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2008 Presidential Race, CPAC, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney

>GOP Candidates go to CPAC, Shake up GOP Contest

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Today marks the beginning of the 35th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). It is a large gathering of grassroot conservative activists and politicians. It is hosted by American Conservative Union, Human Events, and the Young America’s Foundation.

One candidate has already made a big splash today at CPAC. Mitt Romney spoke and announced that he is withdrawing from the race to be the GOP nominee. He said that he is doing it ‘for our party and for our country’. It will be very interesting to see what his supporters will do. Will they switch over to Mike Huckabee or will they throw their support behind John McCain because they feel that he is the inevitable nominee? I guess only time will tell. Rush Limbaugh has apparenly said on his radio show that there is no conservative alternative left in the race. Of course, I totally disagree with that assessment since I believe that conservatives have a candidate to rally behind in Mike Huckabee. Some are wondering what Mike Huckabee will do at this point. However, Huckabee’s campaign spokesman, Chip Saltsman, was just on Fox News a little while ago and said that Mike Huckabee will not be dropping out of the race.

With all of that said, John McCain is going to be speaking at CPAC within the hour. Last year, he snubbed conservatives by not attending the event. This year is his opportunity to reach out to conservatives. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say and see if he does in fact reach out to the conservative base of the GOP. The people who attend CPAC are the activists and grassroot supporters that McCain will need backing him in order to be successful in November. On a related note, the Politico is reporting that CPAC organizers are telling the attendees to not boo McCain. I find that pretty amusing.

Mike Huckabee will speaking at CPAC on Saturday. It will also be interesting to hear what he says and see if he will try to gather the support of the Romney supporters.

As the day goes on, I will give updates about what is going on at CPAC. If you would like to see the scedule of events at CPAC, go here.

Update: John McCain just got got done addressing the crowd at CPAC. Overall, I thought the speech was pretty strong. Hugh Hewitt called it superb. He got a few boo’s when he first brought up immigration but throughout the speech the boo’s quickly turned to cheers. I will post more related news and links below.

Related:
Live streaming video of CPAC
Text of McCain’s speech
Huckabee vows to press on

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Discussion

8 thoughts on “>GOP Candidates go to CPAC, Shake up GOP Contest

  1. >Obama said: “It’s a classic attempt to appeal to people’s fears [Romney’s ‘surrender to terror’ statement about the Dems]that will not work in this campaign. I think that’s part of the reason he was such an ineffective candidate.” Its always maddening to see a Democrat criticize anyone for playing to people’s fears since that is part of their Tactics 101. No Democrat economic speech is complete without fear, envy, and class warfare.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 8, 2008, 4:16 am
  2. >I thought McCain’s speech was great (he even managed to quote my boy Burke twice!). It managed to be humble without being pandering. A good section to leave with you:We have had a few disagreements, and none of us will pretend that we won’t continue to have a few. But even in disagreement, especially in disagreement, I will seek the counsel of my fellow conservatives. If I am convinced my judgment is in error, I will correct it. And if I stand by my position, even after benefit of your counsel, I hope you will not lose sight of the far more numerous occasions when we are in complete accord. I began by assuring you that we share a conception of liberty that is the bedrock of our beliefs as conservatives. As you know, I was deprived of liberty for a time in my life, and while my love of liberty is no greater than yours, you can be confident that mine is the equal of any American’s. It is a deep and unwavering love. My life experiences in service to our country inform my political judgments. They are at the core of my convictions. I am pro-life and an advocate for the Rights of Man everywhere in the world because of them, because I know that to be denied liberty is an offense to nature and nature’s Creator. I will never waver in that conviction, I promise you. I know in this country our liberty will not be seized in a political revolution or by a totalitarian government. But, rather, as Burke warned, it can be “nibbled away, for expedience, and by parts.” I am alert to that risk and will defend against it, and ta ke comfort from the knowledge that I will be encouraged in that defense by my fellow conservatives.

    Posted by Jared Nelson | February 7, 2008, 9:43 pm
  3. >Didn’t want to report this on the blog yet because I can’t find an online source to comfirm it yet but earlier on MSNBC they said that today on Rush Limbaugh’s show he said that McCain should pick Huckabee as his VP to reach out to conservatives. If this is true, that’s pretty interesting considering I didn’t think Rush was a big fan of Huckabee.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 7, 2008, 9:42 pm
  4. >By the way, you guys need to help me persuade Jonathan to drive down to DC Satudrday morning to liveblog from CPAC. Its just a hop, skip, and a jump for him. GO! Don’t you want to see your boy Huckabee live?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 7, 2008, 9:34 pm
  5. >Yes, Huckabee deserves much credit. He turned out to be a very strong candidate. If an evangelical governor from Arkansas can’t win in SC, they can’t win the nomination. That’s when winning the nomination was over for him. FL put an exclamation on that. But he persevered and did well throughout the south and made a good showing in Missouri and Oklahoma. Romney was smart for ending his campaign this week, especially if he has any hopes of running again. Thompson lost SC and dropped out cause he knew he couldn’t win, Giuliani lost FL and dropped out cause he knew he couldn’t win. Romney knew he couldn’t win when he did not take any southern states, lost Missouri, and the losing CA was the big one. So he dropped out. I would have liked to have seen Giuliani stay through Super Tuesday. He would have swept the north east and have made this a totally different contest. He would have split votes with McCain although he would have taken some from Romney too. I still don’t like how spread out the primary dates are. I understand why Huckabee did not drop out after FL but I do wish we could have been down to a two-man race before Super Tuesday like the Dems were after Edwards dropped out. Oh well. I don’t think Huckabee will do well in Maryland or DC and I don’t know what VA will look like post-Romney.Looking forward to seeing the speeches later tonight and Huckabee’s on Sat.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 7, 2008, 9:33 pm
  6. >Well, so much for getting behind Romney.I’m certainly curious to see how a two man race will pan out in the next round.I think the nomination is McCain’s to lose, but Huck’s persevered beyond what many would have thought. Hats off to him for at least getting the silver medal in this thing.

    Posted by GUNNY | February 7, 2008, 8:23 pm
  7. >Here’s a chance for McCain to be smart. He has always championed his ability to reach across the aisle, now it is vital that he reach out to those in his own party. I think he will attempt to do that while walking the tight-wire, being careful not to offend those who have put him where he is now. His ability (or lack thereof) will be a good indicator of whether or not he will be effective in working well with others while in the WHite House. He is in a rather precarious position.Huckabee, on the other hand has a lot going for him. I’m not sure how much longer he’ll stay in the race. It would certainly be a miracle for him to get the nomination but I am past saying what will or won’t happen in this election! This has been a real eye-opener. I think Huckabee is showing some real persistence by staying in the race. I wish him well.I thought it was funny that the BBC news tonight commented on all of this by saying that Huckabee would be too controversial a figure to be the VP since he would be “one heartbeat away from becoming president,” an obvious inference to McCain’s age.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 7, 2008, 7:45 pm

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