CPAC: Live Blog

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2:54 p.m. ET: Mia Love, “I believe we live in a time and place that should inspire confidence. We will stand up and stand out for everything that is good, everything that is right in this country.”

2:51 p.m. ET: Mia Love, Mayor of Saratoga Springs, “Confidence means you never give up.  Confidence means you stand up and say, ‘this time, we will do that.'”

2:49 p.m. ET: Mia Love, Mayor of Saratoga Springs, UT, “We are still her because our values of limited government and personal responsibility are still here.”

2:47 p.m. ET: The Honorable Mia Love, Mayor of Saratoga, UT, talking about the frustrations that set in post-election, noting that freedom-loving American’s don’t turn tail.

2:42 p.m. ET: Brent Bozell, “The first freedom on which all other freedoms are built is the sanctity of human life.”

2:41 p.m. ET: Brent Bozell, “And then there’s Carl Rover, who had the worst political year in the history of man,” criticizing him for refusing to accept blame, but instead blaming “all of us.”

2:39 p.m. ET: Brent Bozell, citing “utterly useless services” like NPR and NEA and calling for them to be put out of their misery.

2:36 p.m. ET: Brent Bozell, talking about what a conservative isn’t, citing Paul Ryan’s proposed budget with more and more spending every year as not conservativism, encouraging Ryan to come back with a plan that puts us on a path to solvency by eradicating the national debt.

2:33 p.m. ET: Brent Bozell, founder and president, Media Research Center, is at the podium declaring that, “If the Republican party wants to arrest the slow, steady slide into the political abyss, it can do so by embracing its conservative principles.”

2:15 p.m. ET: Jeanette Hernandez Prenger, a small business owner, is talking about how proud she is of the good benefits she provides her employees.  But she is concerned because she recently learned that the $21K per month she’s been paying for her employees’ healthcare soon is going to jump to $58K because of Obamacare.

2:08 p.m. ET: The Honorable Steve Pearce, US Representative, (R-NM), is at the podium, telling the story of 110 families depending upon one small business owner who is being crushed under the weight of Obamacare.

2:05 p.m. ET: The Honorable Susan Combs, Texas Comptroller, is at the podium, “We certainly want a pro-business climate to be the economic engine.”

2:04 p.m. ET: Carly Florina, arguing for a simplified tax code, lowering every rate and closing every loophole, arguing that the current tax code is, “choking the life out of the American economy.”

2:03 p.m. ET: Carly Florina, “The role of government is not to pick winners and losers and to act like a venture capital firm.  It is time we think about small businesses and entrepreneurs first.”

2:01 p.m. ET: Carly Florina stressing that small business is the economic engine of our economy, creating 2/3 of all jobs.

1:56 p.m. ET: Carly Florina highlighting realities: 12.3 million Americans are unemployed; 1-in-6 Americans live in poverty; 48 million Americans live on food stamps; 8 million Americans are working part-time jobs when they would like a full-time job; and 10 million Americans have dropped out of the workforce entirely.

1:55 p.m. ET: Panel discussion on the state of American business is underway, led by moderator  Carly Florina, board member, American Conservative Union.

12:55 p.m. ET: Phyllis Schafly, “Those who wait upon the Lord will rise up like eagles.  And don’t you be weary because the fight goes on and we need you.”

12:40 p.m. ET: Phyllis Schafly, founder, Eagle Forum, taking the podium.

12:39 p.m. ET: Up next: Phyllis Schafly.

12: 38 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin exiting stage with giant convenience store soda, after criticizing the Obama administration for cutting White House tours, but coming up with $250M in weapons to send to the Muslim Brotherhood.

12:36 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin, talking about citizens being forced to give up more and more of their hard earned money all for broken promises from a rigged system.

12:32 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin, speaking out against cronyism in Washington, “If you don’t have a team of lobbyists in DC or a cancelled campaign check, you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”

12:31 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin, “The more government intrudes into our lives and our businesses, the more it picks winners and losers.”

12:29 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin, “In order to have any power as conservatives, we must leave no American behind — even those who may disagree with us on some issues.  They’re not our enemies, they’re our sisters, our neighbors and our friends.”

12:25 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin talking about Christmas at the Palin house, noting that, “Yea, Todd got the rifle, I got the rack,” and then pauses to take a drink from a GIANT convenience store soda.

12:23 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin is referencing her idol, Margaret Thatcher, noting that the former Prime Minister cautioned against, “going wobbly on your beliefs,” to which she exclaims, “Amen, sister!”

12:21 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin, “Mr. President, you won!  Now, step away from the teleprompter and do your job.”

12:20 p.m. ET: Former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, “Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever.  Barack Obama, you lied!  Never before has government been so big, and our leaders, so small.”

12:18 p.m. ET: Former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, “The median income for families has dropped $5K since 2007.”

12:15 p.m. ET: Former Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, “We can’t just ignore that we just lost a big election…second, out of two.  We’re not here to rebrand a party, we’re here to rebuild a country.”

12:14 p.m. ET: “We don’t have leadership coming out of Washington, we have reality television,” quips Sarah Palin.

12:12 p.m. ET: Sarah Palin, “I can spot those liberal media folk here to write their annual conservatives-in-crisis story.” Asks them to raise their hands.

12:11 p.m. ET: Host says, “I give you Mama Grizzly, Sarah Palin,” and she takes the stage to wild applause.

