Vowing to put on a Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) “like nobody has ever seen,” CPAC directors emphasized that this year’s annual gathering of conservatives will put a special emphasis on activism and training while also, unlike in recent years past, having forums on immigration, border security, and jihad.
On Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125, Matt Schlapp, the Chairman of the American Conservative Union (ACU), said that Republicans who thought that just focusing on the economy and statistics would be enough to win national elections “had their nirvana” moment with Mitt Romney, who was a good man who understood business and markets but “just felt cold” to Americans.
Schlapp said that Ronald Reagan succeeded in politics by bringing together people who cared about culture, national defense, and free markets and low taxes. He said that coalition has to be put together again for the conservative movement to be successful and to “not talk about those things” that have always made up the GOP’s three-legged stool is a big political error.” Schlapp noted that Republicans have not won a landslide election since 1988, when George H.W. Bush won Reagan’s third term.
Schlapp told host and Breitbart News Executive Chairman said “this is not just about talk but action” and said this year’s CPAC–which will be held Thursday through Saturday in just outside of D.C. at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland–is adding another day to the conference, making Wednesday before the festivities a full day of training for attendees. Morton Blackwell from the Leadership Institute and representatives from the Young America’s Foundation will be among those who will help activists on how to be more effective online, get booked on radio shows, and communicate conservative ideas in a way that will make a difference in their communities.
Schalpp said that “it starts with doing one thing that leads to another thing.”
“We hope to spur them on at CPAC,” he said, noting that activists will be reminded often that the conference’s theme is “conservative action starts here.”
Dan Schneider, the ACU Executive Director, noted that 14 different organizations that focus on campaigns and activism will be helping conservatives on Wednesday and throughout the conference in what he proclaimed would be the most “robust, comprehensive training program” in the conference’s history. Schneider also said that the best and the brightest in the conservative movement will be speaking at breakout sessions and forums on topics like jihad, immigration, and border security in addition to numerous other topics.
“If you have a society where the culture is free and you’ve got an economy where people can exercise their skills and you can’t secure your borders, then all is lost,” he said. “Conversely, If you’ve got a great defense and you don’t have something worth defending, then you don’t really have a nation. You’ve got to combine all three to have the kind of country that our Founders envisioned.”
Schneider noted that Reagan, who advocated “bold colors” instead of “pale pastels” at CPAC, was the conference’s first keynote speaker and spoke 13 times at the gathering.
“CPAC is where conservatism began with Ronald Reagan,” Schneider said.