The Top CPAC Speeches Analyzed in 20 Tweets

Ben Smith /

Day two of the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference began at the same fevered pitch as the opening act Thursday. Presidential hopefuls drew cheers and jeers—and plenty of tweets as well.

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was the first 2016 contender to take the stage Friday. Audience reactions were mixed.

Two of my favorite men on one stage ???? #CPAC2015 @seanhannity and Marco Rubio

— Kirsten Golinski (@KirstenGolinski) February 27, 2015

I saw MARCO RUBIO speak today!!! #CPAC2015 #marcorubio @marcorubio ????

— Devon Mirsky (@MissBlister) February 27, 2015

Marco Rubio's brief Americanism speech this AM didn't sound like someone running for POTUS, more Senatorial #CPAC

— Ashley Matt (@ashleymatt) February 27, 2015

Rubio spoke about his social conservatism and passion for life.

#CPAC2015 @BuzzPo Marco Rubio says: "Imagine if our laws protected life from birth to natural death"

— conservative-warrior (@reaganwarriors) February 27, 2015

He also stressed his outsider status and his future ambitions.

"The truth is, Sean, I don't want to be in politics my whole life." — Marco Rubio at #CPAC2015

— Andrew Johnson (@AndrewE_Johnson) February 27, 2015

When it came to immigration, Rubio spoke of regrets on his role in the bipartisan.

Marco Rubio Walks Back His Own Immigration Reform Plans at CPAC (FULL SPEECH VIDEO)

— Mediaite (@Mediaite) February 27, 2015

The slew of presidential contenders continued with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Some people made fun of him.

Rick Perry currently threatening to make "three points" at CPAC speech. I'm a little worried for him…

— Jeff B@AoSHQDD (@EsotericCD) February 27, 2015

But Perry had plenty of fans.

I really like @GovernorPerry. I'd like to see him as Secy of Homeland Security for President @tedcruz. #CPAC2015 #tcot

— Dan From MA (@dand66) February 27, 2015

I know who will win, @GovernorPerry "@bethreinhard: I think @JebBush just challenged Rick Perry to a jobs-off #CPAC2015"

— Robert Haus (@roberthaus) February 27, 2015

During the speech, he demonstrated his support for Israel.

Israel should have right to exist as Jewish state….AMEN @GovernorPerry #CPAC2015

— Sharon (@SharonLSandoval) February 27, 2015

Perry also took a shot at President Obama by yearning for the Jimmy Carter years.

Rick Perry warns of danger, uncertainty: 'We've survived worse … even Jimmy Carter' #CPAC2015

— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) February 27, 2015

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., drew a large audience for his speech. Supporters swarmed the main ballroom wearing “Stand With Rand” shirts.

"My plan will balance the budget in just 5 years." -Rand Paul #CPAC2015 #StandWithRand

— Garrett Humbertson (@G_Humbertson) February 27, 2015

Endless red "I Stand With Rand" shirts and buttons at in the main #CPAC2015 ballroom in anticipation of Paul's speech

— Emily Larsen (@0emilylyly) February 27, 2015

"President Paul" chant rises from #CPAC2015 audience. "Stand with Rand" signs popping up. I predict he wins the Straw Poll, again. #TCCUS

— David Giffin (@D_Giffin) February 27, 2015

This was despite Paul being delayed by a Senate vote.

"At this time, Senator Rand Paul has been delayed due to a vote. He is expected to speak at mid-day. We will keep you posted." #CPAC2015

— Matthew DesOrmeaux (@cynicusprime) February 27, 2015

Paul discussed several topics that have excited libertarian-leaning conservative millennial voters, including curbing the power of Congress.

"We need a constitutional amendment that says Congress shall pass no law that exempts Congress itself" Rand Paul #standwithrand #CPAC2015

— Joshua Nehmeh (@JoshuaNehmeh) February 27, 2015

Things got heated later in the day as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush took the stage. The room—including the press filing center—was packed, with many people standing in the aisles to watch Sean Hannity interview the likely 2016 contender.

Talk of walkout begin to swirl.

I like Rand paul, but I can't stand his supporters. A walk out on Jeb? How old are you? #CPAC2015

— FDS (@FrankDeSalesman) February 27, 2015

Bush was greeted with a mixed reaction from the crowd.

Not a walkout but people screaming "common core" in the crowd #CPAC2015

— Ben Smith (@bmcsmith92) February 27, 2015

When pressed by Hannity on his views, Bush’s fans gave him hearty applause.