12:10 p.m. ET: More filler from the host, building up to Sarah Palin.  This is the first time of this CPAC 2013 that a speaker has been late.

12:06 p.m. ET: A young woman named Vanessa, who is not on the agenda, who identifies herself as a member of the NRA, exclaiming, “I AM the NRA,” is introducing Sarah Palin as a strong leader, a fearless truth-teller who stands for God and freedom.  A pioneer, a patriot, a wife and a proud Mom….Sarah Palin takes the stage…Well, not really…the host is back…the crowd is confused…she must be running late because he is killing time with filler.

12:04 p.m. ET: Stage being set, teleprompters adjusted for Sarah Palin’s upcoming remarks.

12:03 p.m. ET: Break in action while crowd finds seats.

12:02 p.m. ET: Arthur Davis exits stage.  Crowd anticipating Sarah Palin.

12:01 p.m. ET: Former US Rep. Arthur Davis, encouraging folks whose vision of conservatism is so small , so narrow that it only fits certain groups, to keep that to themselves, get out of the way and, “Let the rest of us take conservative messages not just to the high places, but the shared places.”

11:56 a.m. ET: Former US Rep. Arthur Davis, “The Americans I’m describing [laborers] aren’t takers, they’re helping fund the government too.  The reality is that when the government takes their money, they often feel it much more than many of us do,” encouraging the crowd not to forget them or overlook them.

11:55 a.m. ET: Former US Rep. Arthur Davis, “What about the 12 million Americans who work with their hands?  Their wages go no farther today than they did when the Supremes were chart toppers.”

11:53 a.m. ET: Former US Rep. Arthur Davis, “Winning an election does not entitle you to burn a hole in our constitution.”

11:48 a.m. ET: The Honorable Arthur Davis, former US Representative has taken the podium, “Deriding conservatives may be the last acceptable prejudice; you don’t lift people at the bottom up by pulling other people down.”

11:47 a.m. ET: Steven Crowder, of Fox News, has taken the stage and is taking a moment to acknowledge members of the armed services in the crowd.

11:37 a.m. ET: Dr. Ed Feulner, president, The Heritage Foundation, holding up a photo of his four  young grandchildren and noting that each of these young people holds a $120K mortgage, not for a house, but for their share of debt in unfunded liabilities handed down from his generation.

11:34 a.m. ET: John Allison, president and chief executive officer, Cato Institute, “We believe each individual has a moral right to pursue happiness.  That is the foundation of prosperity.”

11:33 a.m. ET: John Allison, explains that the purpose of the Cato Institute is to protect individual rights, “To protect me from you taking what I produce through force or fraud,” and vice-versa.

11:31 a.m. ET: John Allison, president and chief executive officer, Cato Institute, is at the podium, noting that his organizations believes that the very bad ideas in America come from our liberal-leaning universities.

11:28 a.m. ET: Arthur Brooks, “The worst stat of all is that mobility is falling and has been since 1980, a person’s ability to move from the bottom 20 percent upward is falling.”

11:25 a.m. ET: Arthur Brooks, “Lead with vulnerable people.  Lead with the poor,” because the bottom 20 percent of this society are in the midst of a civil rights scandal that is a result of our public school system.

11:21 a.m. ET: Arthur Brooks, president, American Enterprise Institute, is at the podium, sharing that on the day after the election, on Nov. 7, his wife, an immigrant, questioned whether we as a society are going to be okay.  Brooks says the answer to, “What’s going on?” can be encapsulated in one statistic..1/3 of Americans in every reputable poll said Republicans care about them; and only 38 percent thought Republicans care about the poor.

11:18 a.m. ET: Dr. Ed Feulner, president, The Heritage Foundation, “We need to add and multiply, not divide and subtract and fine those issues that bring us together.”

11:17 a.m. ET: Dr. Ed Feulner, president, The Heritage Foundation, noting that, “Unlike a lot of center-left think tanks, none of the think tanks represented on this panel take any government grants.”

11:15 a.m. ET: Dr. Ed Feulner, president, The Heritage Foundation, laying out The Three I’s for advancing the conservative agenda: Ideas…freedom, ordered liberty, letting and individual rise as high as he/she is capable; Individuals; Institutions…strong, vibrant, energetic institutions that help us rise together.

11:12 a.m. ET: Dr. Edwin Feulner, president, The Heritage Foundation is addressing the crowd, reminding everyone there are two kinds of politics in the US, electoral politics; and policy politics.

11:07 a.m. ET: Lawson Bader, president, Competitive Enterprise Institute, tee-ing up the economic policy panel.

11:06 a.m. ET: Up next…an economic powerhouse panel: “In the Tank: The Smartest Guys in the Room”

10:54 a.m. ET: Dr. Ben Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, speaking candidly about growing up poor and how offensive it is to poor people to have the “superior, elite class” offering to take care of you, noting the motives behind such efforts, “You can’t be superior and elite unless you have people groveling around below you,” arguing that they have no intention of equipping people to rise up.

10:53 a.m. ET: Dr. Ben Carson, director of pediatric neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins Hospital, is speaking and sharing the irony behind the criticism he received for injecting God into his remarks at the President’s Prayer Breakfast.

10:14 a.m. ET: Rep. Michele Bachmann exited stage to wild applause.  Host is now quipping that if guns kill people, do forks make people fat?  He then notes that wasn’t politically correct, “But then, our Founding Fathers weren’t politically correct either.”

