This is the first time Pres. Bush has addressed CPAC. His speech was scheduled for 10AM but was rescheduled because he will be visiting the areas affected by the Midwest tornadoes.
By 6AM the line extended all the way out the hotel door. Most of the people waiting in line were young, possibly college students.
8:06AM: Pres. Bush concludes his speech, “I appreciate your support for giving me a chance and for supporting our country. My energy is up, my spirit is high and I’ll finish strong…Prosperity and peace are in the balance, let’s keep the White House”
8:02AM: George Washington, “the original George W”, still being judged on his record. In the year ahead pundits will offer more big government solutions but let’s remember this is a group that is seldom correct but never in doubt.” Invokes Reagan, the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.
7:59AM: Family values: School choice, right to life.
Supreme Court: Constitutionalists like Sam Alito.
America’s greatness: Courage of ordinary citizens, military families who have lost loved ones.
7:59AM: “I am absolutely confident with your help we will elect a President that shares our philosophy.”
7:54AM: National security: In order to protect America we need to know what our enemies are doing. “The Protect America Act is working but is scheduled to expire one week from tomorrow but …Congress must pass this law and they must pass it now.”
7:45AM: The war:
Afghanistan: Taliban, al-Qaeda and their allies on the run, schools and hospitals are being built, girls are going to school. “We’re going to make sure Afghanistan will never be a safe heaven for those who want to do us harm.”
Iraq: “My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision at the time and it is the right decision today.” Round of applause. “25 million Iraqis are free.”
The Surge: The Surge is succeeding; “Even the enemy recognizes the progress we are making, and they will be defeated.”
“We believe in the transformative power of freedom”
7:33AM: Tax cuts should be made permanent. Defense, intelligence, homeland security, “and providing for our troops to make sure they have the best to do their job”. Big round of applause. Threatens veto if Congress sends budget that exceeds the limits he’s set.
Executive order will extend beyond his presidency: the President would have to explain publically any wasteful and unaccountable spending.
Social Security: proposed way to make solvent without raising taxes
Medicare & Medicaid: sent budget this week that saves money
Human life is precious and deserves to be protected.
Embryonic stem cell research: authorized spending on existing lines. Will increase funds on self stem research.
Drug use among young people: “Since I took office the overall use of drugs by young people has dropped off by 24%”
7:27AM: “We believe in diversity of faith, a respect for values and a guidance of a higher power; individual responsibility; respect of freedom… America has the right to defend itself… America is a force for good.” He also hits at governing by results of surveys and relying on MoveOn.org and Code Pink. He’s now defending tax cuts and tax relief which contributed to a record 52-weeks of job creation: “here’s the bottom line: tax relief works”
7:22AM: “I used to think the toughest job was President, I might have found another one: father of the bride. Laura says there may be another one: son-in-law to the President”
7:15AM : Sen Mitch McConnell introduces Pres. Bush. The crowd’s chanting “Four more years” – not four more years, please, let’s abide by the Constitution. McConnell’s introduction is enthusiastically received.