Third Party CPAC Roundup 2/10/11

Unfortunately my group could not get to the event until about 3:45 PM, but I did get to browse around some of the happenings at CPAC in relation to the Independent and third party world.

The Conservative Party USA, not to be confused with the myriad of other political parties at the state and national level with the label ‘conservative, has a booth this year. I spoke with one of their organizers- when I asked if they were founding a fully functioning party with this effort, she informed me that they did not feel the Republican Party was an effective mechanism to advance conservatism and that they sought a new vehicle for such a process. They are emphasizing a Project Mayberry, which seeks to focus on local offices first. She also indicated a willingness to work with other third parties. The group will host a “Conservative Summit” tomorrow at 1:00 PM in the Jefferson Room.

Also manning a booth was the Libertarian Party. Wes Benedict, the LP Executive Director, was present. Emphasizing its conservative appeal, the booth featured a “Republican Wall of Shame” emphasizing perceived sins of prominent GOP politicos and asked passers-by to take the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz.”

Although they now work within the major parties, two prominent politicians commonly associated with the Libertarian had turned out numerous supporters: Representative Ron Paul and former Governor Gary Johnson. The former was a presidential candidate for the LP in 1988 and is a lifetime dues-paying member of the party; the latter was on the party rolls for a few years and was courted to run on the LP ballot line in 2000 and 2004. Both voted for Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin in the 2008 presidential election.

It was clear that those associated with these two candidates, primarily members of Campaign For Liberty, had a large number of activists at the conference. Do not be surprised to see Ron Paul win a solid victory straw poll on Saturday and Gary Johnson to poll a respectable showing as a 2nd choice candidate.

Sometimes there was even fireworks between two candidates who have been associated with third parties. When Donald Trump, who considered a Reform Party bid for President in 2000, took the stage, he attacked Paul as ‘unelectable’, sparking relative silence from the long-time congressman.
To readers at CPAC: What minor party or Independent activity do you see in the background at this event?

46 thoughts on “Third Party CPAC Roundup 2/10/11

  1. Sebastian Knowlton

    Donald Trump is somebody who has blown his inherited fortune twice and has zero net worth (he owns everything on credit). He carries zero credibility and is an embarrassment to America.

    As per his Paul comment, he’s also proven himself to be a fucking cunt. That is all.

  2. Robert Capozzi

    Hmm, Trump said he likes Paul and some of the things he stands for. Does anyone really think he’s electable? I agree with Trump, actually. Even Gary Johnson is likely unelectable in 2012, IMO, although who knows, maybe 2016?

  3. NewFederalist

    Who do you refer to by “he”? Trump or Paul? I don’t personally see any of the three (including Johnson) as particularly electable for president in 2012.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    nf, Paul. Agreed, all 3 aren’t electable. Of the 3, I’d see Johnson as least unelectable. The Rs, however, are not like the Ds, who seem to nominate more “unknowns.” The Rs seem to have a more next-in-line approach to nominating prez candidates.

    Trump is just a sideshow, IMO. I do still want to see him and Jimmy McMillan in the same debate for some yucks only.

  5. NewFederalist

    Thanks for the clarification. I agree that Trump is not really serious. He may be looking for leverage to use with NBC to try to save is source of cash flow (The Apprentice).

  6. paulie

    I was going to post this with a headline something like “supporters of former alt party candidates clash at CPAC” and tie it in with Ron Paul 88 and Trump 2000 (Reform Party). Maybe too redundant now, or is it?

    If CPAC is a primary for self-confidence, Donald Trump won hands down.

    The real-estate mogul with a genius for self-promotion gave the most-acclaimed — and most colorful — speech at the conservative gathering this afternoon, from the moment he took the stage to the song “Money, Money, Money.”
    Continue Reading

    With no visible sense of irony, he slammed libertarian Ron Paul as a losing hopeful who can’t capture the brass ring and got booed by some for it, said our current president came ‘out of nowhere,” and quoted a business magazine’s story about what a terrific entrepreneur he himself is.

