Featured speakers at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) took aim at the president, vice president, soda-haters, gun-haters, and even some of those in their own party during a series of three-day speeches. They topped it off by picking Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in the symbolic presidential straw poll.
Watch a few of the top moments here.
NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre tells the audience that “NRA’s nearly 5 million members…will not back down, not ever. I promise you that.”
Former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin is no fan of gun-control laws (in case you weren’t sure). “More background checks? Dandy idea, Mr. President. Should have started with yours,” she quipped.
Palin also took time to dig her GOPers. “Even our guys in the GOP have a habit of reading their stage directions, especially these days,” she said. “They’re being too scripted, too calculated, they talk about rebuilding the party. How about rebuilding the middle class?”
Failed GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney offered some rather benign advice to President Obama: “Do whatever you can to keep America strong, to keep America prosperous and free, and the most-powerful nation on Earth.”
But Romeny also admitted to the roomful of conservatives that he probably couldn’t help them chart the path to 2016 much. “As someone who just lost the last election,” he said, ”I’m probably not the best person to chart the course for the next election.”
Successful politician Donald…er, successful TV personality Donald Trump told the audience that “our country is in very, very serious trouble.” He also skewered Republican strategist Karl Rove: “When you spend $400 million and it’s a failure, and you don’t have one victory, you know there’s something seriously, seriously wrong.”