Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), addressed CPAC on Wednesday afternoon, urging a "new agenda" for the conservative movement that contradicts the existing Republican establishment. According to Lee, the current strategy employed in Washington is to let President Obama's numerous failures speak for themselves and somehow that will result in electoral victories. Lee disputed this, and urged conservatives to "get to work" and go on offense to win elections.
If conservatives do not do this work, we will lose in 2014, and 2016, and beyond. We will lose, and we will deserve to lose.
Lee then reminded the CPAC crowd that Ronald Reagan was once blamed for handing President Carter his presidency because Reagan challenged Ford in the Republican primary in 1976. Reagan, according to Lee, knew that the issues in the Republican party primarily lay with the establishment, not with his candidacy. Reagan challenged the audience members at the fourth-annual CPAC conference to form a "New Republican Party" that emphasizes positive change and solid principles, and by 1980, he won the presidency in a landslide. Lee urged the crowd to take up this spirit and essentially reboot the GOP for the next election.
We have concrete, specific proposals to help lower-income families overcome welfare, improve education and job training, and rescue at-risk communities with too few jobs, too few fathers, and too little hope.
We have solutions to end cronyist privilege and corporate welfare, to close the Beltway Favor Bank, and put America’s political and corporate elites back to work for the rest of us.
And we have introduced legislation to rescue America’s working families from the middle class squeeze. To make it more affordable to raise and educate their kids, and afford health insurance and a home of their own.
We have an agenda. And contrary to the Establishment’s advice, we’re not hiding it from the media or the American people, or from you. It’s time for the Republican Party to stop talking about Ronald Reagan and start acting like him.