    Yet he was by far the best-received speaker and the audience lapped up his act, as he read some of a prepared speech and used his hands to punctuate his words. He also hit on social issues “briefly,” as he said, saying he’s pro-life and anti-gun control. He said he’d dismantle Obama’s health care law.

    The ballroom attendance bulked up massively in advance of his speech, with conference staffers pleading with people to stop blocking the stairwells and doors.

    “You’re hired!” a fan screamed from the crowd, and he pointed back at her and said, “You’re hired! These are my people. This is beautiful.”

    Supporters of Paul, who are notoriously rabid in defending him and whose son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, was the next speaker, booed wildly when he said, “by the way, Ron Paul can’t get elected, I’m sorry. … I like Ron Paul, I think he is a good guy but honesty he just has zero chance of getting elected and I can tell you this, if I run and if I win this country will be respected again”:

    He added there are “tactics and strategies involved in any form of leadership and I’m well acquainted with both. I’m also well acquainted with winning and that’s what this country needs now, winning.”
    The pro-Paul boos were outdone by applause from people who ate the speech up.

    “It’s a wonderful forum and an honor to be here,” he said. “While I’m not at this time a candidate for the presidency, I will decide by June whether or not I will become one and I will tell you the reason that I’m thinking about it is the US has become a whipping post for the rest of the world. The world is treating us without respect, they are not treating us properly.”

    He added there was no “quality leadership,” and said “the U.S. is becoming the laughingstock of the world.”

    “I deal with people in China,” he said, as a way of showing he knows how other countries view America.

    “Our current president came out of nowhere — in fact I’ll go a step further,” he said. “The people who went to school with him, they never saw him, they don’t know who he is.”

    He called Obama a “wonderful guy, nice man, but there is no record.”

    He cited his own experience in business, and said he’d been called “the world’s most competitive business person.”

    “I don’t know if that’s true or not, but that’s what the [a magazine article] said,” he declared — adding that he is “known for my candor. I’ve had a lot of great victories and I may be willing to put that to work.”

  7. paulie

    For those that don’t know, one difference between Trump and Paul is that Trump is a lot more protectionist on the trade issue.

    I’m not sure what his views are on all the issues, but it sounds like they might be a lot like Pat Buchanan’s…although I don’t know whether that extends to foreign policy.

  8. NewFederalist

    Trump’s views are a lot like… well, er… Morgus Fedderstample. Yeah, that’s it Morgus Fedderstample. Nobody knows what his views are, either!

  9. paulie

    Well, I know some of his views.

    He’s an economic protectionist.

    Per the politico article @ 7, he’s pro-life and anti-gun control. He said he’d dismantle Obama’s “health care” law.

  10. AroundtheblockAFT

    The only guys I’d trust who wear a dead racoon on their heads are Dan’l Boone and Davy Crockett.

  11. NewFederalist

    paulie @10- I think you are on target that he is somewhere in the mold of Pat Buchanan or Lou Dobbs. I don’t think he is going to run, however. There was a story about him getting a divorce from his latest luscious lovely but that seems to have gone away. Perhaps that story would clash with the presidential bid story. Trump is just one big story.

  12. paulie

    Cross posted from another thread:


    Steve // Feb 11, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Sorry to hijack a thread, but I just saw this and this was the newest Root thread: according to Politico, Donald Trump?s CPAC speech included the line ?The people who went to school with him, they never saw him, they don?t know who he is.? I wonder if he got this from Root?
    Then scroll to their report card for Trump.

    35 paulie // Feb 11, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    Trump: GOP :: Root: LP?

    36 paulie // Feb 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    BTW Steve just as a suggestion?maybe discuss that in the CPAC thread instead?

    37 Robert Capozzi // Feb 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Paulie, you?re scaring me?I was thinking that VERY thought this morning?Root as demi Trump.

  13. paulie

    @ 14 I don’t think it would embarrass Trump into not running that he has bee/will be divorced more than once.

    Giuliani had a messy divorce, and ran anyway.
    Hell, Newt Gingrich is looking like he might run, and he’s been through it a few times.

    And conservatives still love Rush Limbaugh, no matter how many times he has been divorced and remarried.

    Trump is not a guy who is ashamed of controversy or shy about bad press.

