Watch live video of the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference here.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), an emerging leader of the new generation of conservative Republicans in Congress, on Saturday urged conservatives to double down on their principles and said the movement has started winning the debate.
"For the last three weeks, conservatives have been winning, and we’re winning because of you," Cruz said in the keynote address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) has narrowly won the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll, picking up where his father left off at the conservative confab.
Paul won 25 percent of the vote in a field of potential 2016 GOP presidential contenders, clearing the support level of second-place finisher Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who took 23 percent. Former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) took 8 percent, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who was not invited to CPAC, took 7 percent.
The first-term senator's win was widely expected, especially given his father's past successes in the CPAC straw poll. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) regularly attracted huge crowds of devoted supporters at CPAC and won the straw poll in 2010 and 2011.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said Saturday that he might consider a presidential run in years to come but that his list of priorities is very much focused on his goals for his day job.
"Someday, maybe once we get past all this, we'll take a look at it," Walker said in an interview with Post Politics at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.
Walker noted that he has set goals for lowering the state's unemployment rate and that he's still got a reelection campaign in 2014. He said both of those will come before any conversations about running for president.
"That's not anything I've really spent a whole lot of time thinking about," he said.
Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele appears to have taken a shot at his successor, Reince Priebus, telling Republicans concerned about candidate recruitment to ask him about it.
Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly on Saturday became the latest conservative on stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference to question the establishment's stewardship of the party's candidates. Steele tweeted the following in response to Schlafly's speech:
Ask Reince. RT @byronyork Schlafly at CPAC: 'Why is it that the establishment has given us this bunch of losers?'
— Michael Steele (@Steele_Michael) March 16, 2013
Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R) delivered a blistering attack on President Obama on Saturday, using a string of one-liners to rile up a raucous crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington.
Palin hit Obama on everything from gun control to transparency and likened his administration to a TV reality show. At one point, she even alluded to a years-old controversy over a House member shouting, "You lie" at Obama during a major address before Congress.
"Barack Obama promised the most transparent administration ever. Barack Obama: You lie!" she said.
Ben Carson, an emerging star in the conservative movement since his National Prayer Breakfast speech last month, fed into increasing speculation Saturday that he could run for president.
Carson announced at the Conservative Political Action Conference that he would retire from his medical practice in the coming months and then suggested something else was on the horizon.
"I want to quit while I'm at the top of my game, and there are so many more things that could be done," the 61-year old said as the crowd rose to its feet.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R) said Saturday that the Republican Party needs to stop being defined by its opposition to President Obama.
Echoing former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who the night before told the Conservative Political Action Conference crowd that the GOP needs to stop being viewed as anti-everything, Gingrich told the same crowd the GOP needs to adjust its focus away from the president.
"We are not the anti-Obama movement," he said.
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) on Friday night offered an extensive vision for the Republican Party's future, arguing that America is on the cusp of greatness even as its economic problems persist.
But in order for Republicans to take advantage of that opportunity and lead the nation going forward, he said, the party needs to stop being defined by what it's against.
"Way too many people believe Republicans are anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-science, anti-gay, anti-worker," Bush said during his speech at the Ronald Reagan Dinner at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington. "And the list goes on and on and on. Many voters are simply unwilling to choose our candidates even though they share our core beliefs because those voters feel unloved, unwanted and unwelcome in our party."
Making only passing mention of the campaign behind him, 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered his vision for the future of the Republican Party and the country on Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in a speech billed as a thank you to his supporters.
"I’m sorry I won’t be your president, but I will be your co-worker, and I’ll work shoulder to shoulder besides you," said the former Massachusetts governor, who recently returned to the private sector.
Romney didn't dwell on the 2012 campaign or offer any specifics about what happened, but he did concede that his campaign wasn't flawless.