Ted Cruz dominated, Rick Santorum flopped and Bobby Jindal found his niche.
At the latest GOP cattle call, about a dozen presidential contenders rolled through a Washington, D.C. ballroom over a three-day period to tout their socially conservative bona fides at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s “Road to Majority” conference. Most of the 2016 hopefuls managed to impress evangelical and other conservative Christian voters by championing religious freedom, highlighting support for traditional marriage and stressing the importance of family and family values.
Some of the speakers — including Jeb Bush and Chris Christie — had solid performances, earning applause but not generating much buzz from conference attendees. Others, like John Kasich, barely animated the crowd at all. Then there were the handful of speakers who stood out, either for exceptionally sharp performances — or for surprisingly weak ones.
Here is POLITICO’s look at the winners and losers from the Faith and Freedom Coalition conference, based on speech content, audience reception and attendee buzz:
Cruz flat-out owned this event, firing up the crowd like no other candidate did — attendees were still talking about him two days after he spoke.
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