  14. NewFederalist

    I guess it would have to be Trump since he hold “progressive” views on divorce! The real problem is who is the Libertarian? 😉

  15. Michael H. Wilson

    Paulie writes; “Trump is not a guy who is ashamed of controversy or shy about bad press.”

    And I reply; he also has a terrible comb over, if that is what we can call it.

  16. RedPhillips

    @Paulie #7, I think this deserves its own thread. Everyone is talking about it. I was going to do one too. There is some YouTube footage of what he said and the reaction from the Paul folks.

    The reason people responded well to him is because by political standards he is a huge star. The people who go to these types of things are often star struck anyway. But if you are excited to see Grover Norquist or some talking head you’ve seen on TV a few times, imagine how much more excited you will be to see some mega celebrity like Trump. Remember what they say about politics and DC. It’s Hollywood for ugly people.

  17. Gene Berkman

    William Shatner does better as a parody of himself than The Donald does.

    Of course if he ran for President and lost, he could go on TV and say:”I have just one message for the American people: Your’re fired.”

  18. Pingback: Donald Trump, Ron Paul supporters clash at CPAC 2011 | Independent Political Report

  19. LibertarianGirl

    CPAC 2011: Report from the ‘Conservative Woodstock’

    While Sen. Jim DeMint and the Heritage Foundation are boycotting this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) because out of over 100 vendors with booths, one of them happens to be an organization of gay conservatives: GOProud. On the other hand, two of the highest profile social-conservative women, Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle, both said yesterday they support the inclusion of GOProud in the conference.

    Tolerance 1, Gayphobics 0.

    Another brouhaha flamed up (no pun intended) yesterday when conservative RedState blogger Eric Erickson weighed in with a post slamming GOProud chief Chris Barron for referring in an interview to longtime conservative activists Cleta Mitchell, who is on the board of directors for CPAC, of being a “nasty bigot” for working so hard to have GOProud kicked out to of the conference.

    “GOProud has taken one of the favorite leftist bullet points and brought it straight into CPAC,” Erickson wrote yesterday. “You oppose affirmative action? You’re a racist. You oppose gay marriage? You’re a bigot.”

    Point well taken. Yes, the left does do that quite often.

    But just like it’s OK to yell fire in a crowded theater if there really is a fire and it’s OK to call David Duke a racist, sometimes it’s perfectly accurate to refer to a bigot as a bigot. I’m not saying that’s the case in Cleta’s case; but I am saying that many of the loudest voices in opposition to inclusion of GOProud at CPAC are, indeed, bigots. Some of them pretty nasty.

    That said, Barron responded late yesterday with a healthy dose of class.

    “For the past six months, we have watched as unfair and untrue attacks have been leveled against our organization, our allies, our friends and sometimes even their families,” he said in a written statement. “Everyone has their breaking point and clearly in my interview with Metro Weekly I had reached mine. I shouldn’t have used the language that I did to describe Cleta Mitchell and for that I apologize.”

    Which brings me back to Mr. Erickson.

    In defending Mitchell and counter-attacking GOProud, Erickson proclaimed that GOProud was not a conservative organization because of a few differences with social conservatives on a small number of issues. But the fact is, as I demonstrated a couple weeks ago (click here), GOProud absolutely is a conservative organization.

    It’d be nice if Mr. Erickson would exhibit the same level of class by now apologizing to GOProud…and then we could all go out for white wine spritzers and pastries to celebrate!

    Which brings me to the Paultards…or as Mr. Erickson refers to them, the “Mo’Rons.”

    As usual when discussing this subject, it is important to point out that not all supporters of Rep. Ron Paul are Paultards and Mo’rons. Only the fringe ones who act like Paultards and Mo’rons. And they were out in force at CPAC yesterday.

    After a lifetime of distinguished service to the nation – fighting enemies, both domestic and foreign – CPAC bestowed its annual “Defender of the Constitution” award on former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The CPAC crowd enjoyed an additional treat when former Vice President Dick Cheney was announced as the surprise presenter of the award.

