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McCain Assailed By Paul, Perry At CPAC

WASHINGTON, (UPI) — U.S. Sen. John McCain was implicitly assailed by younger Republicans at a Virginia conference as being “stale and moss-covered” and not a true conservative.

“The GOP of old has grown stale and moss-covered,” Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told the annual Conservative Political Action Conference just south of Washington. “I don’t think we need to name any names here, do we?”

The Washington Post said the reference to McCain was clear to everyone in the room, a largely youthful audience, with dozens waving red “Stand With Rand” posters.

The theme of the conference, which runs through Saturday, is “America’s Future: The Next Generation of Conservatives; New Challenges, Timeless Principles.”

McCain, 76, labeled Paul, 50, and other members of a new generation of conservative Republicans — including Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, 42, and libertarian Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, 32 — “wacko birds on the right.”

McCain’s comment to The Huffington Post March 7 came a day after libertarian Paul, aided by Cruz, conducted a 13-hour filibuster over the Obama administration’s drone policy.

McCain later told politically conservative radio host Michael Medved the filibuster was “ludicrous” and “inappropriate,” as well as a waste of time.

At the CPAC, Paul — a son of 2012 GOP presidential hopeful Ron Paul, who is mulling a 2016 presidential bid himself — defended the filibuster and said: “Our party is encumbered by an inconsistent approach to freedom. The new GOP will have to embrace liberty in both the economic and personal sphere.”

Also at the conference, hosted by the American Conservative Union Foundation, was Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who assailed McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee, and Mitt Romney, the party’s nominee last year, saying they were not true conservatives.

“The popular media narrative is that this country has shifted away from conservative ideals, as evidenced by the last two presidential elections. That’s what they think. That’s what they say,” said Perry, 63.

“That might be true if Republicans had actually nominated conservative candidates in 2008 and 2012,” he said to cheers and applause.

Perry himself was a candidate for the 2012 GOP nomination, but his bid ended after a series of debate performances widely considered lackluster.

McCain had no immediate comment on the Paul and Perry remarks.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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