chicagoans on taking park property


to build library -AP: The foundation developing Barack
Obamas future presidential library has commissioned polling in
Chicago to determine whether residents support building it on
the South Side, people close to the foundation said, in the
clearest sign to date that the library likely will go to the University
of Chicago. Aiming to counter the vocal opposition from park
advocates, the Barack Obama Foundation earlier this month
enlisted a prominent Democratic pollster who worked on both of
Obama's presidential campaigns.

HOUSE GOP TO CHALLENGE ADMINISTRATION CLAIMS ON


OBAMACARE BACKUP PLAN
Health Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell will face tough
questions today about her claim that the administration has no
plan to deal with a federal lawsuit that could eviscerate the
ObamaCare. In a letter earlier this week, Burwell said her agency
had no backup plan if the Supreme Court strikes down
ObamaCare subsidies in states that did not establish exchanges.
But according to a preview provided to Fox News by House
Republicans, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., chairman of the Energy and
Commerce Committees subcommittee on health, has reason to
believe those claims may not be true.

[Watch Fox: Correspondent Doug McKelway reports on Health


Secretary Sylvia Burwells testimony on Obamacare flaws.]

Sasse oers plan to use Cobra coverage - First, in the event


that the court strikes down the subsidies as illegal, Congress
must be prepared to oer immediate, targeted protection to
those hurt by this administrations reckless disregard for the rule
of law. ObamaCare took these patients hostage. Conservatives
have a duty to save them. So within a week I will introduce
legislation that uses the 1985 Cobra law as a temporary model
to protect those harmed by ObamaCareSecond, Republicans
need to unify around a specific set of constructive, longer-term
solutions, and then turn the 2016 presidential election into a
referendum on two competing visions of health care. Simply
opposing ObamaCare isnt enough. Republicans must address
this countrys health-care crises, cost and uninsurance, both of
which have been exacerbated chiefly by excessive federal
meddling. --Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., in WSJ op-ed.
VETS GROUP RELEASES REPORT ON HEALTH CARE TODAY
Concerned Veterans for America is releasing today its report and
recommendations for improving veterans health care. The group

previewed the findings in this online video. The group is also


hosting a summit today in Washington. Expected participants
include Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. and House Veterans Aairs
Committee Chair Rep. Je Miller, R-Fla.

HIGH DRAMA AS OBAMA INTERNET REGS DEBUT


Fox News: The Federal Communications Commission is driving
toward a landmark vote Thursday on a sweeping plan that critics
warn would impose a new era of regulation for how Americans
use and do business on the Internet, even as eleventh-hour
appeals inject added drama behind the scenes. The so-called net
neutrality proposal has been the subject of fierce debate, in part
because the 332-page plan is being kept from public eyes.
President Obamas vocal push for aggressive Internet rules also
has raised questions on Capitol Hill over undue influence by the
White House -- but House Republicans who had planned a
hearing on that very subject said Wednesday they would
postpone after Chairman Tom Wheeler allegedly refused to
testify.

[Watch Fox: Correspondent Peter Doocy reports on the FCC


decision.]

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF A NOCTURNAL


RAPTOR
A driver in Tukwila, Wash. lost control of his vehicle and crashed
into a power pole, knocking out power lines and causing a major
commotion Tuesday night. What was the cause? Booze?
Joyriding kids? How about an owl? KIRO reports that the driver
told police that he was chasing an owl immediately before the
crash. Police did not arrest the driver who they say was not
under the influence of anything but avian enthusiasm.

AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES


So perhaps by [John Kerrys] own logic, we ought to be
questioning his judgment. I would say that his performance in the
job he has now as a diplomat, somebody exercising judgment, is
not exactly sterling. Charles Krauthammer on Special

Rand Paul crunch time at


CPAC
By REUTERS
February 26, 2015

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/conservative-event-CPAC-RandPaul/2015/02/25/id/626890/
With Republican rivals like Scott Walker and Jeb Bush off to a
strong start in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, Rand Paul will
seek his own breakout moment at an annual gathering where
hopefuls go to burnish their conservative credentials.
Of all the potential candidates speaking at the meeting of the
Conservative Political Action Conference, the Kentucky senator
should feel most at home. He won the event's presidential straw
poll the last two years, buoyed by support from young libertarianleaning conservatives who plan to turn out in force again this year.
The 52-year-old Paul, famous for his non-interventionist approach
to world affairs, could find himself at odds with a growing
hawkishness among other Republican hopefuls mustering support
with their calls for more aggressive action against Russia and
Islamic State militants.
"He's got a challenge to overcome," said Al Cardenas, former
chairman of the American Conservative Union which organizes
the event known by its acronym, CPAC.
Due to speak on Friday, Paul can nonetheless count on a
generational divide of sorts between the party's traditional foreign-

policy hawks and younger activists who have come of age during
13 years of nonstop U.S. engagement in wars.
"We've grown up in war in Afghanistan and Iraq and we all have
friends who have gone overseas and either have not come back
or have come back mentally scarred. There's a toll that's been
taken on young people in this war," said Jeff Frazee, executive
director of Young Americans for Liberty, a libertarian group that
has had a heavy presence at recent CPAC gatherings.
The influence of libertarians can be seen this year on panels that
will tackle criminal-justice reform and marijuana legalization, as
well as more traditional topics such as abortion and President
Barack Obama's signature healthcare act.
SHARED SPOTLIGHT
With 20 months to go before the election, Walker, 47, and Bush,
62, will each have a moment in the CPAC spotlight.
Walker, the Wisconsin governor, is riding a surge of conservative
support from a warmly received speech at the Iowa Freedom
Summit last month but came under fire this week when he
demurred on whether he believed Obama was a Christian.
Bush, the former Florida governor seen as the establishment
favorite, has sought to crowd out rivals with an intensive
fundraising push. His Friday appearance will test his appeal to
conservatives who oppose his support for Common Core
education standards and immigration reform.
CPAC can be risky terrain for an establishment candidate. Former
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney drew widespread derision
on his way to capturing the Republican nomination in 2012 when
he argued he had governed the liberal-leaning state in a "severely
conservative" fashion.
The father and brother of former presidents, who has been out of
office since 2007, Bush will share the stage with a new generation
of conservatives forged by the Tea Party movement.
Paul's family name has goodwill attached due to the multiple
presidential campaigns run by his father, former Texas

Congressman Ron Paul, whose isolationist positions had a


narrow yet noteworthy appeal in a segment of the Republican
Party.
Paul defenders say Paul has been clear about his support for
action against Islamic State. "He wants to make sure it's done in a
targeted, smart way with a clear plan for victory," said Jesse
Benton, a Paul friend and former aide.
Republican strategist Ron Kaufman said Paul's objective is
twofold: To retain his father's rabid base of support but make clear
he is not in lockstep with him. "It's a fine line he has to walk,"
Kaufman said.
The straw poll result will be announced on Saturday.

The Money Behind CPAC


http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/cpac-money-corporate-sponsors/
2015/02/26/id/627044/
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 11:19 AM

On Thursday, several thousand conservative activists swarmed the


National Harbor convention center near Washington for a three- day
affairthat will feature mostof thepotential Republican candidates for
president, from Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina to Jeb Bush and Scott
Walker.
The story of howtheConservative Political Action Conference, or
CPAC, mushroomedfroma small, informal gathering of the right
intoa multimillion-dollar can't-miss pageant for the Republican Party
is reflected in its corporate sponsors. It'sunderwritten by theNational
Rifle Association, the HeritageFoundation, the TrumpOrganization
Inc. and the Motion PictureAssociation of America in addition to
much more modestly moneyed religious and small-government
interest groups.
The American Conservative Union,the nonprofit organization that
puts on CPAC, generated$8 million in revenue in 2013, according to
its most recent tax documents, almostdouble its budget just two years
earlier. The funding explosioncoincided with the rising influence of
the Tea Party movement, which became a guiding force in the 2012
presidential election. On the CPAC stage that year, eventual
Republican nominee Mitt Romney, once the governor of deep-blue
Massachusetts, labeled himself "severely conservative."
The CPAC presidential tryoutscontinued in 2013 and 2014, with New
Jersey Governor Chris Christie and KentuckySenator Rand Paul
drawing some of the largest crowds and warmest receptions. But as
CPAC's influence on the party has grown, some of the activists have

complained that it's also become stale, said Matt Schlapp, chairman of
the American Conservative Union. This is his first year at the helm of
CPAC.
"As I rethought the way CPACoccurs, I wanted tofocus every decision
we make on what's best for the activists who are attending," Schlapp
said. Hewas thinking about his mother, he said, who's coming tothe
convention from Wichita, Kan.The plane ticket, hotel room, and
three-day pass representa significant investment for people like her,
he said. "They need to feel like they're getting something special for
the money."
To shake things up, speakers will respond to questions posed through
Twitter in addition to delivering prepared remarks, Schlapp said.
Some presidential hopefuls, including Bush, are choosing to forgo a
formal speech altogether in favor of a longer Q&A session.The roster
includes Marco Rubio, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal and
Ted Cruz. Schlapp said the2016ers would be wise to take as many
questions as possible. "Anybodywho tries totalk through the Q&A is
telling people that they don't really want to hear from voters."
And Schlapp said CPAC won't try to hide divisions among
conservativesanothercriticismof attendees in recent years, he said.
"The feedback was that some issues were sanitized, that there
appeared no disagreement where there actually is," he said.This year's
panels on immigration, gay marriage, education, privacy versus
national security, and conservative approaches to criminal justice
should be meaty, notpreachy,he said.
As anonprofit group, the American Conservative Union is not
required to disclose its donors. But a review of CPAC's marketing
materials, schedule and ACU's30-person board of directors
showswho's paying the bills.
TheNRA exemplifiesthesymbiotic and multi-layered relationship
between CPAC and its funders. The gun lobby group is a "presenting
sponsor," the convention'stop tier of donors, though its unclear how
much money that involves. And the NRAis again helping to pay for an
exclusive opening-night CPACparty, called the "Good Guys
Reception." It's invitation-only.
Wayne LaPierre, the NRA's chief executive officer, is a featured
speaker at CPAC, commanding the Friday slot just before Bush. David
Keene, one of the ACU's board members and its long- serving

chairman, from 1984-2011, is the pastpresident of the NRA. His


current employer, theWashington Times(he's now the news
organization'sopinion editor), also is a CPAC "presenting sponsor."
One America News Network, a new cablenews network that began as
a partner of theWashington Times, is sponsoring the Ronald
ReaganDinner on Friday night. Indiana Governor Mike Pencewill
givethe keynote address.
Other conservative-leaning media also help pay forCPAC: Breitbart,
the National Review andSalem Communications. Another set of
sponsors includes conservative activists and research groups such
asCitizens United, Americans for Tax Reform, the American
Principles Project, the Heartland Institute, the Leadership Institute,
the College Republican National Committee, Let Freedom Ring and
Tea Party Patriots.
Some of thepresidential hopefuls speaking also put up money for
CPAC through outside groupsthey lead. Thatdonor list includes the
Jobs, Growth &Freedom Fund (Cruz) and Patriot Voices (Santorum).
The Trump Organization'sDonald Trump, who reportedly hired a
presidential campaign manager in-waiting this week, also will speak.
In all, CPAC's programlists more than 50 corporate and
organizational sponsors.
And of course the attendees also make up a goodbit of the
convention'sfunding. By some accounts, 10,000 people attended last
year.A premium, all-inclusive pass purchased on site costs $1,700.
For seniorslike Schlapp's moma three-day pass costs at least$150.