10:11 a.m. ET: Rep Michele Bachmann underscores what she calls the uniquely American lifeblood: taking care of the next generation.

10:06 a.m. ET: Rep. Michele Bachmann acknowledging that the President deserves to live in the White House, he and his family deserve to fly around on Air Force One, but she notes that this President’s $1.4 billion a year lifestyle — paid for by the taxpayers — is excessive, pointing to the five chefs on the White House staff and the two movie technicians on staff who often spend the night at the White House just in case the First Family might want to watch a movie, “Can’t they [the First Family] just push play?” asks Bachmann.

10:04 a.m. ET: Rep. Michele Bachmann talking about how America is facing its biggest non-military crisis in our history — a war on the young, by growing our out of control debt.

10 a.m. ET: Rep. Michele Bachmann praising the two US Navy Seals, Tyrone Woods and Glenn Dougherty, who ignored orders and saved many American lives that night in Benghazi, who “ran not from the sound of gunfire, but toward the sound of gunfire,” admonishing the President for ignoring the cries for help of American diplomats and soldiers, noting that the next day, in the aftermath, our President flew to Las Vegas to meet with Beyoncé and Jay Z. to talk about his re-election campaign.

9:59 a.m. ET: Rep. Michele Bachmann praises audience for being up and engaged early on a Saturday morning.

9:57 a.m. ET: Rep. Michele Bachmann, posing the question: Who cares about you?  Answers the question that this is the movement that truly cares about people and wants everyone to succeed in this country and have the best possible life they can have, “because when you get lifted up in our community, we get lifted up too.”

9:55 a.m. ET: The Honorable Michele Bachmann, US Representative (R-MN) is introduced as an outspoken advocate to not raise the debt ceiling and for the unilateral repeal of Obamacare.

9:54 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich is closing his remarks, “We need to focus on the right to rise, and unflinchingly stand for the right to life because that is the predicator for a right to rise.”

9:50 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich shares how sobering it is to be him, a veteran member of the Republican party, to have seen that from 1976 to 2013 the party is still, “as mired in the past and stupidity as it was in 1976.”

9:45 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich talking about how it is virtually impossible to get people in Washington to think about the future in a forward-thinking way, drawing a comparison of the historic move from the use of candles to light bulbs, quoting Thomas Edison’s words of irony, “We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

9:43 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich underscores his belief that, “We don’t need new principles, but we need lots of ideas to implement those principles,” and stresses that, “We need to find ways to get government out of the way.”

9:42 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich, “We’re in a 50 year struggle for the conservative movement in the Republican party,” noting that he believes we’re beginning to ask the right questions.

9:41 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich congratulating Al Cardenas and the CPAC team for putting together the biggest, best CPAC ever.

9:40 a.m. ET: Newt Gingrich takes the stage, introduced by wife, Calista.

9:38 a.m. ET: “Newt and I are dedicated to fighting for the ideas that made America great,” shares Calista Gringrich.

9:36 a.m. ET: Calista Gingrich is taking the stage to introduce her husband, the Honorable Newt Gingrich, former Speaker of the US House of Representatives.

9:35 a.m. ET: Gov. Scott Walker, “In America, we believe in the people and not the government.  In America, we take a day off and celebrate the 4th of July, and not the 15th of April.”

9:29 a.m. ET: Gov. Scott Walker says that next up on his agenda is tackling entitlement reform, moving people from government dependence to true independence.  “It’s about empowering people through the dignity of work that brings true freedom and prosperity.”

9:26 a.m. ET: Gov. Scott Walker speaking with passion about the education reform effort he has led in Wisconsin, “We changed the collective bargaining agreements in our state, we got ride of teacher tenure, we can hire and fire, attract and retain the best and the brightest,” noting they also changed seniority and got rid last-in-first-out, the former policy under which the last teachers hired were the first to go when cuts needed to be made, even if they were among the most outstanding performing teachers.

9:24 a.m. ET: Gov. Scott Walker notes that there are 30 states with Republican governors and nearly as many with Republican legislatures.

9:23 a.m. ET: Gov. Scott Walker harkens back to the Economic Recovery Act of 1981, and praises it for its approach of slasheing marginal tax rates.

9:21 a.m. ET: The Honorable Scott Walker, Governor of Wisconsin just took the stage and is thanking the crowd for their calls, their prayers and their support, reminding the crowd that it was the states that created the federal government.

9:18 a.m. ET: US Rep. Steve King encourages crowd, “Join me in restoring the pillars of American Exceptionalism.”

9:16 a.m. ET: US Rep. Steve King telling the crowd about how President Ronald Reagan only let him down a couple of times and one of those was in 1986, when he signed the Amnesty Act. “And now the rule of law is so eroded with regard to immigration it is as though they’ve restored the rule of law by ignoring it.”

9:13 a.m. ET: “We know what the pillars of American exceptionalism are and many of them are in the Bill of Rights…the rights to speech, religion, assembly…the right to keep and bear arms,” Rep. Steve King says with enthusiasm.

9:11 a.m. ET: “There’s a lot of more to this country than buy, sell, trade, make, gain,” says US Rep. Steve King.

9:08 a.m. ET: The Honorable Steve King, US Representative (R-IA) is at the podium admonishing those who would undermine the pillars of American exceptionalism.

