Why I Loved CPAC

There were alot of wackos at CPAC. As I journeyed from booth to booth, I encountered several nutjobs. One man was dressed in eighteenth century garb, complete with rapier, illustrating that cosplay is not just a phenomenon of comic book and anime conventions. LaRouche cultists asked me if I was “ready to send Obama to the moon.” I heard quite a few Old Guard Republicans declare, when provided with literature from the Campaign for Liberty, “Ron Paul! That son-of-a-bitch wants us to surrender.”

Those amusing eccentrics were outweighed by the energy and enthusiasm there. I was among alot of leftists during the Bush years, and there was nowhere near the hatred and venom toward Obama that the left displayed towards Bush. While Dick Cheney scoured and groaned through his speech, Newt Gingrich, Glenn Beck and Ron Paul delivered magnificent speeches in which they provided counter-solutions to what the Democrats and Obama have put forth.

With all of the talk about markets, freedom and the foundations of America (countless venders were giving out copies of the Constitution), CPAC could have been confused with the 2008 Rally for the Republic. Keynote speaker Glenn Beck even spoke that America should not spread democracy but instead “lead by example.” Ron Paul winning the presidential straw poll was the icing on the cake. Sarah Palin, the incredibly unqualified beauty queen from Alaska, was nowhere to be found and a distant third in the straw poll. CPAC was wonderful and renewed my faith in conservatism, the Republican Party and America.

Podcast: 10th Amendment Summit, Joseph Stacks, CPAC, Bayh’s Retirement, 2010 Midterms, Guests: Ray McBerry & Mike Hassinger

This week, Jason and Brett speak with Georgia Gubernatorial candidate Ray McBerry (you may recall his Liberty Candidate interview with us) and United Liberty contributor and political consultant Mike Hassinger on this week’s show.  Unfortunately, Mr. McBerry’s schedule only allowed him to join us for the first topic.

Together, they discussed:

CNN Interview at CPAC: Dr. Paul for President 2012?

See Video

Dr. Paul takes questions from viewers and answers with his usual candor, including criticism over Obama’s policy of removing troops from Iraq to Afghanistan, claiming it’s not really different from the Bush administration plan.  When asked if he plans on running for President again in 2012, Dr. Paul does not rule out the possibility.

Video: Ted Cruz seeks to fire up conservative base for 2014

 Stand for Principle!

As part of an end of the quarter fundraising drive, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has released a new video featuring pieces of his speech at this month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

The video — which, as some have noted, looks and sounds much like a presidential campaign video — is full of red meat for conservatives. “Defend the Constitution — all of it. Defend the First Amendment, the right to free speech, the right to a free press,” Cruz says in the video with dramatic music in the background. “The right to freedom of religion and that means, among other things, not having the IRS asking citizens: ‘tell me the content of your prayers.’”

“We need to stand for the Second Amendment, the right to keep and bear arms,” he says. “We need to stand for the Fourth and Fifth Amendment’s right to privacy for every American.”

Cruz goes onto touch on school choice and the need to audit the Federal Reserve. He talks about abolishing the IRS and the national debt and standing on principle, a segue into last year’s fight to defund Obamacare. He then borrows a line from President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

Michael Reagan: “Rand Paul gets it”

Michael Reagan

Michael Reagan has weighed in on the spat between Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), both of whom are claiming that their foreign policy views are in the mold of his adoptive father, Ronald Reagan.

In a short tweet yesterday, Michael Reagan, an author and former conservative talk show host, expressed support for Paul and linked to the Breitbart op-ed in which the Kentucky senator defended his foreign policy views:

Paul thanked Reagan in a tweet of his own.

In an interview with ABC News’ This Week, Cruz said that he disagreed with Paul on foreign policy, invoking the name of Ronald Reagan.

Rand Paul responds to Ted Cruz, other foreign policy critics

After months of attacks from hawkish conservatives against his foreign policy positions, especially in light of the situation in Crimea and escalating tensions with Russia, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) responded to critics on Monday in an op-ed at Breitbart.

Though the op-ed echoes previous defenses of his foreign policy positions, including an attempt to “correct the record” in a pre-CPAC interview with The Hill, the editorial was mostly pointed toward Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), though Paul never mentioned him by name.

