National Journal Online

Barbour Blasts Obama; Mum on WH Bid

On the closing day of the nation's largest gathering of conservative activists, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour didn't mince words.

While the two-term Republican didn't tip his hand as to whether he'll run for president in his Saturday morning talk, he offered pointed criticisms of the current White House occupant.

Posted: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 11:53am

Previewing The Sunday Shows

This Sunday brings Egypt to the forefront once again with Egyptian Pres. Hosni Mubarak stepping down Friday. CNN's "State of the Union" will speak with former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Negroponte, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Edward Walker and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), then talk to White House Budget Director Jacob Lew about the president's budget.

Posted: Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 9:30am

Daniels to CPACers: Don't Be 'Suicide Bombers'

In a speech that appeared aimed directly at conservatives wary of his stance on social issues, Indiana Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels bluntly warned participants at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday against spurning candidates and issues capable of attracting broad public support.

"Purity in martyrdom is for suicide bombers," said Daniels, whose potential 2012 presidential candidacy has been defined by his critique of the some of his party's most ardent activists. He also called not-so-subtly for a shift in the party's political tone.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 11:52pm

CPAC Day 2: On Call's Takeaways

National Journal and Hotline were back for day two of CPAC - an early cattle call for 2012 potential presidential candidates, who had a chance to make their pitches. Here are the key takeaways and nuggets from Friday's speeches:

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 8:54pm

ACU Chief on Palin, Huckabee: 'Not Serious'

Take Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee out of the 2012 presidential mix, says Al Cardenas, new chair of the American Conservative Union: If they were serious about running, "they'd probably be here."

Interviewed at the end of the second busy day of his organization's Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, Cardenas dismissed the chances of the two high-profile no-shows.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 7:45pm

Coach Pawlenty Versus Executive Romney

If Mitt Romney is the polished, can-do former executive poised to turn the economy around, a slightly hoarse Tim Pawlenty is the coach who pumps up the team by invoking a winning record, love of country and God.

The two former governors and leading Republican challengers to President Obama gave a preview of their presidential primary contest in contrasting speeches Friday to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 6:21pm

Former Members Want To Run Again, Israel Says

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is keeping in close touch with former incumbents who lost in the 2010 Republican landslide, chairman Steve Israel said Friday, in hopes of recruiting those former members to run again in 2012.

Israel holds weekly conference calls with members who lost in 2010, and a large number of members participate on a weekly basis, he said during an interview to air on Sunday on C-SPAN's Newsmakers program.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 6:10pm

Ron Paul: The CPAC Rock Star

It was clear when Rep. Ron Paul took the stage that he was the reason many CPAC attendees were there.

The day's loudest applause greeted the Texas Congressman upon his entrance in the room, and, echoing the movement that enveloped his 2008 presidential bid, he noted upon taking the podium: "Glad to see the revolution is continuing."

Paul hit hard on his signature rhetoric about the looming destruction of the U.S. dollar, but used events in Egypt to illustrate his point that "the federal reserve creates money out of thin air."

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 6:07pm

Pawlenty Tells Obama To Stop Apologizing For America

When Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty made his CPAC debut as a potential presidential candidate last year, his performance fell flat, leading many pundits to question whether he was ready for prime time.

Fast-forward one year later, and the now-former governor got a much improved reception. He delivered a rip-roaring speech that read like a prosecutorial indictment of the Obama administration, attacking the president on the gamut of issues ranging from health care, foreign policy and his handling of the economy.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 5:58pm

Hatch Takes On His Critics

Continuing his campaign to woo conservatives to his side, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) spoke at CPAC this afternoon, telling the audience he is "prepared to be the most hated man in this godforsaken city" by fighting spending increases and taking on the establishment.

But when a questioner asked Hatch why attendees should trust him given his vote in support of the TARP bailout, Hatch was forced on the defensive, acknowledging he "probably made a mistake" but he cast the vote in order to avoid a depression.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2011 - 4:31pm