The first CPAC conference was it 1974, and Ronald Reagan gave the inaugural speech.
For most of its history, the attendees were rational people, and the straw poll winners shown in the link below reflect this. Mitt Romney has won more straw votes than any other individual, at 4 times.
The conference took a hard turn to the right in 2013 (the year that Ted Cruz caused the government to get shut down), when Rand Paul was the straw vote winner. He also won in 2014 and 2015.
Things got crazier in 2016, when Ted Cruz became the straw vote winner, and Donald Trump was the winner in 2019.
Due to its hard- right lurch, the initials CPAC now stand for Crazy People At a Conference. Since only 8% of African-Americans voters identify as Republican, the initials could also stand for Colored People Ain’t Coming.
Speakers at the 2021 CPAC conference include FORMER president Donald Trump. FORMER Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Governor Ron DiSantis, Pete Hegseth (FOX News), Scott Walker, Sarah Sanders, Maj Toure, (founder of Black Guns Matter), former ambassador Richard Grenell, Donald Trump Jr., Charlie Kirk, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Mike Lee, Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, Paul Gosar, Darrell Issa, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes, “screech owl” Kimberly Guilfoyle, Ken Paxton, Matthew Boyle (Breitbart News), Kurt Schlicter (Townhall.com), Osama bin Laden look-a-like Ian Smith, Hans von Spakovsky (Heritage Foundation), and Shelby Talcott (Daily Caller), plus a few other crackpots.
The CPAC conference got a much-needed shot of levity last year when “Borat” crashed the party, but it’s likely that a lot of the folks present were not amused.
In 2019, Trump hugged a flag on the stage, but this year got even crazier. This year, of course, we got the golden calf (WTF?) and a totally unhinged speech by Tec Cruz.
Last night Cruz delivered a speech many critics branded “unhinged” to the Conservative Political Action Conference.
During his presentation he touched on many topics, and managed to find time to joke about his visit to Cancun.
He complained about the media setting up a “new galactic empire” and his dislike of masks during the pandemic, calling wearing them “virtue signaling”. It came after the US virus death count reached more than 500,000.
Cruz also joked about people shooting protesters amid a year of unrest caused by continuing police violence against black Americans.
He told the conference: "In Houston where I live, I have to tell you, there weren't any rioters because let's be very clear, if there had been, they would discover what the state of Texas thinks about the 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms.”
Also during the speech, Cruz accused Democrats of trying to convert 19-year-old skaters into “socialists” and insisted Donald Trump “ain’t going anywhere”.
He called Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s experiences during the Capitol insurrection “political theatre”
The executive director of The Democratic Coalition, Scott Dworkin, said the Senator sounded deranged.
“Ted Cruz just was screaming like an unhinged lunatic at CPAC. So, normal,” he commented.
Cruz often ends his speeches by quoting from a film. Last night he shouted: “In the immortal words of William Wallace, freedom!”
Also during the right-wing summit, which today enters its third day in Orlando, organizers have been begging attendees to wear masks, but without much luck.
Donald Trump Jr spoke yesterday, continuing to promote the lie that Joe Biden did not win the election.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper has described the gathering as “Woodstock for election liars”.
Conspicuously absent this year was the NRA, the group that just declared bankruptcy. Taking the organization's place is "Black Guns Matter", a group that ALL black people should be armed. For historical perspective, refer to the Mulford Act, which was passed not long after armed members of the Black Panthers marched into the state capitol in Sacramento.