9:04 a.m. ET: “Will the torch of liberty, the constitution perish or endure?  If we fight for freedom, our country will endure,” assures Jenny Beth Martin, Tea Party Patriots co-founder.

9:04 a.m. ET: Tea Party Patriots co-founder, Jenny Beth Martin encouraging patriots to fight for our freedom: life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The audience is on it’s feet.  Patriots dressed like the original patriots are waving flags. “Fight for our freedom, fight for a better future, Fight!,” urges Martin.

9:02 a.m. ET: Jenny Beth Martin notes that, “Last month, the GDP shrunk, and Wall Street profited.”

8:59 a.m. ET: Jenny Beth Martin underscores the Tea Party Patriots’ core principles of a constitutionally limited, fiscally responsible government where free markets thrive.  “For this vision, we have been mocked, maligned and marginalized by the Obama administration and even Republicans like John McCain and Lindsay Graham.”

8:59 a.m. ET: Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder, Tea Party Patriots is at the podium.

8:58 a.m. ET: CPAC 2013 Saturday Session is Underway

4:35 p.m. ET: Session ends for the day.

4:32 p.m. ET: David Bossie, leaves the crowd with, “Let’s unite for the cause of liberty and freedom.”

4:25 p.m. ET: David Bossie, president of Citizens United calls for defunding of Obamacare.  “We cannot rest.  We must not rest.”

4:22 p.m. ET: David Bossie, president of Citizens United, harkens back to President Ronald Reagan’s Three Pillars of Conservativism: free enterprise; a strong national defense; and pro-family.

4:19 p.m. ET: David Bossie, president of Citizens United, “Conservatives are not willing to sell out our principles to win elections.”

4:18 p.m. ET: US Rep Eric Cantor, “Conservatives fight for freedom and that is always a fight worth pursuing.”

4:13 p.m. ET: US Rep Eric Cantor telling a story about a single dad in DC named Joseph, who fought to get his kids into private school after his son, Rayshawn, had fallen behind three grade levels in public school.  Within two years of entering private school, Rayshawn had caught up and was on grade level.

4:12 p.m. ET: US Rep Eric Cantor, “More parental control over education dollars is the answer.”

4:12 p.m. ET: US Rep Eric Cantor, “School Choice: this is an idea whose day has finally come.”

4:09 p.m. ET: US Rep Eric Cantor, “The Democrat Senate has not balanced a budget in four years.”

4:08 p.m. ET: US Rep Eric Cantor, “More freedom produces better outcomes.  That’s why it’s always best to leave the decision-making to the Moms and Dads and the families of America.”

4:06 p.m. ET: US Rep. Eric Cantor, “Washington is addicted to government spending.  More taxes, more spending leads to more government control, less freedom.”

4:04 p.m. ET: The Honorable Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, US House of Representatives has taken the podium and is talking about education reform and a recent visit to New Orleans to study education reform efforts there.

4:03 p.m. ET: It was just noted that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has a 74 percent approval rating.

3:14 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal, “Our strength and power and growth comes from the individual actions of our people — free individuals taking risks.”

3:10 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal expresses his strong belief in child-centered education solutions where the dollars follow the child.

3:08 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal, “Tax reform is not about taking more money from the hard working people of America and sending it to Washington.”

3:07 p.m. ET: “We believe solving problems closer to home should always be our first, not our last priority.”

3:06 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal, “We believe in creating abundance, not distributing scarcity.”

3:03 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal, “We’re not going to win elections by pointing out the failures of the other side. We’ve got to recalibrate the compass of conservatism.”

3:01 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal, “Our objective should be to grow the American economy, not the government economy.”

2:52 p.m. ET: Gov. Jindal referenced his recent attendance a the Gridiron Dinner, an annual event where he noted the media and the administration in power put aside their differences for the evening.  “Of course, that’s back when they had differences,” quipped Jindal.

2:49 p.m. ET: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal just took the stage, heralded in his introduction for pushing for and signing landmark education reforms, among other accolades.

2:43 p.m. ET: US Rep. Steve Scalise, “Just last week, a hearing on global warming was canceled because of snow in Washington, DC.  You can’t make this stuff up.”

2:40 p.m. ET: The Honorable Steve Scalise, US Representative (R-LA), Chairman, Republican Study Committee, US House of Representatives is at the podium, attacking the Obama administration’s Tax, Regulate and Spend agenda.

1:24 pm. ET: US Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) is at the podium denouncing the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, handed down 40 years ago.

1:48 p.m ET: Mitt Romney, “I’m sorry I won’t be your President, but I will be your co-worker and I’ll work shoulder-to-shoulder along-side you.”

1:46 p.m. ET: Mitt Romeny, “In what other country in the world would an impoverished, Cambodian refugee go onto become our Ambassador to the UN?”

1:45 p.m. ET: Mitt Romney, “What nation, but ours, would have enjoyed unprecedented military power and never use it to seek revenge against our foes.”

1:41 p.m. ET: Mitt Romney taking a moment to “applaud the clear and convincing voice of my friend, Paul Ryan.”

1:40 p.m. ET: Mitt Romney noting success stories, like 30 Republican governors across the country.

1:38 p.m ET: Mitt Romey, “We’re a patriotic people.  The heart of America is good.  May we always be worthy of God’s grace and protection.”

1:34 p.m. ET: Mitt Romney thanking South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley for her warm introduction and praising her leadership.