@DylanByers Without a doubt the best speaker yet at CPAC was Gov Jeb Bush.

— Jersey Shore Rises (@bohratom) February 27, 2015

Some questioned who these fans really were.

Jeb Bush bussed people into #cpac2015 for his speech.

— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) February 27, 2015

Day three looks to be just as fun.

Putin Adversary Boris Nemtsov Fought for Freedom in Russia - Daily Signal

Putin Adversary Boris Nemtsov Fought for Freedom in Russia

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner /

The barbaric assassination today of Boris Nemtsov, a brave adversary of the Putin administration, is a stark reminder of the grave dangers faced by political dissidents in Russia.

Nemtsov’s brutal murder took place in the shadow of the Kremlin against a backdrop of mounting repression in Moscow, implemented by an increasingly authoritarian regime that suppresses political opposition and crushes individual liberty.

After the fall of the Soviet Empire, Nemtsov emerged as a leading supporter of free-market policies amidst the ash heap of communism.

As governor of the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod in the early to mid-1990s, Nemtsov advanced a pro-market agenda that challenged decades of central planning that had impoverished ordinary Russians.

Nemtsov swiftly established a reputation as an economic reformer, and hosted the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, when she visited the city in 1993 on her first visit to post-Soviet Russia. His success as governor propelled him to the position of deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin from 1997 to 1998.

In more recent years, Nemtsov was a thorn in the side of Russian President Vladimir Putin, frequently condemning Putin’s dictatorial style, and the widespread corruption endemic in the Russian government.

Nemtsov was on several occasions arrested and detained following anti-Putin protests. He was a leading opponent of Moscow’s occupation of Crimea and invasion of Ukraine, a prominent and often lonely voice speaking out in the face of tremendous intimidation.

Nemtsov’s vision of a Russia that embraces individual liberty and economic freedom was the antithesis of Vladimir Putin’s tyrannical approach, which is making his people poorer, less free and more isolated in the world.

The death of Nemtsov must strengthen the resolve of the free world to stand up to Putin’s aggression, which threatens the people of Ukraine as well as NATO members in close proximity to Russia, including the Baltic States and Poland.

Nemtsov stood for liberty, democracy and respect for national sovereignty. In contrast, Putin has become a symbol of menace, fear and brutality in Europe, a throwback to an earlier era of totalitarianism.

Congress Approves One-Week Pact to Fund Homeland Security, but Immigration Fight Lingers - Daily Signal

Congress Approves One-Week Pact to Fund Homeland Security, but Immigration Fight Lingers

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel /

After Congress tonight approved a one-week funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security just hours before a midnight deadline, Republican lawmakers still struggled over how to fund the agency beyond seven days while fulfilling their stated goal of stopping President Obama’s immigration actions.

“I am not sure how it is all going to end,” Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, told The Daily Signal in an interview before the Senate and House passed the one-week funding legislation. “One way or another we need to find a way to keep [Homeland Security] funded.”

Earlier tonight, the House failed to pass a bill that would have extended Homeland Security funding for three weeks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell then abruptly put forth a one-week funding plan, which the House later approved by a vote of 357-60. When the votes were tallied, 55 Republicans opposed the one-week plan.

House Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team hope the extra time will allow restive conservatives to continue to make their case that any long-term funding of Homeland Security should be tied with an effort to undo Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks on the ongoing DHS funding debate on Capitol Hill Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom)

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks on the ongoing Homeland Security funding debate on Capitol Hill Feb. 26, 2015. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom)

The New York Times reported tonight that Boehner plans to bring a vote on a “clean” long-term funding bill next week.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., seemed to hint at a possible deal with Boehner in a letter she sent to Democratic colleagues, writing, “Your vote tonight will assure that we will vote for full funding next week.”

A Boehner spokesman quickly assured that there was “no such promise” made.

The Senate this afternoon already passed its own “clean” bill to fund Homeland Security through the fiscal year.

Senate Democrats defeated a second, separate bill—not tied to Homeland Security funding—that would have blocked money for Obama’s program to defer deportation for up to 5 million illegal immigrants and grant them work permits.

Even if they could not predict what would happen, conservatives lawmakers told The Daily Signal today that they were confident they could “win the public debate” on the issue.

“I think we could have won the public debate and we still may,” Sen. Jeff Sessions said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “The right thing to do would be for our leadership to develop a sustained campaign to explain the true situation and why our position is eminently reasonable. Congress has no obligation to fund any program that it doesn’t think is good and it absolutely has a duty not to fund unlawful programs.”

