Orlando Voices: GOP & Tea Party Leaders React To CPAC Presidential Straw Poll


    By Jacob Engels


    Each week, East Orlando Post will be choosing a political topic and letting local politicians or political activists share their thoughts with our readers. This weekly post will be called “Orlando Voices.” The first topic we picked was the CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) Republican presidential preference straw poll results. CPAC is an annual event held in DC that is attended by thousands of conservative activists from across the nation. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (son of Congressman Ron Paul) won with 25% of the vote. Sen. Marco Rubio from Florida, finished second with 23% of the vote. FULL RESULTS HERE

    Orange County GOP Chair Lew Oliver –

    “As always, the CPAC poll is a valuable indicator of the state of mind of the Republican Party, particularly among conservatives.  Although winning or doing very well at the poll is no guarantee of electoral success, finishing in the top tier clearly establishes important credibility for those top finishers.  This year’s #1 and #2 finishers reflect somewhat nuanced variations on the conservative theme and clearly boost both.  Rand Paul has clearly broadened his father’s libertarian-flavored brand into prime time contention, something his dad never quite managed to do.

    Similarly, Marco Rubio’s very respectable 2nd place demonstrates that even core conservatives do not rule out some meaningful compromise on what has been one of 2 or 3 “third rails” of conservative politics – immigration.

    Both were already leading contenders for the 2016 nomination.  Both remain firmly in that category in the wake of these results.”

    Peter Lee, Director of the East Side Tea Party –

    “The CPAC results for the Presidential preference did not surprise me. Rand Paul has been a consistent advocate of conservative principles. His recent filibuster was a unique moment in history where conservatives were united behind a specific politician. Rubio’s capacity to articulate the conservative message and undeniable charisma made him deserving of the close second spot.

    GOP strategists will undoubtedly lean towards Rubio to win the nomination. Shamefully it is largely to pander for demographic appeal. While I have the utmost respect for the man he might accept a word of caution from Paul Ryan’s history. Ryan is young, charismatic and he understands and can articulate the conservative message. As the architect and chief cheerleader of TARP he demonstrated that his talk is unreliable. Rubio’s conservative record is considerably better than most on Capital Hill. His recent “blueprint” for immigration however, gives many conservatives pause. The pause is partly because it smells more like political maneuvering than a workable policy. It is worth noting that he stayed away from that topic when he spoke at CPAC.

    What surprised me most about the CPAC votes were not of the presidential contest but with the questions about drone use to spy on American citizens. 70% of the CPAC respondents said they should not be used for this purpose. That leaves 30% of these “conservative” attendees who took the poll who were more flexible to that idea. While a minority, it is an uncomfortably large minority which makes this conservative question how conservative CPAC actually is.”

    If you have an idea for a topic that you would like to see discussed, email us at tips@eastorlandopost.com



    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at info@eastorlandopost.com