1:33 p.m. ET: Former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney coming on stage to Born Free. Biggest, most enthusiastic reception yet.  Audience chanting: Mitt!  Mitt!  Mitt!

12:29 p.m. ET: Former Sen. Rick Santorum, “God is mentioned four times in the Declaration of Independence.  We ar the only country in the history of the world that has based its rights on God, not a sovereign, not a king.”

12:17 p.m. ET: The Honorable Rick Santorum, former US Senator, is being introduced by Guy Benson, Political Editor, Townhall.

12:16 p.m. ET: Up next: Rick Santorum.

11:49 a.m. ET: Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research, shares story that four months after the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, a left-wing social justice group did the unthinkable by launching a campaign to encourage Haitian farmers to burn seeds provided by a certain large agriculture giant.   Stier says, “This group was so afraid of modern, free market agriculture that they’d rather let the Haitians starve.”

11:44 a.m ET: Jeff Stier, Senior Fellow, National Center for Public Policy Research, arguing that the “Nanny State” isn’t very good at protecting the environment or public health.

11:38 a.m. ET: Jillian Kay Melchor, Thomas L. Rhodes Fellow, Franklin Center for Government, noting that natural gas give off half as much carbon dioxide as coal.

11:35 a.m. ET:  Angela Logomosini, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute, arguing that cloth shopping bags pose a serious, potentially deadly health hazard because most users don’t heed the warning that the bags need to be washed regularly.

11:33 a.m. ET: Angela Logomasini, Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute, arguing on behalf of plastics, praising it for efficiency and for taking up less space in public landfills than some other alternatives.

11:25 a.m. ET: Julie Gunlock, director, Women for Food Freedom Project, Independent Women’s Forum, criticizing the “school feeding program” that is providing growing numbers of children breakfast, lunch and dinner under First Lady Michele Obama’s Let’s Move program, saying it is a control mechanism, aimed to control what our children our eating and taking away choices.

11:23 a.m. ET: Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director, Independent Women’s Forum, kicks of discussion on “The Culture of Alarmism.”

11:00 a.m. ET: Wayne LaPierre, “Gun ownership is at an all-time high in this country and we’ve brought accidents down to an all-time low.”

10:59 a.m. ET: Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer, National Rifle Association, “We will not be demonized and we will not be silenced.”

10:59 a.m. ET: Wayne LaPierre, “If you aren’t free to protect yourself, you aren’t free at all.”

10:58 a.m. ET: Wayne LaPierre, “The NRA’s 5 million members and America’s 100 million gun owners will not back down.  Our forefathers knew that without the Second Amendment, our freedoms would be in jeopardy.”

10:58 a.m. ET: Wayne LaPierre, “I didn’t come to Washington to be popular.  I came here to stand for what I believe is true.  I am unapologetic and unflinching in my defense of our individual freedoms.”

10:57 a.m. ET: Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer, National Rifle Association taking the podium.  Audience members on their feet.

10:54 a.m. ET: John Fund noting that small business people understand three things: taxes, regulations and the need for economic opportunity to expand their business.  He says Republicans really missed an opportunity to  tap into black, Hispanic and Asian small business owners, folks who all share the common interest of wanting to grow and expand their businesses.

10:48 a.m. ET: John Fund, senior editor, The American Spectator, “90 percent of success in life is showing up.  If you don’t show up, it’s easy for people to hate you.  Showing up demonstrates you care.”  Fund making the argument that Republicans need to be more diligent about “showing up,” getting out and attending as many events as possible, meeting as many of their constituents as possible.

10:42 a.m. ET: Michael Ramirez, Pulitzer Prize Winning Editorial Cartoonist, Investors Business Daily, “We need bolder candidates.”

10:41 a.m. ET: Tucker Carlson arguing that Republicans have a politeness problem that prevents them from really recognizing that the Romney campaign was pretty mediocre.

10:40 a.m ET: Tucker Carlson, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, the Daily Caller noting that there has been a reluctance among Republicans to do an autopsy on the Romney campaign.

10:27 a.m. ET: John Fund, talking about micro-targeting and how 2016 efforts are already underway, on the ground, making sure folks have the Democrat message and are on board.

10:24 a.m. ET: John Fund, senior editor, The American Spectator, highlights that Republicans need to not only do better with women and Hispanic voters, but also with Asian voters, noting they now account for 3 percent of the national electorate, with heavy concentrations where they can tip state race scales in Nevada and New Jersey.

10:20 a.m. ET: John Fund, senior editor, The American Spectator, “While I don’t think we should shoot all the consultants, I do think  they should be held to some standard of excellence.  If not, you’re going to get the same thing that frustrates you — defeat.”

10:17 a.m. ET: The Honorable Ann Marie Buerkle, former US Representative, “The state of the Republican Party depends upon our conservative principles.  Now is the time for us to really emphasize them.”

9: 57: a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “They are the party of  shared hardship.  We are the party of equal opportunity.”

9:55 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “A budget is more than just a lot of numbers.  It reflects our governing philosophy.”

9:52 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “Work gives people more than a paycheck.  It gives them a sense of purpose and a sense of pride.  Work give dignity we all deserve.”

9:51 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “Our obligations are growing faster than our ability to pay.  We are on the verge of debt crisis.”

9:50 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “Forty-six million people are living in poverty.  The President says we’re in recovery.  I say we’re in critical care.”

9:49 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “The budget is a means to an end.  Our debt is a threat to this country.  We have to tackle this problem before it tackles us.”

