Political Action

Political Action

Dr. Ben Carson CPAC 2015 FULL Speech

At CPAC, Ben Carson Lambasts ‘Purveyors of Division’The surgeon-turned-likely-presidential-hopef­ul opened the conference Thursday morning.

February 26, 2015 If the White House had not invited the neurosurgeon-turned-conservative star to the National Prayer Breakfast at Johns Hopkins, Carson would not have had his chance to call out the president while standing five feet away from him—a speech that lit a fire in many conservatives who saw it, and led Carson to the national stage.

Carson regained that stage on Thursday, when he gave the opening address in the Gaylord Nelson Convention Center in National Harbor, Md., the annual pilgrimage site for Republican activists attending the Conservative Political Action Conference.

In his speeches, Carson is known for harsh rhetoric—such as comparing the United States to Nazi Germany—delivered in the tone of a neuroscience lecture, or a lullaby. His delivery is reassured, but never histrionic. The CPAC crowd loved it.

“If you’re pro-traditional marriage, then you’re a homophobe. … If you’re black and you oppose the progressive agenda, then you’re crazy. If you’re black and you oppose a progressive agenda, and you’re pro-life, and you’re pro-family, they don’t even know what to call you,” Carson said Thursday. “You end up on some sort of watch list for extremists.”

That last bit drew from Carson’s personal experience. The Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights advocacy group, added Carson to its “extremist watch list” for being “anti-gay.” After drawing outrage from Carson’s supporters, the SPLC removed Carson from the list and apologized.

But aside from a few jabs at the “purveyors of division”—a recurring theme in recent speeches—Carson’s CPAC speech was fairly rhetoric-free. He expounded on the benefits of health savings accounts, and insisted that Republicans must first put forward their own health care legislation before repealing the Affordable Care Act.

“They need to grasp a health care alternative before they remove Obamacare if they really want to gain some traction,” Carson said.

He also used his speech to riff on the true meaning of “compassion,” saying that the welfare system often verges on condescension with a tone of, “There, there, poor little thing, I’m going to take care of all your needs.”

CPAC 2015 Features Speakers Like Ben Carson, Sarah Palin
The 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off Thursday in National Harbor, Maryland.

Speakers at the conference include Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin.

CPAC 2015: Ben Carson kicks off summit with speech pushing ‘getting rid of dependency’ in America
Dr. Ben Carson was the first speaker at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
Tea Party favorite and potential 2016 presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson kicked off the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday, telling an attentive audience that the next President must “get rid of dependency” that some Americans might have on the U.S. government.

“We need to understand what true compassion is to reach out to individuals who think that being dependent is reasonable as long as they feel safe,” said Carson, the first speaker to address this year’s annual keynote conservative conference. “It’s not compassion to pat them on the head and say, ‘There, there, I’m going to take care of all your needs, your health care, your food.’ That’s the opposite of compassion.

“I’m not interested in getting rid of a safety net, I’m interested in getting rid of dependency,” Carson said, prompting one in a series of raucous rounds of applause.

The 63-year-old Carson, a former pediatric neurosurgeon, has gained favor among Tea Party supporters in recent years with his preference for limited government and came in third place in last year’s closely watched CPAC Straw Poll, which always closes the yearly conference.

This year, Carson spent much of his 12-minute address ripping President Obama’s Affordable Care Act as well as other federal entitlement programs, telling the crowd that “Obamacare is about restriction and control.”

Ben Carson at CPAC: “We Need to Stop Sitting Quietly By”
Dr. Ben Carson, for his part, had the honor of delivering the first CPAC speech of 2015. Despite his early morning remarks, however, he earned loud plaudits from the audience on several occasions. And while he touched on both domestic and foreign policy, he mostly discussed his dissatisfaction with the “PC police” and the current administration.

“It’s interesting to me that the Left in particular loves to re-label and rename things,” he said. “For instance, if you’re pro-life, you’re anti-woman. If you’re pro-traditional family, then you’re a homophobe…if you’re black, and you oppose a progressive agenda, you’re crazy.” (VIDEO)

Donald Trump CPAC 2015 FULL Speech (Conservative Political Action Conference) February 27

Businessman Donald Trump speaks to guests at the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24, 2015 in Des Moines, Iowa. The summit is hosting a group of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates to discuss core conservative principles ahead of the January 2016 Iowa Caucuses. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Real estate mogul and reality TV personality Donald Trump on Friday sought to paint himself as a Washington outsider ready for the national stage.

But in a question-and-answer session with Fox News host Sean Hannity following his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he fell back to a familiar pattern: questioning whether President Obama was born in the United States:

“Hey look, [the president] wrote a book when he was a young man and it said ‘born in Kenya,’ blah blah blah. I don’t know where he was born. I would like to see his college records, I think that’s important.

As far as the birth certificate, Hillary Clinton wanted his birth certificate. Hillary is a birther. She wanted it but she wasn’t able to get it. John McCain fought really hard and really viciously to get his birth certificate. John McCain failed. Couldn’t get it. Trump comes along – and I’m not a sitting senator, I’m not a sitting anything else, I’m a good businessman – but Trump comes along and I said, ‘Birth certificate.’ He gave a birth certificate.

Whether or not that was a real certificate, because a lot of people question it, I certainly question it—but Hillary Clinton wanted it, McCain wanted it, and I wanted it. He didn’t do it for them, he did it for me. So in one sense I’m proud of it. Now all we have to do is find out whether or not it’s real.”

Trump has signaled in recent days that he is seriously considering a bid for the White House in 2016. During an interview Wednesday with The Post’s Robert Costa, Trump said he is “‘more serious’ than ever” and is beginning to build a political campaign staff.

“Washington is totally broken and it’s not going to get fixed unless we put the right person in that top position. It’s just not going to happen,” he told the crowd of conservative activists Friday. “I’m not a politician, thank goodness. Politicians are all talk, no action. I’ve dealt with them all my life.”

While Trump has developed a formidable brand centered on his standing as a business mogul, he has struggled in the past to be taken seriously as a potentially political candidate. That is at least in part because of his frequent – and sometimes off-color – feuds with prominent political leaders and celebrities alike.

Donald Trump: I want to run for president ‘so badly’

New York real estate mogul Donald Trump said Friday there is at least a 75 percent chance that he is running for president.

Mr. Trump has teased the idea of a bid on numerous occasions, so much so that most of the political world assumes he’s simply trying to bolster the brand of his businesses.

Asked by Fox News host Sean Hannity at the Conservative Political Action Conference in suburban Washington how close he is to running using a 1 to 100 scale, Mr. Trump answers “I would say 75 and 80.”

“I am really inclined,” he said. “I really want to do it so badly.”

Mr. Trump said former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s loss in the 2012 election has caused him to take a more serious look at seeking the GOP nomination in 2016.

He said the nation’s political leaders are “all talk, no action.”