If CPAC is any indication of the path some Republicans may attempt to take to victory in coming elections, it appears strong fiscal conservatism and limited government will be major parts of the plan.
There has been a great deal of talk lately among members of the GOP about the Party’s future in the wake of Mitt Romney’s loss in the Presidential election.
FOX News ignored failed Presidential candidate Romney’s CPAC speech on Friday, which could be summed up as an apology to the GOP.
“It is up to us to make sure that we learn from my mistakes, and from our mistakes, so that we can win the victories those people and this nation depend upon,” Romney said.
“I am sorry that I will not be your president — but I will be your co-worker and I will stand shoulder to shoulder alongside you,” he said later in the speech. “In the end, we will win just as we have won before, and for the same reason: because our cause is just and it is right.”
Noticeably absent from this year’s conference were moderate Republicans like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. And less-libertarian GOP members who did speak at the event were met with lukewarm response from audiences.
Such was the case with Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-Fla.) social conservatism-laden attempt at a Ronald Reagan revival in a CPAC speech on Thursday.
“As soon as I’m done speaking, I’ll tell you what the criticism on the left is going to be,” Rubio said. “Number one, he drank too much water. Number two: that he didn’t offer any new ideas.
“And there’s the fallacy of it. We don’t need a new idea. There is an idea: the idea is called America, and it still works.”
Many headlines referencing CPAC late last week referenced a common observation about the political action conference: Young people showed up, and they had a definite favorite.
Capitalizing on his aptly-timed drone filibuster, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was well-received by CPAC attendees. Paul, who has been leading a public push toward a more libertarian GOP, said during one speech that it was time to do away with “stale and moss-covered” conservative lawmakers who turn off younger conservatives.
“They are the core though of the leave-me-alone coalition,” Paul said. “They doubt Social Security will be there for them, they worry about jobs and rent and money and student loans… They aren’t afraid of individual liberty. Ask the Facebook generation if we should put a kid in jail for the non-violent crime of drug use and you’ll hear a resounding ‘no.’ Ask the Facebook generation if they want to bail out too big to fail banks with their hard earned tax dollars and you’ll hear a ‘hell no.’”