Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has criticized the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), whose recent conference he refused to attend, alleging it has departed from its conservative principles.
Speaking on Fox News last weekend, Huckabee said that CPAC has become "more libertarian and less Republican over the last few years, one of the reasons why I [did not attend the event] this year."
The former GOP presidential candidate also suggested that the popularity of the Tea Party nation movement and its events all over the country have caused the influence of the CPAC to rapidly decline, and the organization is becoming irrelevant.
"The Tea Party has taken all the oxygen out of the room, where CPAC was historically the event," he told Fox News host Geraldo Rivera.
Huckabee was partially responding to the CPAC presidential straw poll over the weekend, in which he scored only 4 percent among CPAC voters and came in sixth place.
Meanwhile, CPAC representatives responded to the former governor’s allegations by saying they were "perplexed" and denied the purported libertarian slant.
According to the American Conservative Union, the organization that has hosted CPAC for 37 years, the 2010 event drew more than 10,000 conservative activists from across the country, including more than 5,000 college students.