One thing remained stalwart throughout– fealty to former President Trump
During the first full day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), speakers hit cancel culture, China, Big Tech and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
But one thing pervaded it all — fealty to former President Trump.
Here are some of Friday’s biggest moments:
Cruz jokes about Cancun, vows Trump-style populist Republicans here to stay
“The Republican Party is not the party just of the country clubs. The Republican Party is the party of steelworkers and construction workers and pipeline workers and taxi cab drivers and cops and firefighters, and waiters and waitresses and the men and women with callouses on their hands who are working for this country. That is our party and these deplorables are here to stay,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said to loud cheers
“Let me tell you this right now: Donald J. Trump ain’t goin’ anywhere,” Cruz said to a standing ovation.
Cruz also made light of his controversial brief trip with his family to Cancun, Mexico, earlier this month as his home state of Texas was pounded by a deadly winter storm that sparked a severe power and water crisis.
Cruz, who’s acknowledged that his trip to Mexico was a mistake, joked at the top of his speech that “Orlando is awesome. It’s not as nice as Cancun, but it’s nice.”
Gaetz hits Cuomo, Liz Cheney
“Speaking of people who should lose primaries, if Liz Cheney were on this stage today she’d get booed off of it. The leadership of our party is not found in Washington, D.C.,” Rep. Matt Gaetz told the crowd. Cheney was the most prominent GOP member of the House to vote to impeach Trump.
He also pointed to the media’s glowing treatment of Cuomo throughout much of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Now, the fake news media and their allies in Silicon Valley made Governor Cuomo out to be some iconic cross between King David and Tom Brady — What a big lie that turned out to be,” Gaetz remarked.
Gaetz added that former aides to the three-term governor claimed he suggested other staffers engage in “strip poker,” referring to a recent sexual harassment allegation against the governor. Cuomo denies the charge.
“Meanwhile, they were ‘stripping’ Granny out of the COVID ward at the hospital and tossing her in the nursing home in just enough time to infect everybody and then go back to the hospital so that deaths could be recategorized for politics.”
Cawthorn eviscerates Democrats, says they’re trying to ‘buy votes’
Rep. Madison Cawthorn, R-N.C., the youngest House member at 25, told the crowd that “brutal and vicious Democrats” want to turn the U.S. into a “Communist ash heap.”
Cawthorn said the U.S. is “walking down a road very near socialism. They are trying to turn this country into a Communist ash heap. It is not enough take on the status quo and say, I’ll just patiently wait for my time.”
“My friends. If we do that we will not have a country to inherit. We have to make sure our country is responsible or, my friends, we will lose this nation,” he continued.
“It is time to stand up and say we are no longer just going to react to what the Democrats do when they try to when they try to do all of these major spending bills,” the North Carolina Republican said.
Cawthorn said the “conservative idea” must cease to be “we’re going to come give you our own version of the liberal idea that just costs a little bit less.”
Cotton defends call for Insurrection Act, slams ‘child mob’ at the NYT
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark, who ignited turmoil at the New York Times when he wrote an op-ed calling for federal troops to handle civic unrest last summer under the Insurrection Act, assailed critics at the paper as “social justice warriors” and a “child mob.”
“Conservatives should never apologize for backing the blue,” he said, referring to law enforcement officers. “Whether it’s a child mob at The New York Times or a social media mob or an actual mob in our streets, we will never bend the knee to a politically correct mob ever.”
Hawley scores applause for talking about Electoral College objections
The Missouri Republican said he’d brought forth an objection to Pennsylvania’s electoral votes to “have a debate over election integrity.” Allegations of mass voter fraud had already been shot down in court.
Donald Trump lost the Electoral College vote to President Biden 306-232.
“What was the result of that? I was called a traitor,” he told the crowd, “I was called seditious, the radical left said I should resign,” or be forced out, he said, to boisterous cheering.
“I thought it was an important stand to take, and for that, the left has come after me. They tried to silence me. They canceled a book,” Hawley, a staunch ally of former President Trump, said.