9:49 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “Every family lives within our a budget.  Washington should do the same.”

9:45 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, exuberantly shares that, “It’s been a great week.  We got white smoke from the Vatican, and a budget from the Senate.  But when you read it, you see the Vatican isn’t the only place blowing smoke this week.”

9:44 a.m. ET: Sen. Paul Ryan, “It is nice to be in a room full of conservatives, for a change!”

9:43 a.m. ET: Al Cardenas, chairman, American Conservative Union, is introducing the Honorable Paul Ryan, chairman, committee on the budget, US House of Representatives.

9:41 a.m. ET: Sen. Ayotte continues her praise of President Reagan, “He stood for an American military that was second to none and had a clear moral vision for America.”

9:40 a.m. ET: Sen Ayotte, quoting President Ronald Reagan, “Whether we like it or not, it is our responsibility to preserve world peace because no one else can do it.”

9:36 a.m. ET: Sen. Ayotte, “Our allies feel uncertain; our enemies feel emboldened.  That’s what happens when we lead from behind.”

9:34 a.m. ET: Sen Ayotte recalls the strength with which President Ronald Reagan led, noting he was not afraid to confront evil, citing his directive to Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall,” and going on to say, “It’s very hard to imagine our current president standing up to world bullies like that.”

9:25 a.m. ET: Sen. Ayotte expresses grave concern that radical Islam, “is a threat to our way of life.”

9:24 a.m. ET: The Honorable Kelly Ayotte, US Senator (R-NH) is at the podium. “We are essentially robbing our children of the American dream.”

Donald Trump addressing the CPAC 2013 crowd.

Donald Trump addressing the CPAC 2013 crowd.

9:18 a.m. ET: Sen. McConnell commits to “restoring the American ideal.”

9:14 a.m. ET: “Today’s liberal has a two-word answer for everything — more government,” says Sen. McConnell.

9:10 a.m. ET: “Don’t tell me the liberals are the party of the future.  Their presidential ticket is shaping up to look like a rerun of the Golden Girls,” declares Sen. McConnell.

9:08 a.m. ET: Sen. McConnell admonishes liberals for questioning his wife’s patriotism, noting his wife immigrated here in the hull of a ship when she was eight years old because her parents couldn’t afford a plane ticket.  “My wife is an American success story.”

9:05 a.m. ET: Sen. McConnell tells CPAC 2013 crowd that the Democrats ensure that, “the richest among us are insulated by a government that protects them from failure.”

9:05 a.m. ET: Sen. McConnell praises Sen. Rand Paul.  “He’s a warrior, and we need more warriors.”

9:02 a.m. ET: Sen. McConnell notes that on Wednesday, “We had a vote on Obamacare, and every single Republican voted to defund it.”

9:00 a.m. ET: The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Republican Leader, US Senate is introduced, references a stack of paper to his right, wrapped in a bow and refers to it, Obamacare, as a monument to liberalism.

8:58 a.m. ET: Donald Trump wraps, flashes the peace sign and exists the state to the theme song to the Apprentice.

8:57 a.m. ET: Donald Trump: This country has to start building things again and take back our jobs from other countries.

8:55 a.m. ET: Donald Trump says, “New technology tells us we have tremendous wealth right under our feet in the form of energy.  We could become, so easily, the energy capital of the world.”

8:52 a.m. ET: Donald Trump says he believes Mitt Romney made one mistake in his run for the presidency, “He didn’t talk enough about his success.  And I’ve told him that.”

8:50 a.m ET: Donald Trump shares, incredulously, “I have made more than $8 billion and employed tens of thousands of people, yet I am continually criticized by lightweights all over the place.”

8:46 a.m. ET: We don’t make anything anymore, we buy from other countries.

8:45 a.m ET: Donald Trump notes that, “The President is given unprecedented media protection.”

8:43 a.m. ET: Donald Trump cautions against getting more and more conservative.

8:42 a.m. ET: We have to make America strong again, and make America great again — Donald Trump

8:42 a.m. ET: Donald Trump approaches podium to the Apprentice theme song.

8:41 a.m. ET: Donald Trump being introduced.

Friday’s Session Commences.

4:13 p.m. ET: CPAC General Session closes for the day.

4:12 p.m. ET: Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch, stresses that, “A clean, transparent government run by ethical politicians is essential to our future.”

4:07 p.m. ET: Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch, tells the audience that instant amnesty is unworkable, unjust and will harm the public safety.

4:04 p.m. ET: Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch calls into question Eric Holder for attacking voter ID laws and attacking attempts to clean up voter rolls, “because you never know when you might need a dead guy to win an election.”

4:02 p.m. ET: Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch notes that First Lady Michele Obama’s vacation to the coast of Spain cost taxpayers $500,000.

4:00 p.m. ET: Tom Fitton, president, Judicial Watch is on stage, charging that President Obama has turned Washington, DC into Chicago on the Potomac.

3:58 p.m. ET: Sen. Tim Scott is emphatic about his support of school choice, “Every parent deserves choice; and every child deserves a chance.”

3:55 p.m. ET: Sen. Tim Scott quantifies the national debt, putting $3 trillion into perspective: for that, you can buy 33,333,000 Ford F-150s.

3:45 p.m. ET: The Honorable Tim Scott, US Senator (R-SC) takes the stage and says, “When you find your ‘why,’ you’ll find your way.”