CPAC message: Washington


is washed up
!

Conservatives attending the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference tell USA
TODAY what they are looking for in a presidential candidate. H. Darr Beiser, USA
TODAY
Kathie Obradovich, kobradov@dmreg.com 3:18 p.m. CST February 28, 2015
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/columnists/kathie-obradovich/caucus/
2015/02/26/cpac-speakers-bash-washington/24086823/

!
(Photo: Cliff Owen/AP)

OXON, Md. Washington, D.C., is less than a dozen miles away, but a
lineup of potential Republican presidential candidates worked so
hard to distance themselves that the nation's capital might as well
be on Mars.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby
Jindal and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie slammed not only President
Barack Obama and Democrats but also GOP leaders in Washington.
"Washington is washed up. The power structure in Washington is broken,"
Walker said.
He joked that Washington is "68 square miles surrounded by reality."
Walker, on the rise in the polls after a stem-winding speech at last month's
Iowa Freedom Summit, proved popular at the American Conservative
Union's CPAC conference. When he referred to his potential run for
president, a few in the audience shouted, "Run, Scott, run!"
Cruz, the only pre-2016 speaker on Thursday who actually works in
government in Washington, D.C., was even harsher in his criticism of his
GOP colleagues in Washington. Running as a Washington outsider isn't
just for actual outsiders.
"Unfortunately, Republican leadership is cutting a deal with Harry Reid and
the Democrats to give in on executive amnesty," Cruz said, to boos from
the audience. "And the question why is because they are not listening to
you."
Senate Republican leaders reportedly are trying to move forward with the
budget for the Department of Homeland Security, which some Republicans
wanted to use as leverage against the president's executive actions on
immigration.
Cruz compared the Washington establishment to taxi companies resisting
the encroachment of ride services like Uber. "In both parties, they fight
vigorously because they don't want the power to be back with the American
people," he said.
Jindal argued that Republicans didn't win elections in 2014 by promising to
change parts of Obamacare. "It's time for them to govern the way they
campaigned and repeal Obamacare," he said.
Jindal added, "This election wasn't about getting a nicer office for Sen.
Mitch McConnell."

!
Customers browse the selection of buttons at the PC Button booth during
theConservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Md., on Feb. 27. (Photo:
H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY)

Christie focused most of his scorn on the Beltway media but also jabbed
Jeb Bush when he was asked about the former Florida governor's
fundraising machine and rise in the polls.
"If what happens is the elites in Washington who make backroom deals
decide who the president is going to be, then he's definitely the frontrunner," Christie said of Bush. "If the people of the United States decide to
pick the next president of the United States and they want someone who
looks them in the eye, connects with them and is one of them, I'll do OK on
my own."
Christie said he held his 128th town-hall meeting on Wednesday. He said
people can raise their hands and ask questions instead of having to submit
questions on cards for pre-screening. "That's what elected officials owe to
their constituents," Christie said.

Former tech industry executive Carly Fiorina focused mostly on Democrats


but also made a blunt case for having a Republican woman in the race for
president in 2016.
Fiorina, who has two trips to Iowa scheduled in March, was asked how
important she thinks it is for the GOP to have a woman in the presidential
race. She said the party ought to be as diverse as the U.S. population.
"Women are now 53 percent of voters. So as I like to tell some of my
Democratic friends who continue to talk about the war on women, we are
not a special-interest group. We are the majority of the nation," Fiorina said
to cheers and applause.
"And I will say this, if Hillary Clinton had to face me on the debate stage, at
the very least, she would have a hitch in her swing," Fiorina said.
CPAC continues on Friday with speeches from Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas
Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. Rand Paul, former Sen. Rick Santorum, Donald
Trump and Bush. Follow my live tweets at @KObradovich and blog posts
at DesMoinesRegister.com.

Ted Cruzs CPAC Televangelism

"
Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/26/ted-cruz-s-cpactelevangelism.html
02.26.15
By: Olivia Nuzzi

Ted Cruz, CPACs favorite traveling salesman, was back and


selling his favorite product: himself.
Ted Cruz is onstage at CPAC. As is his custom he has declined to
stand behind the lecturn and is instead pacing methodically
around the stage with a microphone pinned to his blue striped tie.
To turn this country around it will not come from Washington; it
will come from the American people, he yells. And so I will ask
every one of you if you will join our grassroots army. Take out
your cellphone and text the word Constitution to the number
33733. Let me give that to you again! Take out your cellphone and
text the word Constitution to 33733!

"
Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

His voice booms throughout the ballroomspeeding up, slowing


down, soaring and winding down to a faux-whisper at carefully
chosen intervals, like a televangelist or someone trying to sell you
a set of steak knives and a Bedazzler at 3 a.m. on an infomercial.
It will be each of you empowering and energizing we the people
that turns the country around!
A text to 33733 received this automated response: Together lets
bring bold, clear leadership to America tedcruz.org. Text STOP to
end or HELP for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply. No more than
30 messages/month.
More than any other likely Republican presidential candidate,
Cruz is a salesman.
He understands what his audience wants to hear, and he knows
how to say it sweetly.
This is a room full of patriots, he says to hoots of approval. The
men and women who are gathered here today are gathered to
fight for freedom in our country. And the men and women of
CPAC are going to play a fundamental decision in how we turn
this country around! The men and women gathered here today are
going to play a crucial role in reigniting the miracle of America.
Cruz begins to talk faster and louder.
The pace and energy of his speech has picked up so much, in fact,
that it sounds as though he could start talking in tongues at any
second.
How do we do that, how do we win, how do we bring back the
miracle that is America? #1. We reassemble the Reagan coalition.
#2. We bring together fiscal conservatives and social
conservatives and national security conservatives. We stand
strong for economic growth, but we also stand for life and
marriage. We defend the constitutional rights, but we also stand
and lead the fight against ISIS and a nuclear Iran.
The crowd is eating it up, and Cruz is beaming.
And now, Cruz is joined onstage by Fox News Sean Hannity for a
short interviewa part of a new format introduced by Matt

Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union,


CPACs sponsor.
Schlapp told The Washington Post that the new format would be
more challenging for speakers.
The Q&A gives them a chance to be spontaneous and to make
newsnot in a negative way but in a positive way, he said. I
think it makes them nervous that the format has changed. It could
be high-risk, but it could also be very high-reward.
HELLOOOOOOO CPAC! Sean Hannity shouts. Give it up for
Senator Ted Cruz!
High-risk?
Hannity and Cruz now engage in verbal masturbation, with
Hannity repeatedly giving Cruz chances to differentiate himself
from his Republican rivals and attack President Obama.
What does Cruz say to his GOP critics?
The central point is we shouldnt be listening to Washington. We
should be listening to the American people! And what does Cruz
think America should do about ISIS? We need a commander in
chief who will actually stand up and defend the United States of
America!
Doing his best game show host impersonation, Hannity tells Cruz
to get ready for the lightning round!
Finally, Hannity is going to ask some tough questions.
What could the top five agenda items of a President Cruzwhat
would they be?
Oh.
Cruz, who one imagines has been addressing himself as
President Cruz in his bathroom mirror every morning since
early childhood, was more than ready with a well-thought-out, if
puddle-deep list.
And the crowd goes wild.
#1. Repeal every blasted word of Obamacare!
Applause.

#2. Abolish the IRStake all 125,000 IRS agents and put them
on our Southern border!
Applause.
#3 Stop the out-of-control regulators at the EPA
Applause.
#4 Defend out Constitutional rights! All of them!
Applause.
#5 Restore Americas leadership in the world as the shining city
on the hill!
Hannity says he has just one more question for Cruz. Perhaps hes
saved the most challenging for last.
Why does Ted Cruz love America?
Its a tough one, for sure, but Cruz is prepared to answer it: This
country is the greatest country in the history of the world! It has
been a haven for freedom.
He remembers his father, who fled from Cuba to this shining city
on the hill.
If we get back to this, brighter days are ahead!
Remember to text Constitution to 33733 to support freedom,
but mostly to support Ted Cruz.
Text within the next hour and Cruz will repeal Obamacare and
give you a Bedazzler; Text within the next half-hour and he will
send IRS agents to patrol the U.S.-Mexican border and you get a
second Bedazzler free! But text now and Cruz will restore
Americas greatness and personally Bedazzle a pair of your
favorite jeans.
Text now!

At conservative gathering,
Rubio wins applause and
laughs
By Chris Adams
McClatchy Washington Bureau
(Published Friday, February 27th, 2015 07:57AM)

http://www.vidaenelvalle.com/2015/02/27/2359233/at-conservativegathering-rubio.html

OXON HILL, Md. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told a gathering of


conservative activists from around the country Friday morning that America
doesnt owe him anything but that he owes a debt to America that I will
never be able to repay.
Before a mostly-full ballroom at the annual Conservative Political Action
Conference outside Washington, the Republican and potential presidential
candidate recounted his personal history, one that took his parents with
little money, no connections, and limited education from Cuba to South
Florida.
Less than four decades later, all four of their children live the lives and the
dreams that my parents once had for themselves, Rubio told the
gathering. For me, America isnt just a country. Its the place that literally
changed the history of my family.
The possible path to 2016 is tricky and tight for Rubio, once a darling of the
nations conservatives but now treated skeptically by many. Despite one of
the most-conservative voting records in the U.S. Senate, Rubio lost many
of his conservative fans in 2013, when he pushed a bipartisan overhaul of

the nations immigration system that made it through the Senate but stalled
in the House of Representatives.
Many conservatives lambasted him for his role, and to this day some hold it
against him. In a potentially crowded GOP presidential field some with
conservative credentials superior to Rubios standing out before this
important constituency could be difficult.
In attendance were the heavyweights of todays GOP, as well as the
thought leaders, pundits and conservatives Rubio needs to reach and
persuade in order for him to be a viable contender in 2016. Nearly all the
potential 2016 Republican contenders have or will make appearances at
event, and the winner of a straw poll for attendees to pick their favorite will
be announced Saturday.
The first-term senator from West Miami, who emerged on the national
scene in 2010, both gave a speech to the crowd and was interviewed on
stage by a conservative who excited the crowd as much or more than some
of the candidates have: Fox News personality Sean Hannity.
In his six-minute opening, Rubio excited the crowd a dozen times, bringing
extended applause and sometimes laughter with barbs at the Obama
administration.
Addressing both foreign policy and domestic themes, Rubio riffed on
several imagine statements - conjuring what a new direction for the
nation could bring.
Imagine if we repealed and replaced ObamaCare, he said to applause.
Imagine if we had leaders that understood that the family, not government,
is the most important organization in society, he said to more applause.
Imagine if our laws protected innocent human life, from conception to
natural death, he said to even-bigger applause.
And finally, to both applause and raucous laughter: Imagine if we had a
president who doesnt travel the world bad-mouthing America. After all,
thats the U.N.s job.

