Rand Paul Wins CPAC Straw Poll – CPAC Roundup



The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) opened on Thursday.

Some highlights from the third day of speeches:

Rand Paul won the CPAC straw poll, taking 31 percent of the vote. Sarah Palin was the keynote speaker Saturday night. She criticized Obama and Democrats, but saved her sharpest criticisms for the "GOP beltway boys." Some highlights from the second day of speeches:

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul got some of the loudest applause at CPAC after telling the NSA Americans' cellphones were none of the agency's business. Watch his entire speech here. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum slammed Mitt Romney and John McCain for "apologizing" for conservatives, saying there were more important things for conservativism than victory. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said in his speech that Americans shouldn't forget that the U.S. was founded by god and that "Religious liberty should be unimpeded in this nation." He also went on to criticize the Obama administration's foreign policy and surveillance activities.  Texas Governor Rick Perry's speech, which included attack on the Obama administration's policies and an outline of his vision of limited government, reportedly promoted a standing ovation  Some highlights from the first day of speeches:

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre railed against the way the media covered gun issues and promised his group is not going anywhere. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell brought a gun on stage and complained about President Barack Obama's poor treatment of the Constitution. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Obama was worse than President Jimmy Carter and suggested conservatives needed to challenge the conventional wisdom that Obama was a "smart man." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz told those in attendance to "stand on principle" to differentiate the Republican candidates from the Democrats. Gov. Chris Christie said Republicans need to start talking about what they stand for, not what they're against. Rep. Paul Ryan dismissed the idea that there's a "civil war" between establishment Republicans and Tea Party Republicans. Donald Trump said he thinks Republicans will take control of the Senate in 2014 and also doesn't realize that Carter is still alive. Over at the Brookings Institution, John Hudak attended a panel on minority voter outreach for the Republican party and discovered it to be very poorly attended. Politico is hosting videos from CPAC here.