Politics

Potential presidential candidates Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann and Trump slam Obama during first day of CPAC

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

A slew of possible 2012 Republican presidential candidates including former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and businessman Donald Trump took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday, and all took jabs at President Barack Obama.

Gingrich said Obama is more than welcome to keynote CPAC next year if the president completes his seven-step plan to move toward the political center – with signing the repeal of Obamacare at the top of the list.

Referencing Time Magazine’s recent attempt to compare Obama to President Ronald Reagan, Gingrich said Obama doesn’t even come close.

“I want the elite media to know something,” Gingrich told the crowd. “I knew Ronald Reagan; Barack Obama is no Ronald Reagan.”

Gingrich focused much of his speech on energy policy and what he thinks the United States should be doing with private sector energy.

Gingrich recommended Obama do away with the Environmental Protection Agency and replace it with the “Environmental Solutions Agency,” in an effort to “cut through all the red tape.”

“How do you invest, and how do you create jobs, and how do create energy production when you know that the next left-wing, ideologically committed, anti-business bureaucrat is trying to take away every single thing you could,” Gingrich said. “We should also go back to a streamlined process with less bureaucrats so we can actually build nuclear power plant[s].”

Santorum criticized Obama’s handling of the political crisis in Egypt, and his foreign policy in general.

“Barack Obama doesn’t believe we have the moral authority anymore to make treaties into other countries to help spread this objective truth that Reagan and Bush believed in,” Santorum said. “Well, there are real consequences to what Barack Obama did and we’re seeing them play out on the world stage today. We saw it in its basic stage in the early part of his administration when we turned our backs on the Poles and the Czechs. We turned our backs on the Israelis, we turned our backs on the Brits. We turned our backs on almost every one of our allies.”

Trump ripped into Obama’s economic policies, specifically on the national debt and budget. Speaking hypothetically about a presidential candidacy, Trump said he would “fight to end Obamacare and replace it with something that makes sense for people in business and not bankrupt the country,” adding that he pledges to not raise taxes if elected. Trump said he’s pro-life and against gun control.

Trump took a dig at Texas Congressman Ron Paul, too, saying he has “zero chance” of getting elected, though he thinks Paul is a “good guy.”

Bachmann slammed Obama over the recent visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, saying Americans should be asking Obama, “Hu’s your daddy?” She also focused on repealing Obamacare.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld received the American Conservative Union’s “Defender of the Constitution” award, and took the stage following an introduction from former Vice President Dick Cheney. Cheney and Rumsfeld both recalled the days when fighting socialism was something they did outside of the United States, not inside, as they’re forced to do now.

Tea Party star Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, ruffled some feathers when he called for entitlement reform and military budget cuts. He also called for abolishing the Department of Education and other federal agencies that aren’t specifically provided for in the U.S. Constitution.

Big names to look for on Friday include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, Utah Sen. Mike Lee, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain and Texas Rep. Ron Paul.

  • fluffy

    RON PAUL IS CONSISTENT……..HE DOESN’T BELONG TO NEO-CON REPUBLICANS (BUSH’S CLOSE ALLY’S) HE’S WITH THE PEOPLE. I’LL SUPPORT HIM ANYTIME OVER REPUBLICRATS! CHOOSE THE CONSTITUTION’! CHOOSE PAUL’!

  • mickeywhite

    Bachmann and Blackburn supports the Patriot Act.
    Marsha Blackburn Voted FOR:
    Omnibus Appropriations, Special Education, Global AIDS Initiative, Job Training, Unemployment Benefits, Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations, Agriculture Appropriations, FY2004 Foreign Operations Appropriations, U.S.-Singapore Trade, U.S.-Chile Trade, Supplemental Spending for Iraq & Afghanistan, Flood Insurance Reauthorization , Prescription Drug Benefit, Child Nutrition Programs, Surface Transportation, Job Training and Worker Services, Agriculture Appropriations, Foreign Aid, Debt Limit Increase, Fiscal 2005 Omnibus Appropriations, Vocational/Technical Training, Supplemental Appropriations, UN “Reforms.” Patriot Act Reauthorization, CAFTA, Katrina Hurricane-relief Appropriations, Head Start Funding, Line-item Rescission, Oman Trade Agreement, Military Tribunals, Electronic Surveillance, Head Start Funding, COPS Funding, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Peru Free Trade Agreement, Economic Stimulus, Farm Bill (Veto Override), Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extention.

    Marsha Blackburn Voted AGAINST:
    Ban on UN Contributions, eliminate Millennium Challenge Account, WTO Withdrawal, UN Dues Decrease, Defunding the NAIS, Iran Military Operations defunding Iraq Troop Withdrawal, congress authorization of Iran Military Operations, Withdrawing U.S. Soldiers from Afghanistan.

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :
    http://mickeywhite.blogspot.com/2009/09/tn-congressman-marsha-blackburn-votes.html
    Mickey

  • klgrube

    No one who spoke or participated in this sham of a conference will get my support for any election or for their organization. I wish that didn’t include Michele Bachman, CitizenLink, the Eagle Forum, the Ronald Reagan Foundation, and some of the others who chose to disrespect their own stated values by being there along with that horrible gay activist group GOProud. I won’t stand behind anyone who compromises their values like that. What they said during their speeches is meaningless next to the fact that they gave conservative conver and a certain level of credibility to this reprehensible group. Just go look at their website! They were giddy about the repeal of DADT, seeing it as an opening to gay “marriage.” In what univers is that a conservative value? They should NEVER have been allowed to participate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bonnie-Sweitzer/100000084887330 Bonnie Sweitzer

    I agree that Obama and Reagan are dissimilar!

    Reagan appeared (and was) the good guy in the white hat, whereas Obama comes off as a prissy lecturer.

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