At conservative gathering, Sen. Marco


Rubio wins applause, laughs
BY CHRIS ADAMS, MCCLATCHY WASHINGTON BUREAU
02/27/2015 10:53 AM 02/27/2015 5:16 PM

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article11334686.html
GALLERY SLIDES


Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. walks from the stage on Friday after speaking during the
Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Md. CAROLYN
KASTER AP

OXON HILL, MD.


Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida delighted a gathering of conservative
activists from around the country Friday, saying America doesnt owe
him anything but that he owes a debt to America that I will never be
able to repay.
Before a mostly full ballroom at the annual Conservative Political
Action Conferenceoutside Washington, the Republican and potential
presidential candidate recounted his personal history, one that took his
parents with little money, no connections and limited education
from Cuba to South Florida.
Less than four decades later, all four of their children live the lives and
the dreams that my parents once had for themselves, Rubio told the
gathering. For me, America isnt just a country. Its the place that
literally changed the history of my family.
The fact that the son of a bartender and a maid that worked in a hotel is
sitting on the stage with you today, he added later, thats why America
is special.
Rubio also worked to confront one of the most damaging at least
from the perspective of this audience episodes in his young political
career: the 2013 debate over immigration.
Well, it wasnt very popular. I dont know if you know that from some
of the folks here, he quipped, to widespread chuckles.
The possible path to 2016 is tricky and tight for Rubio, once a darling of
the nations conservatives but now viewed skeptically by many. Despite
one of the most conservative voting records in the Senate, Rubio lost
many of his conservative fans when he pushed a bipartisan overhaul of
the nations immigration system that made it through the Senate in 2013
but stalled in the House of Representatives.
Rubio said hed learned from 2013.
He acknowledged that there are millions of people whove lived in the
U.S. for years and havent broken laws except for those on immigration.
What Ive learned is you cant even have a conversation about that until
people believe and know not just believe, but its proven to them

that future illegal immigration will be controlled, he said. That is the


single biggest lesson of the last two years
In attendance were the heavyweights of todays GOP, as well as the
thought leaders, pundits and conservatives Rubio needs to reach and
persuade in order to be a viable contender in 2016. Nearly all the
potential presidential Republican contenders appeared at the event.
In his six-minute opening, and a question and answer session with Sean
Hannity of Fox News, the first-term senator from West Miami excited
the crowd several times.
He pointed barbs at the Obama administration, and brought laughter
with several lines a couple joking about selling books hes written.
In discussing his plans to revamp American higher education, Rubio
talked about his own education debt: I owed over $100,000 in student
loans, which I paid off with the proceeds of my book now available
on paperback, if youre interested.
Talking about his long-term political plans, he said, I dont want to be
in politics my whole life. I want to serve our country and Id like to do
some other things. Like maybe own an NFL team or something. I dont
know. Id have to sell a lot of books for that.
Addressing both foreign policy and domestic themes, Rubio riffed on
several imagine statements conjuring what a new direction for the
nation could bring.
Imagine if we repealed and replaced Obamacare, he said to applause.
Imagine if we had leaders that understood that the family, not
government, is the most important organization in society, he said to
more applause.
Imagine if our laws protected innocent human life, from conception to
natural death, he said to even bigger applause.
Finally, to both applause and raucous laughter: Imagine if we had a
president who doesnt travel the world bad-mouthing America. After all,
thats the U.N.s job.
Hannity proclaimed him a great conservative, tea party senator, and
Rubio hit the themes the crowd loved. He also dinged, in one-word

answers, the current occupant of the White House and one whod likely
be in Rubios way if he decides to run.
One-word answer on Barack Obama: Failed.
And Hillary Clinton: Yesterday.

Jeb Bush tells conservative


skeptics he hopes to be their
'second choice'

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answers a question earlier this week at the Club for Growth's
conference in Palm Beach, Fla. On Friday, he addressed the Conservative Political Action
Conference. (Joe Skipper / Associated Press / February 26, 2015)

By: Michael A. Memoli, Kathleen Hennessey


10:48 p.m. EST, February 27, 2015

http://www.ctnow.com/news/nationworld/la-pn-republicanscpac-20150227,0,1208486.story

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush defended his credentials as a reformminded conservative Friday, even as he held firm to positions that
threaten to undermine his standing with party activists, telling skeptics
that he hoped to be their second choice to win the GOP presidential
nomination.
Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual
proving ground for Republican candidates, the establishment favorite
came with practiced quick answers and light quips for a 20-minute
question-and-answer period with Fox News host Sean Hannity. He
acknowledged his audience's suspicions, and laid out, gently, a case for
broadening the party's appeal.
There are a lot of other conservatives that haven't been asked. They
don't know that they're conservative, Bush said. If we share our
enthusiasm, love for our country and believe in our philosophy, we will
be able to get Latinos and young people and other people that we need to
win.
Bush's appearance was his first before a large, conservative crowd since
he
began his still-undeclared quest for the 2016 nomination and was a
showcase of what's to come if he hopes to win over primary voters. His
top competitors for the nomination, including Sen. Rand Paul of
Kentucky, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, also addressed the group this week,
each test-driving speeches and banter aimed at winning over, or at least
quieting, some of the party's most ardent troops.
For Bush, the challenge involved touting his conservative credentials,
while holding firm to positions that are problematic for many core
Republican conservatives, such as supporting immigration reform and
the Common Core education standards.

On immigration, he reiterated his support for some kind of path to legal


status for those who have come to the U.S. illegally, saying there is no
plan to deport 11 million people.
We should give them a path to legal status where they work, where they
don't receive government benefits, where they learn English and they
make a contribution to our society, he said.
But Bush also said he opposed President Obama's recent executive
action that would shield up to 5 million immigrants from deportation. He
supported a congressional effort to try to block the policy, he said, but
not if doing so risked funds for the Department of Homeland Security, a
strategy pursued by some congressional Republicans.
I'm not an expert on the ways of Washington. It makes no sense to me
that we're not funding control of our border, which is the whole
argument, he said.
He stood by his support for granting driver's licenses and in-state tuition
to some immigrants living in the U.S. illegally. He also talked about the
Common Core, saying he supported the idea of set standards, but
suggested he was aligned with conservatives on his opposition to federal
government involvement. The Obama administration, Bush said, has
meddled in the process with its Race to the Top program that ties
school money to achievement on standardized tests.
Not all potential candidates had to approach the crowd on the defensive.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who spoke Thursday, was clearly a
favorite, thanks to his confrontations with public employee unions and
his survival of a recall election. Walker's speech received thunderous
applause.

We won in Wisconsin, a state that hasn't gone Republican for president


since 1984, he said. We did it without compromising. We stood up and
said what we were going to do, and we did it.
The otherwise polished Walker stumbled, though, when he discussed
whether voters should be concerned about his lack of foreign policy
experience: He said his fights with labor unions equipped him to fight
Islamic State militants.
If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the globe,
he said, causing even some supporters to wince.
Paul, the junior senator from Kentucky, was another welcome face at the
gathering. He also tried to defend his foreign policy vision, making clear
he takes a more nuanced view than his famously noninterventionist
father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
In his speech Friday, Paul was grounded in libertarian principles but
argued for a more traditional Republican line on defense. His views
unparalleled, undefeatable and unencumbered by nation-building
are an extension of President Reagan's advocacy of peace through
strength, Paul said, during remarks often interrupted by chants of
President Paul!
The conference also included the outer rings of the party's reach.
Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson delivered a meandering speech that
offered advice on legislative decorum and sexually transmitted diseases.
Donald Trump offered a recent real estate deal with the federal
government as proof that he has the mettle to lead the nation.
Still, organizers said this year's gathering was focused on trying to test
the politicians likely to win the party's nod next year. Rather than just
allow would-be candidates to deliver a red-meat speech, the group has

required them to follow their opening remarks with a question-andanswer session. Conservative media figures including Hannity and Laura
Ingraham have led the questioning.
Hannity peppered Rubio with questions about the politically difficult
parts of his record, particularly immigration. Rubio's support for a
bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013 was
extremely unpopular with many conservatives. The senator said the
lesson he had learned in the two years since helping to write that
legislation was that you can't discuss pathways to citizenship until
Americans believe that future illegal immigration will be controlled.
Bush, too, was asked rapid-fire questions with thorny implications. He
denied reports that he may be shifting his opposition to same-sex
marriage as he courts gay donors, saying, No, I believe in traditional
marriage. And he won cheers by declaring he opposes legalizing
marijuana but believes states ought to have that right to do it.
Hannity mentioned how, when he had said Bush's name in an earlier
speech, many in the audience booed, and so offered the former governor
a chance to defend his record.

For those that made a ooo' sound is that what that was? I'm
marking them down as neutral, and I want to be your second choice,
Bush said.

Laura Ingraham Takes Aim


At Jeb Bush And His Wife At
CPAC
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/27/laura-ingraham-jebbush_n_6768936.html
Posted: 02/27/2015 10:32 am EST Updated: 02/27/2015 10:59 am EST

Amanda Terkel
aterkel@huffingtonpost.com

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Radio host Laura Ingraham came out


swinging against Jeb Bush Friday morning at a conference for
conservative activists, taking a personal swipe against his wife's
spending habits.
"Jeb could really explode the gender gap. ... Women could really turn
out in droves for Jeb Bush," said Ingraham in her speech to at the
Conservative Political Action Conference. "What woman doesn't like a
man who gives her a blank check at Tiffany's? Diamonds are a girl's
best friend -- that would be a great theme song for Jeb Bush."
Ingraham was referring to a 1999 incident when Bush was governor of
Florida that left the couple "deeply mortified" and "politically
chagrined," according to The Washington Post. Federal customs
officials detained Jeb Bush's wife Columba for misrepresenting how
much she spent on clothing and jewelry during a five-day shopping
trip in Paris.
The Washington Post recently reported that less than a year later,
however, Columba also "took out a loan to buy $42,311.70 worth of
jewelry on a single day" at a store in South Florida.

