The American Conservative Union cleared the air Thursday morning: Congressman Paul was indeed invited to speak this year at CPAC but turned it down in lieu of the campaign trail. While all three of his remaining GOP rivals will speak, Paul might think that he'll have a chance to get a leg up while they retreat to D.C. for a speech at CPAC.
Paul has been a somewhat visible staple of CPAC in the past, and has always had a high-level organization at the convention. He's won the straw poll two years in a row, besting Mitt Romney. He's held valuable speaking spots on the last day of the convention in the past. It's no surprise that his fervent fans might have taken his omission from the schedule this year as some sign of a conspiracy, but alas, he was welcomed this year like any other year. Paul was the one turning CPAC down.