At the same time, Sessions, R-Ala., seemed to regret that the newly Republican-controlled Congress has not pushed harder against Obama’s actions.

“Many Republicans think, ‘We always lose. We always lose. The media will be against us. The president always wins,’” Sessions said.

“That’s not so. I am convinced a sustained, honest resistance to this overreach would have garnered strong public support and would have caused the president to back down from his absolutely unreasonable position. The trumpet sounded by Republicans was too uncertain and too many Republicans were saying there’s nothing we can do. And as a result, I think the president has a perception that his agenda can’t be stopped.”

Meanwhile, Democrats took joy in the early disagreements of the new Republican majority.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speak on the DHS funding debate Feb. 26. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom)

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speak on the Homeland Security funding debate Feb. 26. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom)

“The Republican Congress has shown that it simply cannot govern,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a statement.

Democrats argue that funding Homeland Security, a vital agency that protects the nation from terrorists, illegal border-crossers and natural disasters, among other duties, should not be contingent on fulfilling another goal—stopping Obama’s immigration actions—that the president has no chance of supporting.

However the dispute ends, an already publically battered Congress faced few good options.

“This [a short-term solution] is the best of the worst options,” said Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., in an interview with The Daily Signal. “There are no good options. We have to keep our eye on the ball: Stopping the president’s illegal actions. This would give us [more time]. It’s tough to guess at this point what will happen. We will find a way.”

15 Things Jeb Bush Said When He Faced Conservative Critics - Daily Signal

15 Things Jeb Bush Said When He Faced Conservative Critics

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre /

If Jeb Bush was having second thoughts as heckling broke out, he didn’t show it during his rocky first few minutes this afternoon in front of a ballroom full of conservatives.

The former Florida governor and likely Republican candidate for president just kept talking as voices in the crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, booed and yelled.

Some chanted “Common Core” as a taunt well before the topic of Bush’s support for the controversial education standards came up at the gathering in National Harbor, Md., across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.

At one point, Bush acknowledged that some in the audience were “angry” about his support for allowing a path to legal status for immigrants here unlawfully.

>>> Conservative Conferees Walk Out on Jeb Bush 

He neither requested nor got any help from Fox News host and conservative commentator Sean Hannity, his interviewer during his 20-odd minutes on stage. But by the time their Q&A session ended, the hecklers had been quieted and Bush had won plenty of applause—some coming from those his camp clearly arranged to attend.

Many conservatives are wary of Bush, seeing him as an establishment Republican who is too liberal on immigration and Common Core. (Watch the video below to see Bush’s answers on those two topics.)

If the son and brother of the past two Republican presidents had hoped to get credit for scrapping a speech and allowing his skeptical inquisitor to be Hannity, a longtime proponent of “bold color conservatism,” the move seemed to pay off.

Some excerpts from Bush’s answers to Hannity’s questions:

1. On the boos that greeted him, despite his record of cutting taxes and spending as governor: “For those who made an ‘ooooooh’ sound, is that what it was? I’m marking it down as neutral, and I want to be your second choice if I decide to go beyond this.”

2. On his mother’s nationally televised opinion in 2013 that she wasn’t sure about another Bush as president: “That was a little difficult, but since that time she’s had a change of heart.”

3. On his recent speech line, “I am my own man”: “If I … run for president, I have to show what’s in my heart. I have to show that I care about people, about their future. It can’t be about the past, it can’t be about my mom and dad or my brother, who I love.”

4. On his top five priorities, if elected, in his first 100 days as president: “By executive order, undoing what the president has done … using authority he doesn’t have. Creating a regulatory reform agenda that allows for investment to take place in our country. Presenting the Congress a plan to reform our tax code so that … [foreign] companies invest in our country to create high-wage jobs. We need to get back to high, sustained economic growth. And sending the signal to the rest of the world that we’re going to be their partner for peace and security.”

5. On his past remark at CPAC that conservatives too often are labeled “anti-everything”: “I think conservatives in Washington have been principled in opposing the overreach [by the Obama administration]. … But over time, we have to start being for things again [and] offer compelling alternatives to the failed tax policies, the failed regulation policies, the broken education system.…

“There are a lot of other conservatives that haven’t been asked. They don’t know they’re conservatives. If we share our enthusiasm, our love for our country, our belief in our philosophy, we will be able to get Latinos and young people and other people.”

6. On his “divide with the conservative movement” over his immigration position: “The simple fact is, there is no plan to deport 11 million people. We should give them a path to legal status, where they work, where they don’t receive government benefits, where they don’t break the law, where they learn English and where they make a contribution to our society.”