Ingraham's joke Friday morning didn't sit well with some, including
Bush confidant Ana Navarro and conservative Washington Post writer
Jennifer Rubin.
Ingraham has been open in her dislike of Bush. She's gone after him
for his position on issues like immigration and the fact that he hasn't
been courting talk radio.
On Friday, she told the crowd that there really wasn't any difference
between Bush and potential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
"We could dispense with this whole nomination process together. ...
Why don't we just call it quits? And Jeb and Hillary can run on the
same ticket," she said. "I mean, going through the list of things they
agree on: Common Core, amnesty, giving Obama fast-track trade
authority, allowing the trade deals with China, the surveillance
culture. So I'm designing the bumper sticker. It could be, Clush 2016:
What difference does it make?"
Bush is scheduled to speak at CPAC Friday afternoon and will face a
crowd of many young, libertarian activists who remain skeptical of
having another Bush in the presidency.

Rubio: Obama sees deal


with Iran as his legacy

http://townhall.com/news/politics-elections/2015/02/27/rubio-obama-sees-deal-withiran-as-his-legacy-n1963344

AP News | Feb 27, 2015

OXON HILL, Md. (AP) President Barack Obama's health


care law was the legacy of his first term and he is pursuing a
nuclear deal with Iran as the hallmark of his second,
Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida told conservative
activists on Friday.
Both, the likely 2016 presidential candidate said, were
destined to fail.
"It is a foreign policy that treats the ayatollah of Iran with
more respect than the prime minister of Israel," Rubio told
those meeting near Washington at the annual Conservative
Political Action Conference.
Rubio added that Obama's foreign policy has left the United
States weaker than when he took office and he is not
sufficiently supportive of U.S. ally Israel, which strongly
opposes the talks with Iran and its leaders. Obama's
administration and its allies are in negotiations with Iran's
leaders to curb Tehran's nuclear program.
Republicans and some Democrats have been critical of the
attempt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is

coming to Washington next week speak to Congress and is


expected to criticize the efforts, as well.
Rubio said talks with Iran are foolish and the U.S. should side
with Israel in opposing Iran's nuclear program. He said the
next president should have one message to communicate to
the world: "It is bad to be our enemy and good to be our
friend.

Meet the senator who thinks


he's solved the GOP's
Obamacare dilemma
BY PHILIP KLEIN | FEBRUARY 27, 2015 | 11:15 AM

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/meet-the-senator-who-thinks-hes-solved-thegops-obamacare-dilemma/article/2560819

Sen. Ben Sasse thinks he has solved a dilemma that could arise if the U.S. Supreme Court declares...

Sen. Ben Sasse, the former university president and health policy adviser
in the Bush administration, thinks he has solved a dilemma that could arise
if the U.S. Supreme Court declares Obamacare's health insurance
subsidies illegal in up to 37 states.

In such circumstances, President Obama and his fellow Democrats would


push Republicans to pass a "simple fix" that would change the language
of Obamacare in a way that would allow the subsidies to continue to flow.

But doing so would be a nonstarter for Republicans, because it would


further enshrine the healthcare law and restore hundreds of billions of
dollars in spending that would otherwise be wiped out by the Supreme
Court decision.

"I think what a lot of conservatives have not understood is the


Machiavellian fine print" of Obamacare's regulations, the Nebraska
Republican told theWashington Examiner in a Thursday interview at the
Conservative Political Action Conference.

What he meant is that if Obamacare subsidies are struck down, under the
current regulations, insurers would be free to cancel millions of insurance
policies before the end of the year and will likely do so within 30 to 60
days of any Supreme Court decision (which is likely to come by late June).
And Democrats would exploit these cancellations to maximum political
advantage to pressure Republicans.

"It is going to make the Paul Ryan throws grandma o the cli ads look
like child's play compared to what's going to be happening when they're
going to have known identifiable victims," Sasse predicted. "The president
has already said, 'We know the names of all of these people,' meaning 'we
can trot them out as our hostages.' When they try to do that, there's going
to be unbelievable pressure on Republican governors to opt into
Obamacare and therefore undo what the Supreme Court would have just
done to uphold the rule of law. We need to make sure that while we don't
expand, extend, or fix Obamacare, we need to be able to oer targeted,
temporary, transitional assistance to those sick people who are going to
be subject to yet another Obamacare bait and switch, 'if you like your plan
you can keep your plan.'"

Sasse's solution is to adapt "Cobra," the law that allows workers who
have lost or changed jobs to maintain their health coverage for 18 months,
to enable Obamacare subsidy recipients to maintain their coverage for a
temporary amount of time. Unlike Cobra, however, under which individuals
have to pay the full cost of their health insurance premiums, the Sasse
plan would provide financial assistance.

"We need a long-term conversation about the alternative to Obamacare,


but you can't do that in the 30 days after the court ruling," he said.

Any plan to extend subsidies for 18 months would likely cost tens of
billions of dollars.

Sasse said that there will have to be a debate if any osets are needed,
though he predicted that his plan would be a cost saver.

His argument was that in the event of a Supreme Court decision stripping
federal exchange subsidies, states would respond by establishing their

own exchanges to claim the subsidies, which would enshrine Obamacare


in those states, imposing more costs over time. If states established their
own exchanges, it would allow them to add more beneficiaries to
Obamacare, whereas his plan would only help those with coverage at the
time of a decision maintain it.

If osets are needed, however, Sasse suggested one way would be to


undo the funding for "demonstration projects," or experiments, that were
allowed as part of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion, which he argued
were improper, citing a report by the Government Accountability Oce.

Any decision by the Supreme Court striking down the federal subsidies
would also eectively eliminate the employer mandate and weaken the
individual mandate in up to 37 states. The reason is that the fines imposed
on employers who don't oer health coverage are only triggered if a
worker receives federal insurance subsides without the subsidies, there
are no penalties. As far as the individual mandate, there's an exemption for
individuals who cannot find aordable health insurance and removing the
subsidies would allow more people to claim such an exemption.

In addition to the cost of signing onto a "simple fix" in the wake of a


Supreme Court decision, another problem would be that it would also
eectively re-impose the mandates on individuals and businesses.

But Sasse argued his plan would avoid this possibility, because his Cobrastyle subsidies wouldn't be designed to trigger the employer mandate, and
they wouldn't aect the individual mandate, because no new enrollees
would be able to claim the Cobra subsidies only those who choose to
keep their Obamacare insurance.

Rick Perry warns of danger,


uncertainty, but says weve
survived worse even
Jimmy Carter
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in
National Harbor, Md., Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) more >
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/feb/27/cpac-2015-rick-perry-warns-danger-uncertainty/?
page=all

By David Sherfinski - The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2015

A fired-up Rick Perry warned the crowd Friday at the Conservative


Political Action Conference in suburban Washington that at no time in
the last 25 years has the future been more uncertain and the world more
dangerous than it is today.
Like many of the speakers at CPAC, the former Texas governor
lamented the Obama administrations response to the Islamic State
terrorist group, also known as ISIS and ISIL.
They are a religious movement that seeks to take the world back to the
7th century, he said. Their aims are apocalyptic.
The president declared in the State of the Union that the advance of
ISIS has been stopped, and that is simply not true, Mr. Perry said. We
didnt start this war, nor did we choose it, but we will have the will to
finish it.

The potential 2016 GOP presidential contender also said Iran must not
be allowed to develop nuclear weapons and that Israel has the right to
exist as a Jewish state.
Our allies doubt us, and our adversaries are all too willing to test us,
he said. No one should be surprised that dictators like Assad [would]
cross the presidents red line because he knows the president wont even
defend the line that separates our nation from Mexico.
Mr. Perry also said any discussion about comprehensive immigration
reform has to start with border security, and brought up his confronting
President Obama over the issue.
And thats exactly why last summer I told the president, looked him
right in the eye and I said, If you will not secure the border between
Texas and Mexico, Texas will, he said to applause.
Mr. Perry also talked up his own job creation efforts as governor of
Texas and also charged that the unemployment rate is a sham in that it
leaves millions of Americans out.
And if the Republican party doesnt take a stand for these
Americans, who will? he said.
He did close, however, with an optimistic tone.
Weve survived worse, he said. We had a Civil War in this country;
we had two World Wars. We had a Great Depression. We even survived
Jimmy Carter. We will survive the Obama years, too.

RUBIO: HILLARY 'YESTERDAY,'


OBAMA 'FAILED'
'Only 1 election away from triggering a new American century'
Published: 02/27/2015 at 10:04 AM
By:

JEROME R. CORSI

http://www.wnd.com/2015/02/rubio-hillary-yesterday-obama-failed/

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. At the Conservative Political Action


Conference Friday morning, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a possible 2016
presidential candidate, gave an emotional speech echoing President
Ronald Reagan and arguing from his personal life story that the greatest
days of the United States of America lie ahead.

The world knows we are exceptional, Rubio told an enthusiastic audience.


When was the last time you heard about a boat load of American refugees
arriving on the shores of another country?
Yet, he said, at home we have millions of families that are living paycheck
to paycheck, and they are wondering when things are ever going to get
better for them.
And around the world because of the Obama-Clinton foreign policy, our
allies no longer trust us, and our enemies no longer fear us, he said. We
now have a foreign policy that treats the ayatollah in Iran with more respect
than we treat the prime minister of Israel.
In a question-and answer-session after his speech, Rubio drew applause
when he told Sean Hannity that illegal immigration must be brought under
control.
In a word-association round with Hannity, Rubio chose yesterday in
response to Hillary Clinton and failed in response to Obama.
What do YOU think? Who is your favorite presidential candidate for
2016? Sound off in todays WND poll!
In his speech, Rubio said the bad news is that today our nation is on the
road to decline, but the good news is that we are only one election away
from triggering a new American century.
Imagine if we cut our taxes and simplified our regulatory code, he said.
Imagine if we balanced the budget. Imagine if we repealed and replaced
Obamacare. If we did these things our economy would create millions of
new jobs and the American dream would reach more people than ever
before.
Rubio stressed that the family, not the government, is the most import
element of society, and he insisted laws must protect human life from
conception to death.
Imagine if we had a commander in chief that understood that the way to
deal with ISIS is not to offer them jobs, he said. Imagine if we didnt have
a president who traveled the world bad-mouthing America. After all, thats

the United Nations job. Imagine if we didnt have a secretary of state who
believes America is as safe as we have ever been while in the mean time
radical Islamic jihadists are taking young women as brides, are burning
prisoners in cages and beheading Christians on a beach in Libya.
Turning to his personal story, he said, I have a debt to America that I will
never be able to repay.
His parents arrived in the U.S. from Cuba in 1956 with no money and no
connections.
They barely spoke English, but less than four decades later all four of their
children are living the dream my grandparents came here to achieve, he
said.
For me, America isnt just a country, he said. Its the place that literally
changed the history of my family.
Check

Perry shows off foreign


policy chops
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/234098-perry-shows-offforeign-policy-chops
February 27, 2015, 10:16 am
By Jonathan Easley

Greg Nash

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry touted his foreign policy chops at the
Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, criticizing
President Obama as weak in dealing with terror threats.

