The 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference kicks off today at the Gaylord National Harbor Hotel in Maryland, just outside of Washington D.C. This year's conference will no doubt determine the future of the Republican Party and possibly the country as potential 2016 presidential candidates hit the stage to make their case.
"The American Conservative Union has an important role to play as the Republican presidential nominating process begins at CPAC 2015. Nearly every top-tier candidate will appear and speak at the event. Our goal is to continue the tradition of bringing together the leaders of the conservative movement with activists from around the country. We want to have a meaningful discussion about conservative policy solutions while getting the first major look at those who would seek to lead conservatives and Republicans. 2015 is the critical year, due in large part to the fact that conservatives will play the largest role in picking the next GOP nominee in key states," American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp told Fox News' Dana Perino recently. "The field is large, interesting, and filled with strong candidates. I believe the most important role of ACU is to encourage a lively debate and primary process while at the same time reminding activists that the goal is to defeat the Democratic candidate. We want a conservative standard bearer, balanced with the absolute necessity to win. A Democratic win that would mirror a third Obama term would be a catastrophe for the federal judiciary, American energy production, the regulatory state and with the reemergence of the threat from radical Islam. The conservative movement needs to be ready for its close-up because the stakes are high."
Potential 2016 GOP candidates slated to hit the CPAC stage over the next three days include Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson, John Bolton, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry. Carson will kick off the conference Thursday morning as the first speaker.
Heavy hitting conservative radio hosts who will be speaking include Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin and others. Panel topics range on everything from intellectual property, pro-life politics to foreign policy with a heavy focus on what activists can do to make a difference.
CPAC is one of the biggest political and media events of the year. More than ten-thousand people have registered to attend this year's conference, which has been significantly growing in size since its launch back in 1974.