- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional
- As fighting in Gaza rages on, Kerry battles hapless bumbler perception
- New Englander Scott Brown turns his gaze to the U.S. border crisis
- Toronto’s Rob Ford takes rehabbed self to kids’ playground for political props
CPAC 2013: Add Cruz, Walker to Paul, Rubio for high ‘wow’ factor
Question of the Day
A governor and three U.S. senators emerged as probable first-tier candidates for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination by the windup of the 40th anniversary Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz grabbed and held the audience of more than 3,000 conservative activists, registering more standing ovations during, and positive crowd buzz after, their speeches than did any of the other potential GOP presidential nomination aspirants.
Mr. Walker talked about how he survived a recall election forced by public employees unions that had resisted his successful efforts to make public employees cover part of their health insurance premiums. He also angered them by denying union demands for salary and pension benefits increases.
He said by risking his governorship to solve his state’s budget crisis, he showed that he cared about taxpayers struggling with a bad economy and the unfairness of making those same taxpayers shell out more for union benefits when public employees were earning more in salaries than private-sector workers.
Mr. Rubio distinguished himself as the only potential presidential nomination candidate at CPAC to address foreign policy. He addressed the defense of America’s superpower status against China’s cyberspace attacks and desire to surpass the United States economically and militarily.
Mr. Paul skipped foreign policy and focused instead on bringing pressure on the executive branch of the U.S. government to follow the Constitution.
He had the advantage of hearing every other major CPAC speaker, including Mitt Romney, praise his having led a filibuster to successfully force the Obama administration to acknowledge the primacy of the Constitution and due process.
Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio enhanced their standing among Republicans by citing their Cuban-American heritage, but Mr. Cruz showed he had the best unofficial presidential nomination organization. At the end of his rousing speech, he asked the audience to text him to spread his “growth and opportunity” message. In doing so, he captured more than 1,000 cellphone numbers for his potential nomination campaign.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s CPAC address during the annual Ronald Reagan banquet drew shouted rebukes from former Arizona Rep. J.D. Hayworth, who from his table near the stage repeatedly taunted Mr. Bush during his speech, asking when he was going to defend constitutional principles.
Mr. Hayworth and others at the dinner were objecting to Mr. Bush’s statements that he would consider raising taxes to help balance the budget and he would reach out to Hispanics voters with comprehensive immigration reform, which some activists interpret as amnesty for illegal immigrants.
The CPAC crowd had high expectations for Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, whose parents were born in Punjab, India. Considered a likely 2016 contender, he executed a laugh-sustaining stand-up comedy routine, much like the president’s annual performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner.
But when he moved to policy talk, audience attention began to wander, with some saying it reminded them of Mr. Jindal’s lackluster 2009 response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s running mate last year, lit few fires with his speech. He was attacked in a later CPAC address by Media Research Center President Brent Bozell, who derided him for putting forward a weak plan that wouldn’t achieve a balanced budget for 10 years.
Based on the loud, sustained cheers for his comments, Mr. Bozell’s criticism was shared by other activists at CPAC.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow served on the Chicago Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Washington Times editorial boards, was Ford Foundation Fellow in Urban Journalism at Northwestern University, resident at Columbia University Editorial-Page Editors Seminar and has filed from Berlin, Bonn, London, Paris, Geneva, Vienna, Amman, Beirut, Cairo, Damascus, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Belgrade, Bucharest, Panama and Guatemala.
- GOP 2014: Oklahoma's Mary Fallin follows in her parents' footsteps
- GOP 2014: In New Mexico, Susana Martinez is the hope for Hispanics
- GOP 2014: Thriving economy, school choice fuel Bobby Jindal agenda in Louisiana
- GOP 2014: Scott Walker survives, Wisconsin thrives
- GOP 2014: From House to Statehouse for Indiana's Mike Pence
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Hillary Clinton: I was indeed 'dead broke,' but shouldn't have said so
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional
- Rush Limbaugh: 'There is no journalism anymore'
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Border surge puts Obama legacy on immigration at stake
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world