At no time in the last 25 years has the future been more uncertain
and the world more dangerous than it is today, Perry said. Our
country has entered a time of testing, and our political leadership is
failing the test. The president bows to political correctness while
making grave miscalculations that make the world less safe.
Perry blamed Obama for the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria
(ISIS), arguing that the president has frittered away strongholds the
U.S. once had in the region and created a power vacuum whereby the
terrorist organization could rise.
This administrations incompetence in Iraq and Syria has allowed for
ISIS to emerge, Perry said.
The former 2012 presidential candidate who's mulling another run also
criticized the president for failing to tie the radical extremists in ISIS to
Islam, a frequent criticism from many at the conservative conference.
Obama has said he doesnt describe the U.S. as being at war with
radical Islam, because he doesnt want to give ISIS undue credit.
Lets be very, very clear about who ISIS is and what they represent,
Perry said. They are a religious movement that seeks to take the
world back to the 7th century. Their aims are apocalyptic. They mean
to cleanse the world of Christians, Jews, and Muslims that disagree
with them. Their stated vow is to kill as many Americans as possible.
Its time for the American people to hear the truth.
ISIS represents worse threat to freedom since communism, Perry
continued.
We didnt start this war, nor did we choose it, but we will have the will
to finish it.
He also said the Obama administration has adopted a policy of
managing Irans nuclear threat, rather than one of prevention.
I believe it is fundamentally dangerous to grant Irans nuclear
ambitions political cover, Perry said. Iran should not be allowed to
develop nuclear weapons period.
And he said Obamas perceived weakness gave Russian President
Vladimir Putin the opening he needed to invade Crimea.
There are no real consequences when dictators defy America and
this must change, Perry said. For the world to be safer, America
must be stronger and for America to be safer, our borders must be
secure.

Perry is considering another run for the White House and says hell
decide by May or June whether to run again. Perry generated buzz
ahead of his Washington visit last month by announcing he had
signed on more than 80 major donors to serve on his leadership
PACs advisory board.
The former governor has admitted he jumped into the 2012 race
overestimating his political skills and that his lack of preparation and
subsequent missteps and misstatements ultimately sunk his
campaign.
Since then, he has impressed some Republicans with his polished
presentation and firmer grasp on domestic and international issues,
but many still wonder if hell ever live down the oops moment that
defined his ill-fated 2012 run.
Perrys attacks against the administration could be a preview of his
potential campaign message, as hell be seeking to convince voters
that hes a more learned candidate than the he was last time.
The big talking Texan can still work a crowd. He walked on stage to
AC/DCs Back in Black, and his Texas swagger was well-received
among conservatives at the conference.
Ive never been more certain than I am today that Americas best
days remain in front of us, Perry said. The weakness and
incompetence of our government should not be confused with
the strength of American people.
Weve survived worse: We had a Civil War, two World Wars we
even survived Jimmy Carter, Perry laughed. We will survive the
Obama years too.

CPAC 2015 LIVE


UPDATED 8:19 AM PST Feb 28, 2015
http://www.kcra.com/politics/cpac-2015-liveblog/31495098
By: CNN staff

WASHINGTON (CNN) The year's biggest conservative confab features


thousands of activists, elected officials and party leaders gathering for the
Conservative Political Action Conference.
But while they're meeting at a convention center just outside of
Washington, D.C., their minds --- and rhetoric --- are focused squarely on
the White House and on attacking Hillary Clinton, the most likely
Democratic nominee in 2016. Here's every critical thing they said about her
Thursday:
This year's CPAC marks the unofficial kickoff of the battle for the
conservative vote among GOP presidential contenders. For some, like
Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, the event will be a homecoming, a return to
their most ardent and loyal supporters.
For others, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, CPAC represents a lion's
den, full of activists skeptical of his conservative chops and wary of his
presidential aspirations.
CPAC can put a potential contender on the map, as it did with retired
neurosurgeon Ben Carson last year, when the movement launched to draft
him into the presidential race drew significant attention and he took third in
the presidential straw poll.
But it can also cripple a frontrunner, as it did when then-GOP frontrunner
Mitt Romney called himself "severely conservative" at the 2012 convention.
What does CPAC look like? check out the video below:

Here's what you need to know:


Friday
Bush survives CPAC grilling
3 p.m. - Jeb Bush defended his positions on immigration -- and made some
breaks from hard-line conservatives -- in front of a rowdy crowd Friday
afternoon.
The former Florida governor went all-in on his support for a giving
undocumented immigrants a path to legal status, and for making in-state
college tuition available for those immigrants.
But he earned loud cheers from the crowd by saying he'd favor closing the
U.S.-Mexico border first, before enacting any other immigration reforms,
and for saying tens of thousands of Central American immigrants who
arrived in Texas last summer should have been deported.
And he punted on a question about Congress' ongoing fight over funding
the Department of Homeland Security and whether Republicans should
stick with a measure that also defunds President Barack Obama's
immigration actions -- even at the risk of shutting the department down.
"I'm not an expert on the ways of Washington," he said.
Bush's comments came in a highly-anticipated question-and-answer
session with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Some members of the crowd walked out early in Bush's appearance, and
others interrupted him with jeers. But they were matched in volume by
Bush's supporters.
Hannity put Bush on defense for much of the 25-minute session, quizzing
him on his stances on two issues that could hurt him with the GOP base:
immigration and the Common Core education standards.
Bush used the education questions to tout his role as one of the nation's
leading conservative reformers, noting that Florida had launched the first
statewide voucher program on his watch and offered a long list of choices
that allow students and their parents to decide how to spend public
education dollars.
He also told the crowd that Republicans need to pivot from their opposition
to Obama -- who he called a "failed president" -- to a more positive agenda
in 2016.
"It's good to oppose the bad things, but we need to start being for things,"
Bush said.
The same, he said, goes for him -- the candidate with a father and brother
who were president.

"I have to show what's in my heart. I have to show that I care about people,
about their future," Bush said. "It can't be about the past."
--- Eric Bradner, CNN
Duck Dynasty star wings it on center stage
In between the seemingly endless parade of 2016 hopefuls -- Duck
Dynasty star Phil Robertson had plenty of red meat to offer to CPAC's
conservative attendees, and advice to any potential Republican
Candidates.
"Carry two things wherever you go in case you become president -- your
bible and your woman,"
The former A&E reality show was not shy in asserting his own unabashedly
conservative beliefs.
"I am a god-loving, bible-believing, gun-toting, capitalist," Robertson
declared to the crowd.
Taking a decidedly spiritual tone, Robertson read mostly from religious
texts and selected writing from George Washington, John Adams and
Thomas Jefferson, imploring conservatives to hold onto America's religious
roots.
"If you think I'm a little too religious for you, just listen to your founding
fathers, the men that founded this country," Robertson said, "then decide if
I'm too religious for you."
Robertson also lamented the decline of the American family, citing CDC
data on rates of sexually transmitted diseases as evidence of the U.S.'s
moral decline.
He also likened the rise of ISIS in Iraq and Syria to the rise of Hitler and
Stalin before World War II, pointing to a lack of Christian values as a
common strain in those two nations.
"I don't see a dime's worth of different in any of them," Robertson said.
He closed with another nod to 2016.
"If we don't have spiritual men making political decisions, you're going to
lose this country," Robertson warned.
-- Johnny Verhovek, CNN
Santorum: Presidency 'not an entry level position'
1:15 p.m. Former Sen. Rick Santorum pitched his foreign policy experience
at CPAC on Friday as he laid out the radical Islamist threat the United
States faces.

"Commander in chief is not an entry level position. And the oval office is no
place for on the job training, not in times like this," said Santorum, who
spent eight years on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Santorum had trouble building applause lines as a crowd of Sen. Rand
Paul supporters filtered out of the room after Paul, a crowd favorite, left the
stage.
But the crowd's enthusiasm grew as Santorum shifted focus from
economics and the need to "stand for the little guy" to the threat of radical
Islam.
Santorum laid out his vision for a hawkish foreign policy, calling for a robust
military and the need for the United States military to deploy 10,000 "boots
on the ground" to defeat ISIS.
Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Rand, the doctor, pitches 2016 'healing' message
1 p.m. - Sen. Rand Paul while speaking to a friendly audience, stuck largely
to his stump speech but also used his background as a physician to
distinguish himself from the rest of the crowded field of potential
presidential candidates.
"As a doctor, I will take it and make it my mission to heal the nation, reverse
the course of Obamacare, and repeal every last bit of it," he said, adding
that Chief Justice John Robert's decision was the "mistake of the century."
The Kentucky Republican undoubtedly had the warmest reception from the
young CPAC crowd, which has traditionally tilted in favor of the libertarianleaning senator and previously his father, former Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.
The audience was the fullest yet in the massive ballroom, and chants of
"President Paul" occasionally broke out.
Paul ticked through his views on privacy and the Bill of Rights and rallied
the crowd to its feet with a healthy dish of red meat, reiterating that it's time
for Hillary Clinton to "permanently retire" and calling for term limits for
members of Congress.
And while polls show momentum building towards a more aggressive U.S.
response against ISIS, Paul tried to carefully walk the line of supporting a
strong national defense while still holding onto his non-interventionist
views.
"Without question we must defend ourselves," he said. "I envision an
America with a National Defense unparalleled, undefeatable, and
unencumbered by nation building.
Perry talks foreign policy, immigration

