CPAC 2014: Highlights of the Conservative Political Action Conference

Tuesday, 11 Mar 2014 12:51 PM

By Richard Grigonis

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The American Conservative Union's 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2014), is the 41st of the annual meeting that brings together conservative politicians, pundits, and their supporters for speeches, panels, and classes. Here you will find people at the forefront of grass-roots conservatism who volunteer for and run issue-based political efforts and campaigns.

Thousands of conservative activists, Republicans, and Tea Party Patriots gathered at CPAC during the three-day affair from March 6-8 to hear politicians, presidential hopefuls, and business leaders speak, lobby, and network for a conservative agenda. They were also seeking Congressional gains in 2014 and a Republican presidential candidate for 2016.

This year marked the American Conservative Union's 50th anniversary and the theme was “Getting it Right for 50 Years.”

Here are 30 images the CPAC 2014 highlights.


1. Rick Perry’s Speech Spurs Standing Ovation




Top photo: Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the opening of the second day of CPAC 2014 at the Gaylord International Hotel and Conference Center  on March 7, in National Harbor, Md. His rousing speech supported small government and urging the creation of prosperity in a climate of renewed hope.

Bottom photo: Senior members of the audience cheer on Perry during his speech.


2. Marco Rubio Speaks on Foreign Affairs, Economy




Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., began his CPAC speech on Thursday with “We are right on the verge, if we make a few right decisions, of a new American century.” He focused on foreign affairs and the economy.

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3. Donald Trump — Testing the Political Waters?




Donald Trump, chairman and president of the Trump Organization, speaks during the first day of CPAC 2014. His wide-ranging speech covered everything from immigration, borders, foreign aid, and China to the Ukraine and future economic disasters.


4. Wayne LaPierre Brings the Crowd to Its Feet




The passionate and eloquent Wayne LaPierre, NRA executive vice president, gave a stirring speech at CPAC about dangers to America and government intrusion into daily life that brought cheers from the audience. He ended with, “I ask you. Do you trust this government to protect you?”


5. Bobby Jindal




Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal addressed the Obama administration’s opposition to charter schools and the school voucher system, likening him to Gov. George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama to block two black students from entering.


6. A Retro Fashion Moment




Dressed in American revolutionary clothing, William Temple, center, of Brunswick, Ga., cheers at the opening of the second day of CPAC 2014.


7. Ben Carson Fans Out in Force




Top photo: Columnist, retired neurosurgeon, and potential presidential candidate Ben Carson, right, and his wife Candy greet guests before speaking at CPAC 2014.

Middle photo: Tara Nolan gives out promotional material at the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee booth.

Bottom photo: Buttons for Ben Carson are laid out at the same booth.


8. But Who Has Lunch with Rand Paul’s Cutout?




Top photo: An attendee poses with a cutout of Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

Bottom photo: CPAC attendees are offered a chance to win lunch with Paul at CPAC 2014.


9. Intermission Target Practice




A woman practices shooting a hand gun at a National Rifle Association virtual shooting booth during CPAC 2014, March 6, 2014.


10. Buttons, Buttons, Everywhere




Vintage and modern Republican campaign buttons are put on display during CPAC 2104, March 6, 2014 in National Harbor, Maryland.


11. Andrew Bair and the National Right to Life




Andrew Bair, of National Right to Life, hands out material during CPAC 2014, March 6, 2014.


12. The Freedom Wall




David Eber of Lansdowne, Va. and Virginia Haynes sign the "Freedom Wall" at CPAC 2014.


13. Paul Ryan: Debate Is Good




Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., walks on stage to speak at the CPAC 2014. He mused that the intellectual schism amongst Republicans is simply an example of a “vibrant debate” stemming from “creative tension,” with the tenor of an Irish family reunion.


14. Ted Cruz: We Must Stand on Principle




Top photo: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, remarks at CPAC 2014: “If you want to lose elections, stand for nothing,” he warned.

Bottom photo: A woman poses with a Cruz photo prop.


15. Chris Christie Comes Out Swinging




Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., wasn’t invited to CPAC 2013, but he more than made up for it this year in anti-Obama and anti-media invective.


16. Tom Coburn Receives a Gift




U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, right, holds a gun given to him by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, left, during CPAC 2014.


17. Who Wouldn’t Want a Free Ronald Reagan Poster?




Top photo: Young Americans for Freedom members Joseph Livaudais of Herndon, Va., left, and Katrina Lautenschlager of Endicott, Wash., carry Ronald Reagan posters to give out to guests at CPAC 2014.

Buttom photo: More free posters of former President Reagan are handed out by members of the YAF during CPAC 2014.


18. Attendees With Elevated Status




At left, attendee/stilts-walker Maria Kent greets arrivals to CPAC 2014. At right, Joshua Longshore of Brooklyn, N.Y., dresses as a very tall Reagan.


19. Tweeting Up a Conservative Storm




Charlotte Guyett, center, contributes to the CPAC 2014 Twitter feed.


20. Mike Huckabee’s Speech Chides Foreign Policy




Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, chided President Obama’s foreign policy, then delved into shabby treatment meted out to members of America’s armed forces, and why the U.S. should redouble its efforts regarding national security.


21. The Bigger They Are …




Nathaniel Bing, left, who is working at a booth mocking big government, arm wrestles Nehemie Etienne, right, at CPAC 2014.


22. Gun Love




Bumper stickers on display at CPAC support gun rights.

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23. Tim Scott: A Focus on Education




Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., emphasized the importance of education, recounting his own problems in school. He was not a very good student and actually failed civics. “I used to think I was the only one,” said Scott, “then I became a member of the Senate and I realized there might be a few more.”


24. Newt Gingrich on Smartphones and Foreign Policy




Former U.S. Speaker of House Newt Gingrich speaks of the remarkable technology of smartphones before criticizing President Obama on foreign policy and oil prices. Noting that Obama is vacationing in Key Largo during the Ukrainian crisis, he said that Obama spent this past week “proving that he was capable of being ineffective,” and so “I believe he can be as ineffective in Key Largo as he was in the White House.”


25. Jim DeMint Warns of Government Largesse




President of the Heritage Foundation Jim DeMint speaks at CPAC 2014, warning attendees that an unrestrained U.S. government would destroy community support and love of country.


26. Jenny Beth Martin Welcomes Michele Bachmann




President and co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots Jenny Beth Martin, left, greets Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann on stage at CPAC 2014.


27. Priebus Makes a Point




Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, participates on a panel at CPAC 2014.


28. Carly Fiorina: 'All Issues are Women’s Issues'




Chair of the American Conservative Union Foundation and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard Carly Fiorina greets guests as she arrives to speak at CPAC 2014. She said that although Obamacare mandates that birth control be available to women without a co-pay, that doesn’t mean “free,” since it would normally be a benefit integrated into premium-paid insurance plans. “All issues are women’s issues,” Fiorina said to rousing applause. “We are half of this great nation.”


29. Grover Norquist, Champion of Tax Reform




Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, speaks at CPAC 2014. His speech included such colorful, striking comments as, “The left is not made up of friends and allies. The left is made up of competing parasites.”


30. The CPAC 2014 Grand Finale: Sarah Palin




Top Photo: Former Alaska Gov. and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin brought CPAC 2014 to a conclusion with a speech on Saturday.

Bottom photo: Palin parodied a reading of Dr. Seuss' book "Green Eggs and Ham" as she criticized President Barack Obama's administration.

More Newsmax Photo Essays:

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