Tags: Donald Trump | Rand Paul | CPAC | conservatives | meeting | Washington

CPAC Looking More Like Trump's Vision

Image: CPAC Looking More Like Trump's Vision

President Donald Trump (AP Photo)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 11:00 PM

CPAC, the annual meeting of conservatives near Washington, D.C., kicks off this weekend with a less traditional conservative look and a feel more like Donald Trump — who declined to attend last year, and ended up losing the group's straw poll to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

The Washington Post noted this year's panels include such topics as how the left does not support law enforcement, how the United States has few security standards than heaven ("a gate, a wall, and extreme vetting") and talk about fair trade that has Breitbart editor and Joel Pollak and liberal RT news anchor Ed Schultz on the same side of the issue.

CPAC even had Brietbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos slated as the keynoter. Yiannopoulos has sparked outrage on college campuses as liberal protesters have succeeded in having his events canceled. The gay alt-right provocateur was originally invited because his voice deserved to be heard, Matt Schlapp said, who heads the American Conservative Union which puts on CPAC.

But that invitation was revoked after the release of an old interview in which Yiannopoulos appears to condone underage sex. Schlapp said CPAC was not the place for Yiannopoulos to address his controversy. He resigned from Breitbart on Tuesday, saying he used a poor choice of words and he has fought against pedophilia.

All that aside, Schlapp has admitted this year's event will represent  the "realignment going on politically in the country," according to the Post.

In addition to Trump's pro-police, anti-illegal immigration agenda, his showmanship also is having an influence on the proceedings with Brexit proponent Nigel Farage and reality star Dog the Bounty Hunter slated to speak.

Trump's two top advisers, Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus will appear on a panel together, putting a unified front to Trump's populism and the GOP establishment.

Previous years have featured a wider range of conservative thought, with fringe elements often left on smaller stages.

"There used to be Pat Buchanan's people, the populist revolt-types and the establishment of the anti-establishment, who'd get a third of the vote in the primaries and we'd beat them back," longtime GOP consultant Mike Murphy told the Post. "Now they've hijacked the Republican Party."

"During my tenure we emphasized expanding the conservative base by reaching out to women and minority conservative upcoming leaders as guest speakers and panelists," Al Cardenas, who preceded Schlapp's leadership, added. "Yes, to the chagrin of some, we insisted on panels to discuss the various points of view within the conservative movement on the issue of immigration."

Conservative columnist John Ziegler, writing at Mediaite, had a different opinion, saying it was actually CPAC that fostered the Trump movement.

"Trump and CPAC deserve each other," Ziegler wrote. "They are cut from the same cloth and the fact that CPAC is so entrenched should have been the sign that the fortress protecting the conservative movement was always incredibly vulnerable to being easily breached."

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CPAC, the annual meeting of conservatives near Washington, D.C., kicks off this weekend with a less traditional conservative look and a feel more like Donald Trump – who declined to attend last year, and ended up losing the group's straw poll to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
CPAC, conservatives, meeting, Washington
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2017-00-21
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 11:00 PM
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