9:42 a.m. - Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry tried to leverage the experience
that 14 years as a border-state governor gives him over the rest of the
2016 Republican presidential field during his Friday morning CPAC speech.
Perry hit the issue of immigration hard, repeatedly touting his state's efforts
-- which included deploying the National Guard -- to stop an influx of
undocumented minors that were crossing the U.S.-Mexico border last
summer.
He recalled a conversation with President Barack Obama during the
President's visit to Dallas last year.
"I said to him, Mr. President, if you don't secure this border, Texas will, and
that's exactly what we did," he said.
Asked about his plans for immigration reform, Perry offered no specifics,
though.
"If you do not secure the border first, you can't have a conversation about
immigration reform, that's just a fact," he said.
He also called for "aviation assets" to monitor the border.
Perry also slugged Obama -- who was the sole focus of his speech and
remarks in a subsequent question-and-answer session, unlike other
Republicans who have hit Hillary Clinton or other party members -- for his
handling of foreign threats like ISIS.
He said the United States must support Israel and be sure not to "grant
Iran's nuclear ambitions diplomatic cover."
Perry touted tax cuts and regulatory reforms enacted in Texas as a national
model, and said that there's "nothing wrong with America that cannot be
fixed with new leadership."
Comparing Obama's leadership to wars, depressions and Jimmy Carter,
Perry said: "We've survived worse."
CNN spent time with Perry in New Hampshire recently. He kissed babies,
shook hands, and tried to convince voters that 2015 Perry is a far different
potential candidate than the one who "stepped in it" four years ago. Watch
that below and read on for more from CPAC:
Rubio: Hillary Clinton is so 'yesterday'
8:40 a.m. - For Sen. Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton is "yesterday."
That may be why, during his Friday-morning speech at CPAC, the potential
presidential contender laid out his vision for a "new American century."
In a succinct address, the Florida senator said that while America's still
exceptional, "you wouldn't know it by listening to the President, who's
described our nation as sometimes being arrogant or dictating terms to
others."

"Our nation is on the decline," he added. "The good news is, we are one
election away from triggering another American century."
Rubio leaned heavily on his own personal story in his speech, referencing
his family's immigration to America and his working-class upbringing.
"America doesn't owe me anything," he said, "but I have a debt to
America."
And in a question-and-answer session with Sean Hannity, Rubio again
drew a juxtaposition between the problems of the past and the solutions of
the future.
"We're basically having the industrial revolution every five years --- and our
leaders are basically stuck in yesterday," he said.
In a rapid-fire word-association segment, Rubio described Clinton, the
presumptive Democratic presidential frontrunner, as "yesterday," Bill Clinton
as "really yesterday," and Obama as "failed."
But he was careful to keep controversy at arms length in the question-andanswer session, distancing himself from his role in passing the Senate
immigration reform bill in 2013 that sparked heavy backlash from
conservatives. He called for tougher border control and restrictions on legal
immigration before addressing those in the U.S. illegally.
"You can't even begin to have a conversation about [immigrants in the U.S.
illegally] until people believe, and know ... that future illegal immigration will
be controlled," he said.
Thursday
Jindal closes day one of speeches
6:25 p.m. - Gov. Bobby Jindal laid out his criticism of Common Core,
slammed President Barack Obama on the fight against radical Islam and
reemphasized the need for immigrants to assimilate in the United States.
Jindal's one-liners may have been new to many in the crowd, but most of
his speech was recycled from past appearances and resembled an
address he delivered earlier this month at an American Principles Project
event.
Jindal also took the opportunity to knock Obama on remarks he made
earlier this month at the National Prayer Breakfast.
"I'll keep my eye out for the medieval Christians," Jindal said. "Why don't
you go out and win the war against radical Islam."
When taking questions, Jindal emphasized the time he's spent in the last
year putting out policy papers through his policy organization, America
Next, noting that he's staked out positions on everything from energy
independence to alternatives to Obamacare and Common Core.

Walker harsh on Obama's foreign policy, vague on his own


5:25 p.m. -- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker offered a blistering critique of
President Barack Obama's handling of the threat of "radical Islamic
terrorism" on Thursday -- but little substance on how he'd address the
challenge himself.
"We need a president, a leader, who will stand up and say, we will take the
fight to them and not wait until they bring the fight to America's soil, to our
children and our grandchildren," Walker said.
Later, in a short opening speech, he added: "We need to show the world
that in America, you have no better ally and no greater enemy. In America,
we will stand up for what is right and stand against what is wrong."
Asked by an audience member about how he'd deal with the threat of the
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Walker responded that he gets FBI threat
briefings from his adjutant general and that "without divulging confidential
information," he's been concerned about the group for years.
But he didn't offer a specific answer to how he'd take on the group, instead
pivoting back to his experience in Wisconsin.
"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,"
he said.
It was a reference to Walker's fight against labor unions in Wisconsin,
where his move to strip public employees' collective bargaining rights
caused months of protests, forced him to survive a recall election, and
turned him into a rock star on the right.
Those fights were Walker's comfort zone. He touted Republican efforts in
Wisconsin to block government dollars from going to Planned Parenthood,
to require photo IDs to vote, and to reduce regulations. He also pointed to a
new GOP push to enact union-busting right-to-work legislation there.
In making his pitch, Walker showcased the no-compromise rhetoric that
has made him a conservative favorite.
"We won in Wisconsin a state that hasn't gone Republican for president
since 1984. ... We did it without compromising," he said. "We stood up and
said what we were gonna do, and then we did it."
- Eric Bradner, CNN

Perry passes on Jeb Bush attack


4:55 PM -- After he joined the 2012 presidential race, a brash Rick Perry
quickly laid down a marker when asked how he differed from George W.
Bush, another Texan who made it to the White House.

"I went to Texas A&M," Perry told reporters as he strolled confidently


through the Iowa State Fair in late summer 2011. "He went to Yale."
Perry was drawing an unmistakable cultural contrast and making no secret
about his frosty relationship with the Bush family.
Today, with Perry and another Bush --- Jeb --- both looking at the
presidency in 2016, the recently-departed Texas governor is this time
staying away from direct attacks on the GOP's most famous family.
Asked if the country has an appetite for a third Bush presidency, Perry
passed on needling the former Florida governor.
"Really I think the country has an appetite to get the country back working,"
he told CNN as he walked through the crowded hallways of CPAC on
Thursday. "I don't think the country cares what state they're from."
Asked again about his relationship with the Bushes, Perry again punted.
"I don't think the country cares about anything other than who is going to
get this country back working again, and who is going to have a foreign
policy that is cogent, where are allies know who is going to be there for
them, and when people who aren't our friends cross red lines, there is a
consequence," Perry responded. "They could care less what state they're
from."
-- Peter Hamby, CNN
That time Carly Fiorina appeared at the Clinton Global Initiative
4:40 p.m. - Shortly after Carly Fiorina wrapped her speech to CPAC, where
she repeatedly attacked former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's record on
foreign policy issues, a pro-Clinton rapid response political organization
reminded reporters of a time when the former Hewlett-Packard executive
spoke at the Clinton family's flagship organization.
"#TBT that time @CarlyFiorina spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative.
#CPAC2015," the group Correct the Record tweeted on Thursday
afternoon, a reference to the Throwback Thursday ritual of recalling times
gone by on the social media outlet.
The group also included a link to a press release including details of the
May 2013 event, which was billed as an event gathering top CEOs and
government officials on "boosting the economy."
"I think on balance it's a positive thing, actually," Fiorina says of the
foundation in 2013. She added in an interview with Jake Tapper that "the
Clinton Global Initiative does a lot of good work around the world," but says
that the group's corporate ties will likely cause HRC problems if she runs.
When asked about the Clinton critique, a spokeswoman for Fiorina turned
the query back on the former first lady.

"It's a simple question: can they name a single accomplishment from her
time as Secretary of State? They've been asked many times. I have yet to
see an answer," Sarah Isgur Flores said in an emailed statement.
-Jedd Rosche and Dan Merica, CNN
Cruz's sermon: Reagan, Clinton and miracles
2:15 p.m. - Sen. Ted Cruz is hoping his kind of conservatism could "bring
back the miracle that is America."
"America is in jeopardy and we are met totday in a great battlefield. The
men and women who are gathered here today are gathered to fight for
freedom in our country," Cruz told his CPAC audience Thursday.
Cruz, who has often set himself up at odds with the Republican leadership
in Congress, said voters will need to "differentiate" between true
conservatives and, essentially, posers.
No one will say "'I'm a squishy moderate that stands for nothing,'" Cruz
joked before quoting Scripture: "You shall know them by their fruits."
"Demand action, not talk," Cruz urged the audience of activists. "If a
candidate tells you they oppose the debt and debt ceiling that are crushing
our kids. Terrific. What if you stood up and fought against it."
As he has in past speeches, Cruz rallied the crowd by painting a stark
contrast between Washington and what "the people want" and used it as an
opportunity to take a shot at former former Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton, whom he said embodies Washington.
Cruz's speech was also full of one-liners slamming Obama and his
healthcare law and attacks against Democrats, some of whom plan to
boycott Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to Congress
next week.
"There's not a single Democrat here. It's almost like CPAC invited Benjamin
Netanyahu to speak," Cruz joked.
Cruz also likened himself to the car service app Uber: "What I'm trying to
do more than anything else is bring a disruptive app to politics."
And in a lighting round with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Cruz gave his
top priorities for his first day in office if he were to be elected president,
which included abolishing the IRS, repealing Obamacare and defending
"our constitutional rights."
-Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Carly Fiorina attacks Hillary Clinton's record