    Anyway, Ron Paul has been an active critic of America’s war effort and does, indeed, raise some excellent points in his arguments. That said, it is inarguable that Secretary Rumsfeld has served his nation honorably for the better part of four decades. He was absolutely deserving of the award and recognition.

    Now when Rumsfeld was announced, most of the crowd cheered heartily, but many of the Ron Paul supporters in the audience booed just as loudly. And I was good with that. However, during prepared remarks by both Cheney and Rumsfeld, a number of the more unhinged elements continued to shout and heckle from the audience.

    Well, that’s just rude. And uncalled for. And…stupid.

    If this small band of Paultards and Mo’rons think they’re helping their cause and their candidate by acting like ill-mannered, drunken teenagers enjoying their first beer, they are sadly mistaken. Instead, they bring discredit to Congressman Paul and what he stands for. Instead of winning friends and influencing people, all these numbnuts are doing is further cementing the perception that Paul’s libertarian philosophy, which he shares with the Founding Fathers, is out there on the fringe.

    In fact, it may well be the juvenile, often angry, actions of Paultards and Mo’rons which led Donald Trump, another surprise speaker at yesterday’s Day One CPAC program, to say, “I like Ron Paul, but he has zero chance of being elected.”

    Of course, Trump was talking about being elected president, not being elected to Congress, which Paul has done successfully 11 times.

    I’ll conclude by noting that yesterday may also have signaled a turning point and a passing of the torch when it comes to the family Paul. Ron Paul may or may not run for president again in 2012. But if he does, I suspect all but the most ardent Paultards and Mo’rons recognize that, once again, he’ll come up short. And at his age, this would certainly be his last hurrah.

    However, yesterday’s appearance and speech by Paul’s son, newly elected U.S. Senator Rand Paul, assured that someone in the family biz would pick up where the senior Paul is leaving off. While conservative Sen. Jim DeMint boycotted CPAC this year because he doesn’t like gays and thought GOProud should be kicked out, Rand Paul addressed CPAC and made the event his own.

    Jim DeMint has done some good things for the conservative movement over recent years, but in listening to Rand Paul speak, you got the impression that the man is destined to do some great things for the movement in the years to come. And he’s just getting’ warmed up.

    OK, I gotta get back to CPAC….

    Chuck Muth

  20. Porn Again Christian

    That said, it is inarguable that Secretary Rumsfeld has served his nation honorably for the better part of four decades

    Oh really?

  21. Jill Pyeatt

    “That said, it is inarguable that Secretary Rumsfeld has served his nation honorably for the better part of four decades”

    Yeah, barf on this. Cheney and Rumsfeld are both war criminals, IMO. I’m delighted that they were yelled at yesterday, and I hope the various videos of the incident get played over and over again.

  22. Porn Again Christian

    We should start calling publicly for their arrest and war crimes trials. All alternative political parties, all independents, all anti-establishment candidates.

    If you are reading this, do something about it.

  23. paulie

    Another one that may or may not become an IPR story.

    Johnson is a past, but not current, Libertarian Party member. If he runs, it will be for the Republican nomination. We’ve covered Gary Johnson related items several times, but we don’t follow news about him here as closely as we do actual alt party/independent candidates.

    If anyone has a strong opinion one way or the other as to whether this should be an IPR story or not, please post a followup comment.

    Video at original link.

    Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson (R) is one of the many coy presidential contenders speaking at CPAC this year. He hasn’t said officially if he’s running for president, but he showed up here with staff who are on the ground for him in Iowa and New Hampshire, as well as a slew of Gary Johnson for President signs. CPAC is generally very welcoming of Republican presidential contenders, giving them space on the dais to speak and time to make their case to the thousands gathered here.

    Unless they’re pot-legalization supporting libertarians like Johnson. Those, they throw off the stage.

    Johnson’s supporters are of the Team Ron Paul mold: young, libertarian and desperate for a GOP that stops caring about gay marriage and starts caring about eliminating the Fed. There are plenty of them here at CPAC, and the conservatives in attendance seem willing to accommodate them. Up to a point.

    Paul will get a big slot on stage Friday, and his supporters may win him the all-important (but not really) straw poll Saturday. But Johnson’s name wasn’t even on the schedule before he spoke this morning, and a Johnson staffer told me that CPAC “bumped us then un-bumped us a few times.”