3:43 p.m. ET: Gov. Rick Perry acknowledges Europe is an interesting place to vacation, but a sorry example of government.

3:42 p.m. ET: Gov. Rick Perry, “My philosophy is: Make what Americans buy; buy what Americans make; and sell it to the world.”

3:40 p.m. ET: Gov. Rick Perry, “Common sense tells us it is time to drill for American jobs and American prosperity.”

3:37 pm ET: Gov. Rick Perry, “The Medicaid expansion is a step toward one, large single-payer system.”

3:31 p.m. ET: Gov. Rick Perry, “My quarrel is not with the legitimate role of government, but the unlimited role of government.”

3:30 p.m. ET: Gov. Perry notes in his speech that, “the resolution of this debt ceiling debacle led to the first downgrading of our credit rating in American history.”

3:26 p.m. ET: Gov. Perry quips that he’s from what many consider a foreign country, of sorts…because in Texas, “We have a balanced budget, we have a surplus, we’re creating more jobs than anywhere else and we’re doing all this under a part-time legislature that is in session only 140 days every other year.”

3:25 p.m. ET : Texas Governor Rick Perry takes the stage to Travis Tritt’s God Bless Texas.

3:23 p.m. ET: Texas Governor Rick Perry being introduced.

3:21 p.m. ET: Fight Club ends in a decisive victory for Tucker Carlson, although Paul Begalia’s mother was in the audience working hard to muster support for him.

3:20 p.m. ET: Paul Begalia, “There is a big misconception that conservatives hate the poor; they actually must love poor people because they created so many of them.”

3:18 p.m. ET: Tucker Carlson, “Ashley Judd…hair on fire crazy.”

3:16 p.m. ET: Tucker Carlson, “If only the border patrol were as feared and effective as the IRS.”

3:15 p.m. ET: Paul Begalia, “Benghazi, a sign that more Americans are interested in attacking Hillary that attacking terrorism”

3:13 p.m. ET: Paul Begalia, “Would Hillary be a good president? No, she would be a great president.  I think she’s a global force for good and I hope and pray she runs for president.”

3:07 p.m. ET: Paul Begalia, “Government is more efficient in healthcare, lower overhead, better outcomes.”

3:06 p.m. ET: Tucker Carlson, “You should bristle against taking away your healthcare choices.”

3:03 p.m ET: Paul Begalia, “I don’t like the idea of government telling me what size soda I can drink.  I also have the right wing position of Ronald Reagan, who favored a waiting period before you buy a gun.”

3:00 p.m. ET: Tucker Carlson, “A country that spends more than it raises cannot survive.”

2:59 pm ET: Tucker Carlson, “Of course we are the world’s policemen.  It’s been left us.  What we are not is the world’s social worker such that we take it upon ourselves to bring women’s suffrage to third-world countries and make sure they can listen to Madonna if they want to.”

2:57 pm. ET: Paul Begalia, “We certainly are the indispensable nation.”

2:55 p.m. ET: Fight Club 2013: A Liberal & A Conservative Duke It Out — The Honorable Paul Begalia, Political Contributor, CNN squares off now with Tucker Carlson, editor-in-chief, The Daily Caller.

2:48 p.m. ET: Benghazi and Its Aftermath: US Middle East and Southwest Asia Policy — Joel Pollack, editor-in-chief,, “Terror groups don’t exist in a vacuum — there are states that train, arm and cover for them.”

2:12 p.m. ET: Benghazi and Its Aftermath: US Middle East and Southwest Asia Policy — Joel Pollack, editor-in-chief,, “What Iran sees is a president committed to retreat.”

1:54 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “My 5-year plan will create millions of new jobs by creating a flat personal income tax of 7 percent, cutting corporate taxes in half and cutting government regulations.”

1:54 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “My budget will eliminate the department of education.”

1:53 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “The GOP is the ticket to the middle class.”

1:52 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “We need to revive Reagan’s law — for liberty to expand, government must shrink.”

1:49 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “Government is completely out of control and is in desperate need of a path to new leadership.”

1:48 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul gets wild applause when he mentions protecting our right to bear arms.

1:47 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “Our president has cut the budget for white house tours, yet he found $250M to send to Egypt.”

1:45 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “We are borrowing $50 thousand per second.”

1:44 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “Our government is larger than it’s ever been in history.  Everything is threatened by the notion that you can get everything for nothing.”

1:43 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “As government expands, liberty becomes marginalized, freedom shrinks.”

1:41 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, “Our Bill of Rights is not what defines us, it’s what makes us exceptional.”

1: 39 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, message to President: Good intentions are not enough.

1:38 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul, quoting Lincoln, “Nearly all men can handle adversity, but if you want to test a man, give him power.”

1:36 p.m. ET: US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced as a warrior against government over-reach.

1:33 p.m. ET: Senator Marco Rubio, “Look around the world, who are they copying?   Not the former Soviet Union.  Not Russia.  Not even China.  Every step toward free enterprise.  They may claim to hate us, but they sure would like to be us.”

1:28 p.m. ET: Senator Marco Rubio, “Never in the history of the world has water been so popular,” he quips as he smiles and takes a sip.

1:26 p.m. ET: Senator Marco Rubio, “Every parent in America should have the opportunity to send their child to the school of their choice.”

1:25 p.m. ET: Senator Marco Rubio, “Student loan debt is the next big bubble in America.”