1:45 p.m. -- Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard executive who could
be the only woman to enter the Republican race, took a series of shots at
Hillary Clinton -- who she challenged to "please name an accomplishment."
"Like Mrs. Clinton, I too have traveled the globe. Unlike Mrs. Clinton, I know
that flying is an activity, not an accomplishment," she said.
Fiorina lambasted Clinton's handling of the attack on the U.S. embassy in
Benghazi, Libya, and her "conflict of interest" when the Clinton Foundation
reportedly accepted gifts from foreign governments during her tenure as
President Barack Obama's secretary of state.
"She tweets about women's rights in this country and takes money from
governments that deny women the most basic human rights. She tweets
about equal pay for women but will not answer basic questions about her
own offices' pay standards -- and neither will our President," Fiorina said.
"Hillary may like hashtags. But she doesn't know what leadership means."
Fiorina also name-dropped the woman many liberals hope will challenge
Clinton in the Democratic primary: Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
She channeled Warren's populist appeal, saying she'd diagnosed similar
problems but had a dramatically different take on the solutions.
"Elizabeth Warren is right: crony capitalism is alive and well," Fiorina said.
"Government and government programs have grown so big, so powerful,
so costly and so complex that only the big and the powerful can prosper.
But Elizabeth Warren is dead wrong about how to end crony capitalism.
You see, whether it is Dodd-Frank, Obamacare or net neutrality, all this
government complexity means the big get bigger, the small disappear, and
the powerless are trapped."
-- Eric Bradner, CNN
Chris Christie goes after Jeb Bush
1:00 p.m. - Gov. Chris Christie sought to defend his brash style and counter
narratives that he's being outrun by Jeb Bush, saying it's too early to make
sweeping predictions.
The New Jersey Republican sat on stage with conservative radio host
Laura Ingraham, where he dropped a round of anti-media digs --- "I'm
giving up the New York Times for Lent" --- to counter recent narratives
about a slowed momentum for the potential Christie campaign.
"Is the election next week?" he asked, when pressed on his low standing in
2016 polls. "If I decide to run for president, I'm not worried what polls say
21 months before" the election.
Asked how he'll manage to outperform Bush, who's tapping into his family's
vast network to collect a massive fundraising haul, Christie said "if the elites

in Washington who make backroom deals" decide the nominee, then Bush
would be the frontrunner. But, he argued, he'll "do OK" if that decision is left
up to the people.
He also said that Bush's previous proposal about repopulating Detroit with
immigrants was "misrepresenting the priorities" and said he would focus
more on the people already living in the city.
Christie, as he's been doing in early voting states lately, embraced his
"Jersey guy" persona, saying people like to hear a direct, blunt politician.
"Sometimes people need to be told to sit down and shut up," he said,
defending his outburst against a heckler in the fall.
-- CNN's Ashley Killough
Ben Carson
9:00 A.M.: Ben Carson took the stage earlier than scheduled, but still found
a packed auditorium and enthusiastic audience for a relatively subdued
speech that unfolded like a laundry list of his policy priorities.
Carson urged listeners, "let's not turn our backs on Israel," said Congress
should offer an alternative to Obamacare before they repeal it, and
defended conservatives' opposition to same-sex marriage. It was a
departure from last year's speech, during which he railed with fiery rhetoric
against the "P.C. police."
"We need to move in a very different direction," Carson said, calling for the
nation to move away from big government programs.
He also, during the question-and-answer portion of his appearance, said
the government should have a "safety net" to support those in need, but
should eliminate programs that cause "dependency." And he said that
home-schoolers, in his estimation, perform better than public school
educated students.
-- Alexandra Jaffe, CNN
Carson is one of the more interesting newcomers on the national political
stage. An African American in a party desparate to make inroads with
minorities, Carson is also a neurosurgeon without the burden of a political
background. He has become a favorite in the conservative media. He's
also the only potential 2016 candidate to have a movie made about his
medical career. Cuba Gooding, Jr., played Carson. But as a fierce critic of
Obamacare, Carson has also waded into controversy. He once compared
the health care law to slavery and drawn parallels between the U.S. and
Nazi Germany.
CNN's Mark Preston made this short bio video with our digital video team
earlier this year:

Carson debated Wolf Blitzer about that Nazi Germany comment back in
December:
Meanwhile, out in the halls of the conference, some of the more interesting
characters of the conservative movement had on their American flag pants:
Carson suggests stripping the president of his golf game:

Rick Perry uses CPAC speech


to hammer Obama on ISIS,
Iran and Israel
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rick-perry-cpac-hammers-obama-isis-iran-israelarticle-1.2131519
BY ADAM EDELMAN

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Friday, February 27, 2015, 10:10 AM

!
C-SPAN

Rick Perrys speech at CPAC Friday morning focused mostly on foreign


policy issues.

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry showed off some newly found foreign policy
chops in a plainspoken speech at the Conservative Political Action

Conference Friday, emphasizing pressing national security issues like ISIS,


Iran's nuclear program and the nation's relationship with Israel.
"At no time in the last 25 years has the future been more uncertain and the
world been more dangerous than it is today," Perry said, slamming
President Obama's response to ISIS and Russia as "naive, dangerous and
misguided."
"ISIS presents the biggest threat to national security since communism," he
added. "We didn't start this war, nor did we choose it, but we will have the
will to finish it."
"Here's the simple truth about our foreign policy: Our allies doubt us and
our adversaries are all too willing to test us," he said.
In a focused 15-minute speech, Perry also took aim at the White House's
ongoing negotiations with Iran over the development of its nuclear program
and reiterated his support for the state of Israel.
Perry, however, devoted the crux of his appearance to bashing Obama,
whose years in office he compared to some of the worst catastrophes to
befall the country in recent generations.
"This country's been through a lot. We went through a civil war two world
wars. We even survived Jimmy Carter," he said, prompting laughter.
"We will survive the Obama years too," he said.

Perry, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012,
appeared to use the podium at the prominent conservative summit to test
out themes for a possible 2016 bid.
And while he's barely registered in the early polls, he still took a shot
Thursday night at one of the party's front-runners, Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker, over Walker's own speech a day earlier likely to position himself
as a viable conservative alternative to Walker.
Walker, during his timeslot, appeared to compare battling terrorists to his
own fight in his home-state against public sector unions.
"If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world,"
Walker said.
In an interview at CPAC after Walker's speech, Perry called the remarks
"inappropriate."
"These are Americans," Perry told MSNBC. "You are talking about, in the
case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing
heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship
between them and the unions is inappropriate.

February 27, 2015, 10:10 am

Bush won't back down from


'core beliefs'
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/234096-bush-wont-back-down-fromcore-beliefs
By Jesse Byrnes

Getty Images

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Thursday night that he wont back
down from his core beliefs, signaling he doesnt intend to change his
positions on immigration and education to court conservatives.
Bushs remarks at the Club for Growths annual retreat in Florida come
on the eve of his Friday appearance at the Conservative Political
Action Conference (CPAC), where attendees are expected to greet
him with some skepticism.
Im not backing down from something that is a core belief, Bush told
the audience, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Are we all just supposed to cower because, at the moment, people
are upset about something? No way, no how, Bush added, according
to a separate report in the Washington Examiner.
Bush, who is exploring a 2016 run for the White House, reportedly
made a point of discussing the broken immigration system in his
speech.
It's broken because we have a president that uses authority he
doesn't have to pick and choose who gets to stay and who doesn't,
Bush said, according to the Examiner. It's broken because 40 percent
of the illegal immigrants in our country came here legally and
overstayed their time. It's broken because businesses sometimes hire
illegal immigrants, and they shouldn't do that, and there should be true
enforcement so that people know that that's the wrong thing.
Conservative radio host Laura Ingraham took to the main CPAC
stage on Friday morning to rip Bush just hours before his appearance
for an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity.
How many of you are skeptical of another Bush presidency?
Ingraham asked, which led many in the audience to raise their hands.
She then launched into an attack on Bush, and suggested he and
presumed Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton could run on the
same ticket.

Jeb Bush doesnt back down at CPAC


http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/speakers-slam-jeb-bush-and-even-his-wife-cpac
02/27/15 09:55 AMUPDATED 02/27/15 05:33 PM

By Benjy Sarlin
NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland Jeb Bush refused to water down
his message for the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday,
forcefully defending his support for immigration reform and Common
Core education standards at a right-leaning event where previous
speakers bashed his politics, his policies, and even his wifes shopping
habits.
The simple fact is there is no plan to deport 11 million people, he said
during an onstage Q&A with Fox News host Sean Hannity. We should
give them a path to legal status where they work, where they dont
receive government benefits where they learn English and where they
make a contribution to our society.
Bush defended his Florida record on the issue as well, saying he had no
regrets about supporting drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants
and backing more recent legislation granting in-state tuition for
undocumented students, an issue Mitt Romney used to paint former
Texas Gov. Rick Perry as insufficiently conservative in the 2012 GOP
primaries.
The event, a showcase for Republican presidential prospects, tends to be
dominated by hard-line social conservative and libertarian activists.
About 50 attendees almost all college-aged Rand Paul fans marched
out of the ballroom as Bush took the stage, following the lead of William
Temple, a middle-aged man dressed as a revolutionary war soldier and

carrying a Tea Party Gadsen flag. Outside, the band met television
cameras and chanted, no more Bushes, no more Clintons.
Bush drew dueling boos and louder cheers at various points and told his
hecklers that Iwant to be your second choice.
The former governor has has said he wants to distinguish himself from
his presidential brother and father, but sounded a similar note to George
W. Bush at times.
When was asked whether it was possible to cut taxes in a time of rising
national debt, for example, Jeb Bush replied:You can lower taxes and
create more economic opportunity that will generate more revenue for
government than any of the most exotic tax plans that Barack Obama
has. The 43rd president famously passed a massive tax cut, which
helped turn a record surplus into significant deficits over his presidency.
Bush also hit a familiar hawkish tone on foreign policy, telling Hannity
he wanted the option of using ground troops to confront the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria and favored lending greater support to Syrian
rebels opposed to the radical Islamist group.
He said he disagreed with the Obama administrations emphasis on
economic opportunity to combat Islamic terrorism in addition to military
action, noting that recently identified British ISIS terrorist Mohammed
Emwazi came from a wealthy family.
This total misunderstanding of what this Islamic terrorist threat is is
very dangerous, because it doesnt allow you to have the right strategy to
deal with this, Bush said.
Delving into social issues, Bush played up his consistent conservatism.
He rebutted a recent BuzzFeed report noting that Bush has hired a
number of staff supportive of LGBT rights, saying: Ibelieve in
traditional marriage. Bush said he stood by his fight as governor to keep
the late Terri Schiavo on life support against the wishes of her husband,
telling the audience that the most vulnerable in our society need to be
protected. After his own efforts failed, his brothers unsuccessful
attempt to intervene in the Schiavo case ended up becoming one of the
most unpopular moves of his presidency.

Before his CPAC appearance on Friday, Bush had largely stuck to


friendly venues more associated with the business wing of the GOP,
where hes most popular, than with the grassroots. The difference was
clear throughout the conference.
Radio host Laura Ingraham, one of the events opening speakers on
Friday, drew enthusiastic applause for an epic rant against Bush that
criticized his support for a path to legal status for undocumented
immigrants, for Common Core standards and mocked his wife Columba
Bushsjewelry bills.
I think women could actually turn out in droves for Jeb Bush,
Ingraham said. I mean what woman doesnt like a man who gives her a
blank check at Tiffanys?
Ingrahamcontinued: Theres another way of looking at this we could
dispense with this whole nomination process altogether. Its kind of
inconvenient having to run for president, we have to do this whole dog
and pony show why dont we call it quits and Jeb and Hillary can run
on the same ticket?
Ingraham said Republicans should nominate not aconservative who
comes to CPAC to check a box, but a conservative who comes to CPAC
because they are conservative.
Bushs name was also booed by the crowd, which was thick with Rand
Paul supporters waiting to see the senators delayed speech, when
Hannity mentioned him in an earlier segment and later when Donald
Trump derided him a speech.
I dont see him winning, I dont see theres any way, Trump said.
Sen. Marco Rubio who is also under fire from the right for cosponsoring a comprehensive immigration reform bill in 2013, spoke as
well. He has since renounced the bill.
Rubio took several questions from Hannity, who is also set to interview
Bush later Friday, on the immigration topic and said he had made a
mistake by not supporting border security legislation before looking at
citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
That was the strongest argument made against the bill and it was
proven to be true, Rubio said, citing President Obamas executive

action to temporarily protect millions of immigrants from deportation.


