CPAC 2011 Keynote Speaker: Florida Rep. Allen West
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference is upon us! Thousands of conservatives are converging on the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC to listen to speakers and discussion panels featuring the most prominent conservative leaders of our nation. The 3-day conference also features a highly anticipated straw poll for GOP 2012 contenders (guess who we are rooting for.)
Let’s do this in Q&A format… (please note all times are Eastern)
Q: JUST TELL US… WHEN IS MITT ROMNEY GOING TO SPEAK?
A: Okay, okay. Romney is set to speak Friday morning at 10:30.
Q: Will I be able to watch somehow if I’m not there in person?
A: I believe live video will be available for the whole conference. Go to http://video.cpac.org/ and register. There are videos of speakers from last year available right now. Update: Live video is also available here: http://www.politico.com/livestream/
Q: Who will be the Keynote Speaker this year?
A: Florida Rep. Allen West was confirmed just yesterday to give the closing Keynote speech on Saturday. Glenn Beck was the Keynote speaker last year, and Rush Limbaugh the year before that. Sarah Palin was actually invited to give the speech, but turned it down last week citing a very busy February schedule.
Q: When does the straw poll voting close?
A: Friday 5:00 PM
Q: When are the results of the straw poll announced?
A: Saturday 5:15 PM
Q: Who will be on the ballot for the straw poll?
A: 1. Michele Bachmann, 2. Haley Barbour, 3. Herman Cain, 4. Chris Christie, 5. Mitch Daniels, 6. Newt Gingrich, 7. Mike Huckabee, 8. Jon Huntsman, 9. Gary Johnson, 10. Sarah Palin, 11. Ron Paul, 12. Tim Pawlenty, 13. Mitt Romney, 14. Rick Santorum, 15. John Thune, 16. Other, 17. Undecided
Q: Will Mitt Romney win the straw poll?
A: Doubtful. Ron Paul won last year and is favored to repeat this year as well. The Campaign for Liberty has made no secret of its intention to flood the poll for Ron Paul, just as they were successful at doing last year. Mitt Romney did win the poll in the years 2007 - 2009. My guess is he’ll take a strong second.
Q: Do you know the results of past years?
A: As a matter of fact I do..
2010: Paul 31, Romney 22, Palin 7, Pawlenty 6, Pence 5, six others
2009: Romney 20, Jindal 14, Paul 13, Palin 13, Gingrich 10, Huckabee 7, four others
2008: Romney* 35, McCain* 34, Huckabee 12, Paul 12
2007: Romney 21, Giuliani 17, Brownback 15, Gingrich 14, McCain 12
2006: George Allen 22, McCain 20, Giuliani 12, Rice 10, Frist 6, Tancredo 5, Romney 5, Gingrich 5, Santorum 3, Pataki 3
** It should be noted that Romney announced the suspension of his campaign during his 2008 speech. Prior to his speech 25% of the votes were already in, with Romney leading McCain 44-27. The remaining votes placed after Romney’s speech were in McCain’s favor 37-32.
Q: Do you have video of Romney’s speeches in past years?
A: Yes, we have 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007. All include video and transcript.
Q: Will any Team MRC members be there?
A: Yes, there will in fact be 5 of us there on site, and we will be joined by Jeff of NYforMitt as well. Nancy French of Evangelical for Mitt will also be in attendance. Aaron, Ross and David, are already there. Luke and I will be arriving on Friday.
Q: How will you guys be covering the on-goings at the conference?
A: Excellent question. We have been afforded a seat in the blogger’s lounge (yes, we’re legit) where we will do write-up for posting on our blog here. We will also be live-tweeting the entire conference from our mega-smart phones - providing news, insights, photos and video as quick as our stubby thumbs will permit. There is live widget at the top of our home page where you can follow all of our tweets. Another option is to follow the list directly on Twitter.com. Or, for the more impatient (and more adventurous) you can try this pre-configured tweetgrid: http://bit.ly/CPACTwits. The grid follows @RomneyCentral, @AaronGundy, @NateGundy, @C0mm1tt3d (Ross), @DavePulfoo, @LukeGundy, @NYforMitt,and @E4Mitt. Other suggested search terms: ‘#cpac11’, ‘Romney’, and ‘MittRomney’.
Q: Will there be any official meet up for Mitt fans and/or MRC readers?
A: I’m not sure. I’d like to call together a gathering to meet everyone and perhaps enjoy some refreshments, but do not have a time/location yet. We will advise if we pick a time and place to meet up. I would hope to do so Friday since that is when Romney is speaking and most supporters would be there.
Q: Do have a schedule of who is speaking and when?
A: Yes. Below is actually an abbreviated schedule. The full 19-page event schedule can be downloaded here: CPAC Schedule (PDF)
9:15 Rep. Michelle Bachmann (MN)
9:45 Sen. Ron Johnson (WI)
10:15 Sen. Pat Toomey (PA)
11:15 Rep. Kristi Noem (SD)
11:45 Rep. Raul Labrador (ID)
12:00 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY)
12:30 Newt Gingrich
1:00 Panel - Reagan at 100: Model for the Next Generation
2:00 Rick Santorum
2:30 Panel - Traditional Marriage and Society
3:15 Wayne LaPierre - CEO of NRA
3:45 Sen. Rand Paul (KY)
4:00 Award presentation to Donald Rumsfeld “Defender of the Constitution”
4:30 Rep. Paul Ryan (WI)
9:00 Panel - Public Attitudes Toward Security
9:30 Panel - Cutting Spending by the Spenders
10:30 Mitt Romney
11:00 Gov. Luis Fortuño (PR)
11:15 Rep. Tom Price (GA)
11:30 Rep. Marsha Blackburn (TN)
11:55 Presentation “Blogger of the Year” Award to Javier Manjarres of The Shark Tank
12:00 Panel - It’s the Spending Stupid! The Tea Party and the Political Landscape
1:00 Sen John Barrasso (WY)
1:30 Sen. John Thune (SD)
2:00 Sen. Mike Lee (UT)
2:15 Panel - Do We Need a Constitutional Amendment to Stop the Spending?
3:00 Tim Pawlenty
3:30 Rep. Ron Paul (TX)
4:00 Gov. Rick Perry (TX)
4:30 Herman Cain
9:00 Andrew Breitbart
9:30 Gov. Haley Barbour (MS)
10:00 David Horowitz
10:15 Panel - Defending Free Speech on Campus
11:00 Rep. Connie Mack (FL)
11:30 Panel - Bleeding America Dry: The Threat of the Public Sector Unions
12:15 Panel - Repealing Obamacare: In the States, In Courts, and In Congress
1:00 Ambassador John Bolton
1:30 Panel - The Nuclear Threat: China and North Korea
2:20 Lifetime Achievement Award Presentation to Pat Boone
2:30 Panel - How to Think About Afghanistan
3:15 Jonah Goldberg
3:45 Ann Coulter
4:15 Rep. Peter Roskam (IL)
4:30 Panel - Changing the Conversation: Winning with Minorities, Women, and Independents
5:15 Straw Poll Results
5:30 Key Note Speaker Rep. Allen West (FL)
Q: Wow, sounds like a lot of fun and a lot of work. Anything I can do to help?
A: Yes, yes, and yes. Our costs to attend are substantial, and we are not paid for efforts. We could certainly appreciate sponsorship to help recoup some costs for the event (none of us being independently wealthy :) ) We’ve already raised $500, and would like to raise about $500 more. Donate at the link below, or buy something in our Mitt Romney 2012 store. All of our items in the store are already paid for now so any purchase would go directly to helping us out a CPAC. Thanks a ton!