    In the end, they gave Johnson 15 minutes Friday morning, which he spent touting his many vetoes while governor (750, he said) and calling on the Republican Party to make a deal with Democrats to repeal the Medicare prescription drug plan that President Bush signed along with the health care reform bill that President Obama signed.

    Johnson had just moved on to immigration when, all of a sudden, country music began to swell. The day’s emcee, Pajama Media’s Roger Simon, popped out from behind the curtain and stood to Johnson’s right, waiting. Clearly, Johnson’s CPAC moment was over.

    The Johson staffer told TPM: “Yeah, they played him off.”

  24. paulie

    Posted at

    CPAC: Libertarianism has hijacked the GOP

    It was hard to walk around CPAC today and not run into libertarians. Last year’s CPAC was dominated by the Ron Paul crowd who eventually got their candidate to win the straw poll, but this year’s CPAC was even more flooded. Not only did the Campaign for Liberty sell out of tickets two weeks ago, but this year there were more libertarian and humble-foreign-policy conservatism groups than ever before. Gary Johnson’s Our America Initiative took up a full booth, as did the Committee for the Republic a loose coalition of antiwar conservatives affiliated with The American Conservative, the Republican Liberty Caucus and both Young Americans for Liberty and Students for Liberty were at the event as was the libertarian think tank The Independent Institute. Speakers such as libertarian Republicans Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Gary Johnson spoke in the main gallery, and Justin Amash had a special reception at CPAC with Young Americans for Liberty. It is an easy estimate that a full 50% of attendees of this formerly mainstream conservative conference were actually libertarian activists.

    I spoke to Gary Johnson at CPAC who had moderate and restrained foreign policy views compared to the rest of pottential 2012 Republican contenders. Johnson wants to abolish all foreign and military aid to all other countries, however he wants to maintain all military alliances – including those with NATO, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. He states that such military alliances allow “burden sharing” thus lessening the costs on America. He also supports sanctions on Iran’s nuclear program, and a 43% cut in the United Nations budget, while opposing both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and wanting withdrawl.

    In all its been an interesting event.

    Posted by Abu Hatem on February 11, 2011 in U.S. politics | Permalink

    Actually, I believe it was Goldwater conservatives (libertarian leaning Republicans) who STARTED CPAC. So if we hijacked it, we only hijacked it BACK.

    Posted by: spinnikerca | 2011-02-11 10:47:32 PM

  25. paulie

    From John Grooms at Creative Loafing, a free weekly newspaper for the Atlanta area, with a mostly liberal/progressive readership and editorial slant…

    “Yesterday at CPAC, the big conservative conference in D.C., Ron Paul supporters and other libertarians in the crowd spoiled a sweet Bush-era reunion by launching a shouting match and protest action. First, Donald Rumsfeld was brought onstage, where CPAC was to present him with, unbelievable as it sounds, its “Defender Of The Constitution” award. Many Ron Paul supporters immediately got up and walked out en masse. When things settled down, the host introduced the presenter for Rummy’s award, former VP Dick Cheney. A majority of the audience stood and cheered but, as Cheney stood at the podium soaking up the love, boos from some libertarians could also be heard, as well as shouts of “Where’s bin Laden?” and “You’re a war criminal!” That led the pro-Cheney majority to shout down the libertarian hecklers with the always-original old favorite, “USA! USA!”

    It’s the second time this week that libertarians in the GOP have done something American lefties agree with. Earlier in the week, a startling temporary coalition of liberal Dems and libertarian Republicans squelched the re-authorization of parts of the Patriot Act, in protest of the law’s disregard for Americans’ civil liberties. It’s often been noted that serious liberals and serious libertarians agree on several major issues, including civil liberties and a “take care of America first,” non-interventionist foreign policy. Here’s hoping the two factions get together and find areas on which they can cooperate in Congress. One suggestion: Start work on shutting down many of the nearly 1,000 foreign military bases our government operates at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Meanwhile, here’s a video of Cheney’s reception at CPAC.”

