CPAC 2015

CPAC 2015

The 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is underway at National Harbor, near the casino construction site, and would-be GOP presidential candidates are trying their luck. CPAC is sometimes called Comic-Con for Conservatives, and there’s certainly lots of fantasy-and-science-fiction role-playing:

John Bolton: “I feel I have a civic obligation to escort Hillary and Bill Clinton to the exit door of American politics.”

Brent Bozell: “Cultural fascism has arrived in America.”

Jeb Bush:  “Our position needs to be to re-engage with a strong military and a strong presence. We can’t disengage in the world and expect a good result. As we pull back, voids are filled. Iraq is the best example of that.”

Ben Carson: “What am I ready for? I’m not ready for Hillary. But what am I ready for? I’m ready for a country who puts our constitution on the top shelf.”

Chris Christie: “Sometimes people have to be told to sit down and shut up.”

Ted Cruz: “We all know that in a campaign, every candidate comes up and tells you, ‘I’m the most conservative guy that’s ever lived,’ that’s just what they say. I’m pretty confident you haven’t seen any speakers come up yet to say, ‘I’m a squishy moderate who stands for nothing.’ … Every one of them will say, ‘You betcha, hoo diddly, I’m as conservative as all get-out.’”

Nigel Farage: “Every time we do these things we’re told by our leaders that it’s to make the streets of London and New York safer. I would claim that we’ve actually enflamed and stoked the fires of militant Islam.”

Carly Fiorina: “Hillary may like hashtags — but she does not know what leadership means.” “I know Bibi Netanyahu” “I know King Abdullah of Jordan”

Sean Hannity: “I can look out in the crowd, I kinda have Fox X-ray vision, and I can see that some of you women, you don’t even know it yet, but you’re pregnant. It’s not your fault. It’s not his fault.”

Laura Ingraham: “Why don’t we just call it quits, and Jeb and Hillary can run on the same ticket.”

Bobby Jindal: “We must repeal every single word of Obamacare.”

Gary Johnson: “The sun is going to come up. Marijuana is going to be legalized.”

Wayne LaPierre: “They’re [Isis] already here. How much longer before the horrors we witnessed in Paris or in Copenhagen come to the supposedly gun-free zone of the Mall of America?”

Mark Levin: “No more excuses. No more whining. No more lying to get you elected. No more crony deals with the U.S. Chamber of crony capitalism,”

Sarah Palin: “They say we can’t kill our way out of war. Really? Tell that to the Nazis. Oh wait, you can’t. They’re dead. We killed ’em.” “While Christians are bowing our heads to pray for you, radical Islamists want to cut off your head.”

Rand Paul: “In the coming weeks I will propose the biggest tax cut in American history, a tax cut on every worker in America. It will cut spending and balance the budget in just five years.”

Rick Perry:  “We had a civil war, two World Wars, a depression. We even survived Jimmy Carter! We will survive the Obama years too!”

Phil Robertson: “I’m trying to help you, for crying out loud, America!” “You lose your religion, according to John Adams, and there goes your morality. We’re almost there. I hate to admit I got my facts from the CDC the day before yesterday — 110 million, 110 million Americans now have a sexually transmitted illness.” “There is a penalty to be paid from what the beatniks, and it morphed into the hippies — you say, what do you call the 110 million with the sexually transmitted illness — it is the revenge of the hippies! Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll have come back to haunt us in a bad way.”

Marco Rubio: “Imagine if we had a president who doesn’t travel the world bad-mouthing America. After all, that’s the UN’s job.”

Rick Santorum: “Ladies and gentlemen, we don’t need a weatherman-in-chief, we need a commander-in-chief to run this country.”

Donald Trump: “We need a wall. If I run, I will tell you, the king of building buildings, the kings of building walls. Nobody can build them like Trump. That I can promise you.”

Scott Walker: “If I can take on 100,000 [union] protesters, I can do the same [with terrorists] across the globe.”


“CPAC: For Conservatives, It’s Burning Man Meets the Super Bowl,” Matthew Cooper, Newsweek

“At CPAC You Have the Right to Get Weird,” Marin Cogan, New York Magazine

“On display at CPAC: How the presidential primary makes GOP candidates simple-minded,” Paul Waldman, Washington Post

“From Metallica to Kelly Clarkson: The Sounds of CPAC,” Ali Elkin, Bloomberg Politics


“5 facts about consistent conservatives,” Drew Silver,



Image (“CPAC 2015, after Sir John Tenniel”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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