Rubio urged Republicans in Congress, who are debating whether to tie
measures blocking the White House moves to a Department of
Homeland Security funding bill and risk a shutdown at midnight, to
stand firm against Obama.
This is not a policy debate, this is a constitutional debate, he said.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry told the crowd that any immigration debate must
begin with border security and boasted how he told Obama,if you will
not secure the border between Texas and Mexico, Texas will.
Paul, firing up the libertarian crowd that filled the theater for his speech,
urged Republicans to heed his call for a less interventionist foreign
policy a tough sell at a time when many of the biggest applause lines
of the event were for tougher action against Iran and more resources to
combat militants with the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
abroad.
As conservatives, we should not succumb to the notion that a
government inept at home will somehow become successful abroad, he
said.


Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) speaks at an event on Sept. 26, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty

Ted Cruz tries triangulation with a


twist
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/ted-cruz-tries-triangulation-twist
02/27/15 10:02 AMUPDATED 02/27/15 10:17 AM

By Steve Benen

Successful presidential candidates have often made good use of a


triangulation strategy. Different political scientists may offer
competing definitions of the phrase, but the basic idea is to exploit
public disapproval of both parties by positioning a candidate as
something altogether separate and better.

Bill Clinton was known for his embrace of triangulation, offering


himself as a third way between the left and right, though George W.
Bush dabbled in this, too. In late 1999, the then-Texas governor said of
his own partys budget plan, I dont think they ought to balance their
budget on the backs of the poor. (We were supposed to note the use of
they, instead of we.)

When both parties are unpopular, this can be a smart and effective tactic.
Many voters will gravitate towards national candidates willing to
criticize both parties, including their own. And with this in mind, it was
interesting yesterday to see Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) trya similar move
in his CPAC remarks (thanks to my colleague Nick Tuths for the headsup).
Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) came out swinging against members of his
own party Thursday, telling a conference of conservative activists that
GOP leaders in Congress had sold out to Democrats on immigration and
that presidential contenders should be judged by their willingness to
stand up to the party establishment.

The biggest division we have in the country is not between Republicans


and Democrats, Mr. Cruz, a likely 2016 presidential contender, told the
Conservative Political Action Conference. It is between career
politicians in Washington and the American people.
If you have a candidate whos stood against Democrats, thats great,
the Republican senator said, quickly adding, When have you been
willing to stand up against Republicans? When have you been willing to
stand with the people?

To be sure, this is not, strictly speaking, how triangulation has


traditionally been defined Cruz isnt putting himself between the two
parties.

But its arguably triangulation with a twist. Instead of rejecting two


parties as the extremes, Cruz is saying he opposes what he sees as two
moderate parties. The Texas senator doesnt want to be above or
between Democrats and Republicans; he wants to be to their right.

For Cruz, there are two clear benefits to the strategy. The first is that
much of the Republican base often voices frustrations that their far-right
party just isnt conservative enough. Cruz is effectively telling them he
wants to be their voice.

And second, its no secret that the Texas Republican is not at all popular
with his own colleagues in his own party, with Sen. John McCain (RAriz.) even referring to him as a wacko bird at one point.
Triangulation with a twist offers Cruz a way to exploit his unpopularity
of course hes unpopular with Capitol Hill insiders, hell say, since he
stands apart from both parties.

Is there an audience for this message with Republican primary voters?


Watch this space.

Rick Perry Is Trying to Get His Groove


Back at CPAC
Once a GOP front-runner, the former Texas governor is
attempting to remake his reputation in a crowded field of
2016 contenders.
February 27, 2015

BY LAUREN FOX
http://www.nationaljournal.com/twenty-sixteen/rick-perry-is-trying-to-get-his-groove-back-atcpac-20150227

Rick Perry is on the hunt for redemption.


The former governor of Texas presented himself as a retooled candidate at
the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, who came to
"speak plainly about the world we live in." He also played up his toughtalking Texan image, and made a promise not to back down from Iran or
ISIS if he is elected to the White House in 2016.

Perry blasted the Obama administration for sitting down at the negotiating
table with Iran, which he said shows disrespect to Israel and allows world
leaders to cross "red lines" without facing consequences.
"There are no real consequences when dictators and adversaries defy
America, and this must change," Perry said. "For the world to be safer,
America must be stronger."
While Obama has tried to define the Islamic State as an outlier in its
religious manifesto, Perry attacked the president for not calling out the
terrorist group for what he believes it is.
"To deny the fundamental religious nature of the threat and to downplay the
seriousness of it is naive," Perry said. "It is dangerous, and it is misguided.
ISIS represents the worst threat to freedom since Communism."
On the domestic front, Perry had a long list of complaints against Obama.
He made the case that as a former Texas governor, he knows more about
securing the border than the president ever could.
"They talk, and people literally die," Perry said of the slow-rolling
immigration debate in Washington. "You don't trust Washington to deal with
thisI don't trust Washington to deal with thisuntil they secure the
border. And we know how to do this. We can show them how to do it."
On economics, Perry told the audience not to believe the Obama
administration's statement that the national unemployment rate had
dropped to less than 6 percent.
"The unemployment rate is a sham," Perry shouted. "It leaves millions of
American workers uncounted. And if the Republican Party doesn't take a
stand for these uncounted Americans, who will?"
When it came to the contentious issue of climate change, Perry again
reached back in history and pulled out another one of his actions as
governor. But Perry didn't fall into the trap many GOPers have found
themselves in. Instead of talking about whether climate change exists,
Perry explained how Texas managed to reduce pollution during an
economic boom.
"The point is, you can have job creation, and you can make your
environment better," he said. "That ought to be our goal in this country, and
it all starts with energy policy. Open up the XL pipeline, create jobs.

Perry's task is unique among many other potential 2016ers who are
standing on the stage at CPAC to prove they are conservative enough to
trust. In his 2012 presidential attempt, Perry resonated with the grassroots.
But he also exhibited signs thendebate fumbles, tongue-tied speeches
that he was not ready for the rigorous demands of the presidential
campaign trail. This year at CPAC, he's looking for a second chance.
Over the past year, Perry has been traveling to early-primary states,
delivering foreign policy speeches and building his team. But Perry's
struggle since leaving the Texas Governor's Mansion has been to stay
relevant and ahead of a felony charge accusing him of misusing the power
of his office. As he weighs a potential 2016 presidential bid, he has had to
wrestle with the potential that a legal challenge could plague him well into a
presidential campaign.
While in 2012 Perry enjoyed the early perks of a front-runner on the
campaign traila conservative who was able to pull down millions of
dollars in fundraising while still firing up the base. Today, Perry is entering a
much more crowded 2016 landscape, in which Wisconsin Gov. Scott
Walker is occupying the space where Perry once stood.
On Thursday, Walker generated a warm reception at CPAC, and the crowd
erupted in "Run, Scott, run" chants as he walked off stage. Perry has been
quick to try to knock the Wisconsin governor from his position as an early
front-runner. During an appearance on MSNBC's Morning Joeon Friday,
Perry accused Walker of overstepping his bounds at the annual
conservative conference when Walker told the audience that his fight with
unions was akin to the one the U.S. was waging against the Islamic State.
"You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading
individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil," Perry
told MSNBC. "To try to make the relationship between them and the unions
is in appropriate."

Marco Rubio Calls on Conservatives to


'Imagine' a New America
The senator from Florida and likely presidential contender
looks to have regained the love of the CPAC crowd.
http://www.nationaljournal.com/twenty-sixteen/marco-rubio-calls-on-conservatives-to-imagine-anew-america-20150227

February 27, 2015

BY REBECCA NELSON

In a speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday that


largely looked beyond current problems, Marco Rubio called on
conservatives to "imagine" a new America.
After a failed 2013 bid to reform the immigration system, the senator from
Florida and likely presidential contender, once a tea-party darling, seems to
have gotten back in the good graces of the crowd at CPAC, eliciting
multiple standing ovations.

"We are one election away from triggering another American century," he
told the crowd.
Checking all the major conservative boxes, Rubio told the crowd that even
though the country is on the road to decline because of the Obama
administration's policies, "Americans know we're exceptional." "Imagine,"
he said, if America repealed and replaced Obamacare, if the country's laws
"protected human life," and if we had a commander in chief who thinks that
"the way to defeat ISIS is not to find them a job."
"The question before us in November of 2016 is what kind of country we're
going to be," he said.
Rubio continued to hit President Obama, calling him "failed" and lamenting
the administration's foreign policy that he said "treats the ayatollah in Iran
with more respect than the prime minister of Israel."
"This new century presents us with significant new challenges," he said,
"but solving them is well within our reach."
Getting quiet toward the end of his speech, Rubio recounted his family's
historyhis parents emigrated from Cuba in 1956and said that America's
journey was "deeply personal" for him. "I have a debt to America that I will
never be able to repay," he said.
With the exception of a rhetorical question"When was the last time you
heard about a boatload of American refugees arriving on the shores of
another country?"Rubio didn't mention immigration until a question-andanswer session with Fox News host Sean Hannity. Saying that he'd learned
a lot since his failed push to reform immigration, he said he had changed
his beliefs, falling more in line with what the CPAC crowd was looking for.
"It's a serious problem that has to be confronted, it does," Rubio said of
immigration. "We don't have the mechanisms in place" to enforce our
current immigration laws, and our legal system is "among the most
generous in the world."
He also threw red meat to the conservative crowd, emphasizing the prime
importance of border security, asserting that the border "needs more
fencing" and "more patrols." The need to control future illegal immigration,
he said, "is the single biggest lesson of the past few years."
Though Rubio declined to give a timeframe for when he'd announce his
decision on a presidential run, in a "lighting round" of quick questions,
Hannity asked the senator what his top five priorities would be as president.

Rattling them off at near-breakneck speed, Rubio delivered three themes:


creating a "healthy" economy through "tax reform, regulatory reform,"
re