  26. paulie

    Lee Doren at

    This is Day 2 of CPAC 2011. Yesterday, there were serious internet issues. Hopefully, the same problem will not happen again.

    9:30am: Gary Johnson is talking about the number of bills he vetoed, and that he is running for President. He was introduced as the “Libertarian’s Libertarian.” He argues for legalizing marijuana and cutting a massive amount of government programs. There was a larger applause for the latter. He closed by saying the Republican Party is the only Party capable of fixing the country.

  27. paulie

    at (excerpts)

    Gary Johnson is getting tired of the Ron Paul comparisons.

    The former New Mexico governor whose libertarian-oriented politics frequently draws analogies to Paul—the Texas congressman who commands a devoted following on the right—wants to make clear that there’s an important distinction to make between him and his longtime libertarian hero.

    Johnson was known as Governor No.

    Paul is simply Dr. No.

    “There was a big difference between Ron Paul and me when it came to the ‘no,’” Johnson told POLITICO. “His ‘no’ was philosophical. It was reasoned. It was right. My ‘no’ actually put a stop to legislation. It cut spending. Mine carried further than just no. I had to follow through with the debate, discussion and dialogue on why my ‘no’ wouldn’t result in people starving, schools being shut down and the delivery of services to the poor wasn’t going to be curtailed.”

    With Paul still considered a prospect for the 2012 GOP presidential race, that message is increasingly consequential for Johnson since the two would likely battle for the same slice of voters.


    Breaking out from under the Paul shadow and establishing himself as a serious contender hasn’t been an easy endeavor for the two-term governor. The Conservative Political Action Conference, the center of the conservative activist world this week, rebuffed Johnson for weeks saying there wasn’t room for him in the speaking schedule alongside Paul and other would-be 2012 candidates. Finally, two days before the event, it extended a last-minute invite.

    But Johnson, 58, isn’t exactly a nobody. His political advocacy group, Our America Initiative, has scored two of Paul’s 2008 campaign veterans — former fundraising director Jonathan Bydlak and e-campaign director Justine Lam — known for tapping the power of the web for record-breaking fund-raising “money bombs.”

    At CPAC supporters waved placards reading, “Gary Johnson Rocks” and “Gary Johnson for President 2012.”

    He says Paul’s plans for 2012 aren’t factored into his calculus as both weigh a potential bid for the White House.


    Ditto for the 75-year-old libertarian standard-bearer. Asked if Johnson would tip his own prospects on running again, Paul told POLITICO, “Probably not.”

    The two have a history together. Johnson and Paul first met in 2004 and Paul invited the former governor, who made waves during his second term calling for the decriminalization of drugs, to Washington to speak to his Liberty Caucus about drug policy.

    When Paul ran for president in 2008, Johnson was the highest ranking public official to endorse him. He later spoke at the “Rally for the Republic,” a parallel Minneapolis convention held when Paul was not invited to speak at the Republican National Convention.

    “I love Ron Paul,” Johnson declared to loud applause. “We need to abolish the Federal Reserve.”

    They remain friendly. In November, Johnson swung through Texas for several Our America events and paid Paul a visit. And Paul has said repeatedly he could support Johnson if the former governor ran for president in 2012.

    “He’s the most libertarian person — other than myself — that has been talking about it,” Paul told POLITICO in late December.

    With the exception of immigration and abortion, the two men speak in harmony on just about every issue. Paul ran for president under the Libertarian Party banner in 1988, and the Libertarian Party unsuccessfully tried to recruit Johnson as a presidential candidate in 2000.

    The Our America website asks, “You say you want a revolution?” bringing to mind Paul’s manifesto, “The Revolution.”

    Still, Johnson has recently made a point to distinguish himself from Paul. He stressed to POLITICO his political record of vetoing 750 bills during his two terms — more than the other 49 governors combined at that time— and thousands of line-item cuts in the state budget.

    “People get caught up in the politics. ‘Oh gosh, if I veto this or that I’ll be labeled as unelectable,’” he said. “I vetoed all that stuff and found out just the opposite. In a state that’s 2-to-1 Democratic, I got reelected.”

    Read more:

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