Presidential Race Shakes Out at CPAC
34rd Annual Conservative Political Action Conference, February 7-9, 2008

February 7-9, 2008--The presidential race came to CPAC in full force as the four remaining Republican candidates addressed the conservative gathering.  Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA), who has won 11 contests, announced the end of his presidential campaign to a packed ballroom. "And because I love America, in this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside for our party and for our country," he declared (prepared remarks).  Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), now the clear frontrunner, appeared before this group, which has not been overly favorable to him.  McCain acknowledged that, "Many of you have disagreed strongly with some positions I have taken in recent years."  However, he said he was "proud, very proud, to have come to public office as a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution." "My record in public office taken as a whole is the record of a mainstream conservative," McCain said (transcript).  Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) vowed to continue his campaign, stating, "I stand in this race and I stay in this race not to be a fly in the ointment, because I believe as Phyllis Schlafly's book taught me in the 1960s, that our party, that our country is about a choice, not an echo."  "If people want an echo, they can get it from somewhere else," Huckabee said.  "If they want a choice, I plan to give it to them" (transcript).  Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) is likewise continuing his quest.  President Bush and Vice President Cheney also spoke at the conference.

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Vice President Dick Cheney
Former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX)
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR)

Copyright ©  2008  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action