1:23 p.m. ET: Senator Marco Rubio, “Solving our $16.5 trillion debt is going to require fiscal discipline and rapid economic growth.  There is no tax increase in the world that will solve our debt problem.”

1:20 p.m. ET: Senator Marco Rubio, “Who’s fighting for the hard-working people of America?  Our challenge is to be their voice.”

1:18 p.m. ET: US Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), “I ran for office because I believe this country is extraordinarily special and that it’s in trouble.”

1:15 p.m. ET: Marco Rubio taking the stage, being introduced now by Al Cardenas, chairman, American Conservative Union.

1:04 p.m. ET: Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute praises the 2/3 super majority requirement for tax increases, citing its usefulness in blocking bad tax policy.

12:52 p.m. ET: Lew Uhler, president, National Tax Limitation Committee, offering his perspective on a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment; advocates a Medicare system that is private and privately owned.

12:40 p.m. ET: Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, praises the Ryan Plan, noting it will balance the budget without raising taxes.

Dan Garza, executive director, The LIBRE Initiative immigration interview at CPAC 2013

Dan Garza, executive director, The LIBRE Initiative immigration interview at CPAC 2013


12:17 a.m. ET: Small Business: The Economic Engine of America, Mario Lopez, president, Hispanic Leadership Fund, underscores that small businesses create 2/3 of all American jobs.

11:32 a.m. ET: Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Policy, panelist discussion underscores conservative principles of: limited government, personal responsibility and a strong commitment to liberty and freedom.

11:20 a.m. ET: Panel 2: Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy — Jenny Korn, executive director, American Action Network advocates legal temporary worker programs, notes that what we’re doing isn’t working…right now we spend $2.7B on border agents but have tripled the number of undocumented residents…and leaves the audience with the message, “You can be conservative and be for immigration reform.”

11:10 a.m. ET: Panel 2: Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy — Helen Krieble, founder and president, The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation, touting the benefits of Red Cards as they provide opportunity, protection and fairness by putting in place a process, a path to citizenship.  Ms. Krieble advocates that a Red Card solution should be a cornerstone of any immigration plan, praising it as a humane, compassionate solution. She encourages visits to

11:08 a.m. ET: Dan Garza, Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative, “The best ante dote to illegal immigration is a smart immigration policy.”

11:03 a.m ET: Panel 2: Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy — Dan Garza, Executive Director, The LIBRE Initiative, shares his family’s immigration experience, “Hard work, perseverance and access to free market allowed us to thrive in America,” and calls for bi-partisan reform that honors our country’s immigration legacy.

11:00 a.m. ET: Dr. Whit Ayers, President, North Star Research, “We cannot revitalize the center right unless we reach out…In order to be resurrected, we are going to have to have a different message and different messengers.”

10:56 a.m. ET: Panel 2: Respecting Families and the Rule of Law: A Lasting Immigration Policy — Dr. Whit Ayers, President, North Star Opinion Research, “We are losing the battle against secular socialism at the moment…we need a lot of different allies in a lot of different places.”

10:30 a.m. ET: Panel Discussion: Too Many Wars? Should We Fight and Can We Afford It? — The Honorable Louie Gohmert, US Representative (R-TX) — “The lesson of Vietnam: You don’t send American men and women into harm’s way unless you are going to give them the authority to do what they have to do to win and then bring them home.”

10:28 a.m ET: Dr. Ivan Eland, “Many empires have fallen because they over-extended their empires.”

10:23 a.m ET: Panel Discussion: Too Many Wars? Should We Fight and Can We Afford It? — Dr. Ivan Eland, Senior Fellow, The Independent Institute & Author: Government, as a percentage of GDP, actually increased under Reagan..[Today] We have a quarter of the world’s GDP, but account for 1/2 of the world’s defense expenditures.

10:20 a.m ET: Congressman Tom Cotton (R-AR): We are the heirs of Ronald Reagan, who believed in peace through strength.

10:17 a.m. ET: Panel Discussion: Too Many Wars?  Should We Fight and Can We Afford It? — The Honorable Tom Cotton, US Representative (R-AR)  is at the podium, “We should fight anywhere, but we should not fight everywhere…We should fight where our national interests are clearly at stake.”

10:10 a.m. ET: Panel Discussion: Too Many Wars? Should We Fight and Can We Afford It? — Dr. Angelo Codevilla, professor of international relations, Boston University is at the podium, “Proper, natural end of war is peace, the peace according to you, the peace that you want…This country has no peace right now; the lack of peace is eating away at us”  Dr. Codevilla questions the wisdom of the current administration for not recognizing the size of the threat of terrorism, for simplifying it by identifying the enemy as al qaeda, thereby severely limiting it to one small group.

9:56 a.m ET: US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) points to the 25-year period between 1982 -2007, when America created more wealth, more prosperity and increased the standard of living more so than any other 25-year period in the history of the world; credits Ronald Reagan for understanding that the greatest impediments to growth are high taxes and government regulation and applauded him for reigning in taxes and his sweeping efforts to deregulate government.

9:49 a.m. ET: The Honorable Pat Toomey, US Senator (R-PA) is at the podium stressing the need to get spending under control; admonishing Obama administration for “inter-generational theft.”

9:18 a.m. ET: Conservative Political Action Conference — CPAC 2013 has commenced.  The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia Attorney General is at the podium lauding American exceptionalism.