The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) grew in influence and popularity since its foundation in 1974; carrying with it a legacy of key speakers and memorable moments. As we roll into this year’s conference, let’s take a look at some of CPAC’s most unforgettable moments.
1. Sarah Palin and Pop (CPAC 2013)
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for regulations on sugary drinks like soda in cups larger than 16 ounces. In an effort to combat obesity rates in the state, Bloomberg ultimately made himself the laughing stock of 2013’s CPAC conference.
During Sarah Palin’s speech, she took a swing at the mayor after drinking soda from a large Big Gulp cup. Audiences bellowed in excitement and laughed uncontrollably.
“Oh Bloomberg is not around, our Big Gulp is safe,” she said.
2. Rush Limbaugh said Obama was Bastardizing the Constitution (CPAC 2009)
Political talk show personality Rush Limbaugh gave his first passionate speech at CPAC against Obama’s left-wing agenda after the former president’s first year in office.
Limbaugh called for the conservative movement and for politicians to not look for compromise with the Obama administration, and to fight against his "bastardization of the Constitution.”
"Where the hell do we get to compromise when we believe in our principles?" Limbaugh said. "It's a tough challenge, but it's worth it."
He also warned conservatives not to give in to the fear of being labeled a racist for criticizing the former president’s decisions.
"The racism in our culture was exclusively and fully on display in the Democrat primary last year," Limbaugh said. "We didn't ask if he was authentically black. What we were asking, was, 'Was he wrong?' We concluded, 'Yes.'"
3. Trump and His Audience Drown Out a Heckler (CPAC 2018)
“You’re a traitor!”
A protestor was disturbing a speech from President Donald Trump at CPAC 2018, waving Russian flags in defiance. It didn’t do much to stop the rally. Instead, attendees drowned out the heckler’s rants, shouting, “USA! USA!”
Eventually, the protestor was led out by security, with the president smiling as he left.
“Just for the media, the fake news back there. They took very good care of him. They were very gentle. He was very obnoxious. It was only one person,” Trump said. “One person, folks, doesn’t deserve a mention, doesn’t deserve a headline.”
While the event may not deserve a headline, it does deserve a mention in this list.
4. Dana Loesch Drops the Hard Truth on Shootings and the FBI (CPAC 2018)
Dana Loesch, spokesman for the National Rifle Association, spoke at CPAC 2018 about why the U.S. continues to see active shooters.
“Washington Navy Yard, Garland Texas, Fort Hood, Charleston, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando, Parkland? Do you know what all of these mass tragedy incidents involved,” she asked. “FBI dropped the ball. They dropped the ball.”
Loesch blamed the FBI and other agencies for failing to check up on potential threats and protecting the American people.
“In Charleston this murderer was able to pass a background check even though he was a prohibited possessor,” Loesch said. “Because as former FBI director James Comey said. They made a mistake, it was a paperwork error. Sutherland Springs, this mass murderer was able to go and mow down a church because why? The Air Force did not report his conviction…”
Loesch brought the point home by mentioning the members of the NRA, who are made up of real people concerned for their safety and the safety of their children.
“Five million plus members," she said. "Average everyday Americans, moms and dads, they do the school run, they go to the grocery store, they’re students, they’re hunters, they’re people like me, who simply don’t want to be assaulted in the parking lot if I go to the grocery store and get a gallon of milk at night.”
5. Ann Coulter Roasts Obama (CPAC 2012)
The progressive left was at the hight of their reign prior to the 2012 election. And while Mitt Romney was selected to be the right-wing champion against Barack Obama's second term, he proved to be incapable of taking the White House.
Ann Coulter knew the difficulty conservatives had to face in order to win the presidency and shared it with her audience at CPAC 2012.
"Obama is going to be very difficult to beat this year," she said. "Number one, he's an incumbent. Number two, Americans keep telling pollsters they like him personally. Don't like his politics but they like him personally. He's our first black president and the NFM, the non-Fox media, is ga-ga about him."
Coulter went on to talk about how Obama had great charisma in his political career, but found the opportunity to poke fun at his politics, leaving the audience laughing hysterically.
"He'd probably make a lovely next-door neighbor," Coulter said. "Unless you're Chinese, then he'd be constantly borrowing stuff."
This year's CPAC will be held Wednesday, Feb. 27 to Saturday, March 2.