Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell addressed the audience at CPAC moments ago. A few excerpts from his well-received speech:
I came over here today to do two things: first, I want to thank you. You did it. You stuck to your principles. You shouted them from the rooftops and at the town halls. You recruited great candidates. You believed it could happen.
And we have embarked on our comeback.
Second, I wanted to make sure none of us overlooked one of the most important lessons of the past two years.
That lesson is this: never confuse what’s popular with what’s right. If our conservative principles are universal, then they’re right for all people at all times.
Popular or unpopular, we will stand for what we believe in.
If we do our jobs, the popularity will take care of itself.
It’s because you stood by your principles that we’ve now got Speaker Boehner instead of Speaker Pelosi.
It’s because you stood by your principles that we’re having a serious debate in Washington right now about how much to cut, not how much to spend.
McConnell also vowed to continue the Republican blitz against Obamacare, which he called disastrous and unconstitutional:
Republicans will keep fighting it in the House, in the Senate, in the courts, and at public forums throughout the country … until Obamacare goes the way of Hillarycare.
The Democrats may want to put this bill behind them.
I assure you, it’s still very much ahead of them.
They know this bill is a disaster. That’s why they’re handing out waivers to their union buddies. Well, if they’re going to be handing out waivers, I’ve got a practical solution for them: Let’s take that repeal vote again and see if we can’t grant a waiver for everybody.
And then we can work to replace it with commonsense reforms that will actually improve care and reduce costs, and keep the government out of your doctor’s office.
Speakers scheduled for later today include Sen. Rand Paul, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and Rep. Paul Ryan -- as well as a special, last-minute addition, which I'll blog about in a little while...