Tags: CPAC | Chris Christie | Jeb Bush | Ted Cruz | Marco Rubio

CPAC 2015 Defines 2016's Best

Thursday, 05 March 2015 02:13 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) functions as an early Miss America pageant for Republican presidential candidates. It comes as no surprise that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did not do well in the swimsuit competition. Almost two years after his weight–loss surgery the famous New Jersey tough guy is still being bullied by his refrigerator.

Conservatives aren’t necessarily fat bigots — newly elected Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan won’t ever be mistaken for Hulk Hogan — but it would be easier to cut Christie some slack on his calorie count if his Constitution count was higher. His support for amnesty, gun control and Common Core means Christie gets tough on the wrong issues.

Laura Ingraham, who did her best to put him on the spot, interviewed Christie. Even a big guy like Christie proved to be slippery in a pinch. Laura’s most interesting question concerned the Caracas Primary. Who’s ahead among businesses that want to keep wages down, Christie or Jeb Bush?

Bush doesn’t have a calorie problem; he has a contempt for conservatives problems. The vast pile of cash he’s raised from big government Republicans in name only (RINOs) was not enough to muffle boos from CPAC attendees.

Bush even suffered the indignity of falling victim to yet another Washington area mass transit collapse as his fleet of buses failed to ship in enough ringers to boost him above 5th in the straw poll. If only he’d called 1–800–Coyote before the conference.

Bush would have gotten more votes if he’d just left checks on the chairs. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL., rounded out the CPAC RINO herd. Marco’s concern for paycheck to paycheck families is nice, but his support for the Gang of Ocho’s amnesty is a continuation of policies that have depressed wages and created more families that — in the words of the UK’s Nigel Farage — “earn enough to get by, but never enough to get ahead.”

Other than Bush and Christie’s showing up, the biggest scheduling failure was Dr. Ben Carson. He gave the first speech of the conference to a mostly empty hall. His group of not bused in supporters weren’t enough to overcome the early hour and lack of audience — so his address felt flat and uninspiring.

Carson would be my first choice for Surgeon General, but not president. Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., followed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. When Walker walked on stage coatless with his sleeves rolled up I thought the can-do governor had been called to fix something on the podium that Ted broke. But no, Walker’s sleeves were rolled up because he was here to open the CPAC butcher shop, where meat is all red all the time.

Anyone, including Donald Trump or I, could have made the first half of Walker’s speech. Rather than stress what differentiates him from Obama, Walker just went for applause lines. The second half, and the question and answer period, finally told the story that’s made him a leading candidate.

The first spending and the national debt reference came from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who deserved to finish much higher than 11th straw poll.

Jindal’s speaking performance is vastly improved. He’s crisp, relevant, and not afraid to criticize cowardly Washington, D.C. GOP leadership. He pointed out that when senators and congressmen were asking for conservatives' votes last November their “ads didn’t say they would just repeal the easy parts of Obamacare.” And that it was high time Washington Republicans “governed they way they campaigned.”

The candidate who spent the most time discussing the debt was Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who trumped Walker’s rolled up sleeves by wearing jeans. In retrospect, a better choice would have been ski pants, which would have explained his strange racoon-like suntan.

Paul clearly explained the danger of bigger and bigger government, “From within our freedom is threatened by debt and a government that regulates everything that moves. We borrow a million dollars a minute and the president says he doesn't know where to cut.”

Paul added our inability to live within our means also has a negative effect on foreign policy that’s even worse than Obama’s strategic inertia. “We do not project strength by borrowing money from China to send to Pakistan.”

The senator’s solution is simple. “I propose we cut everyone's taxes from the richest to the poorest. In the coming weeks I will propose the largest tax cut in American history. My plan will also cut spending and balance the budget in just five years.”

It will be interesting to see details of how Paul intends to shrink the size of government, cut taxes and reduce spending — a conservative trifecta.

After CPAC I’ve narrowed my presidential choices to a mix and match three: Either Paul or Walker at the top of the ticket and Jindal as Vice President.

Michael R. Shannon is a commentator, researcher (for the League of American Voters), and an award-winning political and advertising consultant with nationwide and international experience. He is author of "Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!)." Read more of Michael Shannon's reports — Go Here Now.


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The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) functions as an early Miss America pageant for Republican presidential candidates.
CPAC, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio
Thursday, 05 March 2015 02:13 PM
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