But the lede in the op-ed is an unmistakeable jab at Cruz, who publicly stated on Sunday that he disagrees with Paul on foreign policy citing President Ronald Reagan’s vision of America’s role in the world.

“Every Republican likes to think he or she is the next Ronald Reagan. Some who say this do so for lack of their own ideas and agenda,” wrote Paul at Breitbart. “Reagan was a great leader and President. But too often people make him into something he wasn’t in order to serve their own political purposes.

Paul explained that Reagan was willing to talk with Mikhail Gorbachev, though he advanced the idea of a strong national defense and “peace through strength.” He notes that Reagan was reasoned in foreign policy decisions, citing his decision to pull back our military presence in Lebanon after a 1983 bombing claimed the lives of 241 Marines.

Rand Paul talks CPAC straw poll win, young people on Fox News Sunday

Rand Paul on Fox News Sunday

Fresh off a successful weekend at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) joined Fox News Sunday to talk about his straw poll victory and young voters’ disenfranchisement with President Barack Obama.

“[T]he one thing about CPAC it’s just chock full of young people,” Paul told host Chris Wallace. “There are young people everywhere, and I think young people, their lives sort of rotate, and, you know, disseminate.”

“Everything goes out through their cell phone and they are very aware of their privacy,” he continued, “and they don’t think when the government tells them that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t protect your cell phone, doesn’t protect your records, they don’t accept that, so I think not only conservative young people from colleges and high school, I think young people across the country are fed up with the government that says, ‘Hey, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to your records, doesn’t apply to your cell phone.’”

Today in Liberty: Sanctions won’t hurt Russia, Senate Dems to push climate change

“There is a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not of the Republican Party, but the future of the entire country. The question is, will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion, or will we be sunshine patriots retreating under adverse fire?”Rand Paul

— Sanctions against Russia won’t work: Steve Chapman says that the push for sanctions against Russia is an exercise in futility, given that sanctions often don’t work. Rather, he explains, Russia could be its own worst enemy. “[O]ur best hope is that he bites off more than he can chew. The invasion of Afghanistan looked like a success at the outset, but it spawned a fierce insurgency that cost thousands of Soviet lives, forced a humiliating retreat and helped bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union. The farther Putin pushes and the longer he stays the more likely this occupation will end in tears,” writes Steve Chapman at Reason. “There is a very slim possibility that Western economic sanctions will undo his ambitions in Ukraine. There is a better chance that those ambitions will undo themselves.”

Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC presidential straw poll, libertarians dominate on issues

For the second year in a row, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has won the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) presidential straw poll. The poll also found that libertarians are increasingly growing in influence.

Paul took 31% of the 2,459 votes cast, up from the 25% he earned in the 2013 iteration of the straw poll. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) finished in a distant second place, with 11%. Dr. Ben Carson finished third, taking 9%.

“I am grateful to all the attendees who stood with me. The fight for liberty continues, and we must continue to stand up and say: We’re free and no one, no matter how well-intentioned, will take our freedoms from us. Together we will stand up for the Constitution. Together we will fight for what is right,” said Paul in a statement from RandPAC. “Thank you and onwards to victory.”

CPAC 2014 Presidential Straw Poll

Tony Frabrizio, who announced the results to CPAC attendees, explained that 46% of straw poll voters were between the ages of 18 and 25 and 18% were between 26 and 40.

Rand Paul focuses on Constitution, civil liberties in CPAC speech

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered a stark contrast from other speakers this afternoon at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). While many of the day’s speeches focused on the contentious relationship between the establishment and the grassroots or social issues, the libertarian-leaning Republican focused the Constitution and civil liberties that are being withered away due to an overreaching president and administration.

“Imagine a time when our great country is again governed by the Constitution. Imagine a time when the White House is once again occupied by a friend of liberty,” Paul told attendees. “Now, you may think I’m talking about electing Republicans. I’m not. I’m talking about electing lovers of liberty.”

“It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle and conviction and action who will lead us back to greatness,” he said. “There is a great and tumultuous battle underway for the future, not of the Republican Party, but the future of the entire country. The question is, will we be bold and proclaim our message with passion, or will we be sunshine patriots retreating under adverse fire?”

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