There is a strong chance that one of the speakers at last week’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland will be the next president of the United States. But it remains to be seen which candidate – and which message – will bring the Republican Party back to the Oval Office.
Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson kicked off the conference with a rousing speech on Obamacare, saying that it was the responsibility of the people and not the government to take care of the indigent.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker drew a standing ovation by criticizing Obama for calling ISIS a “JV” team. Walker said that America needs to stand up to radical Islam before it comes to our shores again.
Another fan favorite was Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who won CPAC’s presidential straw poll for the third year in a row. Paul’s speech condemned government surveillance and excessive interrogation methods.
Florida Governor Jeb Bush gave a more controversial speech, reiterating his support for a path to legal status for 11 million illegal aliens. He also stipulated that the U.S. – Mexican border be further secured.
Almost every speech touched on the same burning question — what will it take to put a conservative in the White House?
Texas Senator Ted Cruz addressed this directly, saying that nominating a moderate Republican candidate like John McCain or Mitt Romney would be “a losing strategy.”
Whether or not Cruz is right, one thing is clear – Republicans need to nominate whichever candidate has the best chance of winning.
In the end, a party that can’t beat Hillary Clinton isn’t much of a party at all.