7. How about border security? “Let’s do it. … Let’s control the border. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what a great nation has to do. … [But] this nation needs to start growing at a far faster rate than we’re growing today. We have to be young and aspirational and dynamic again —and for all the young people in this room to be able to get a job with purpose and meaning.”

8. On President Obama’s executive actions to allow up to 5 million illegal immigrants to stay and work: “The simple fact is the president has gone way beyond his constitutional powers to do this, and the Congress has every right to reinstate their responsibility for what law is about.”

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., Feb. 27, 2015.  (Photo: Molly Riley/UPI)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at CPAC in National Harbor, Md. (Photo: Molly Riley/UPI)

9. On whether American citizens should have first shot at jobs: “What we ought to be focused on is growing the economic pie and growing it at a rate that looks more like the ’80s in America, growing it closer to 4 percent [annually] not 2 percent. If we stay at this anemic rate, then your argument becomes valid. But if we grow at 4 percent, there’s going to be opportunities for all.”

10. On his support for Common Core: “My belief is that our standards have to be high enough that a student going through our system is college- or career-ready. And that’s not what’s happening right now.”

11. Is Common Core a federal takeover? “No. And it shouldn’t be. … What we should say quite clearly in the reauthorization of the K-12 law [is] the federal government has no role in the creation of standards, either directly or indirectly. The federal government has no role in the creation of curriculum and content. The federal government should have no access to student ID or student information. The role of the federal government, if there’s any, is to provide the incentives for more school choice.”

12. Could he lower taxes even with the nation’s $18 trillion in debt? “You can lower taxes and create more economic opportunity that will generate more revenue for government than any of the most exotic tax plans that Barack Obama has. Yes.”

13. On what he would do as commander in chief to defeat ISIS: “We can’t disengage from the world and expect a good result. As we pull back, voids are filled. Iraq is the best example of that. … We need to re-establish relationships with countries that we’ve managed to mess up [and] build a coalition to isolate and then put ISIS [in] a noose and take them out. … That has to be done with American leadership.

14. On President Obama’s labeling of ISIS: “This total misunderstanding of what this Islamic terrorist threat is is very dangerous, because it doesn’t allow you then to have the right strategy to deal with this. We need to heighten awareness of what this threat means and be honest about it. Which is why I think [Israeli] Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanhayu’s visit [to address a joint session of Congress] is going to be really important.”

15. On a political label for himself: “I would describe myself as a practicing, reform-minded conservative, that I’ve actually done it.”



Why John Bolton Hopes Rand Paul ‘Gets Redemption’ on Foreign Policy - Daily Signal

Why John Bolton Hopes Rand Paul ‘Gets Redemption’ on Foreign Policy

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre / Video Team /

National security needs to be at the forefront of the 2016 election, John Bolton told The Daily Signal at CPAC. “After six years of not paying attention, we have a lot of work to do,” said the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. The possible 2016 contender also had harsh words for Sen. Rand Paul, saying he hopes the Kentucky Republican “gets redemption and hope he understands, at some point, the importance of a strong foreign policy.”

How Newt Gingrich Would Win Black and Hispanic Votes - Daily Signal

How Newt Gingrich Would Win Black and Hispanic Votes

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre / Video Team / Video Team /

Evoking the words of the late Rep. Jack Kemp, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told The Daily Signal that Republicans need to show people they care and listen to their concerns. In remarks that Gingrich admitted would probably get him in trouble, he outlined the approach 2016 candidates should take to convince black and Hispanic voters they can successfully govern.

What Rick Perry Calls Obama’s Greatest Indictment - Daily Signal

What Rick Perry Calls Obama’s Greatest Indictment

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre / Video Team / Video Team / Video Team /

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry visited The Daily Signal’s studio at CPAC to critique President Obama’s actions on immigration. The likely 2016 candidate criticized Obama’s disregard for the rule of law and said as president he would work with Congress to craft a solution. So why doesn’t Obama do it? Perry said the president’s greatest indictment is an unwillingness to engage in the constitutional process.

Amidst Conservative Backlash, House Pulls No Child Left Behind - Daily Signal

Amidst Conservative Backlash, House Pulls No Child Left Behind

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre / Video Team / Video Team / Video Team / Kelsey Harkness /

After failing to win the support of conservatives, Republicans have quietly withdrawn legislation that would update the No Child Left Behind law by scaling back Washington’s involvement in education.

The bill, called the Student Success Act, was strongly opposed by both conservatives and Democrats.

“Conservatives across the country had voiced concerns that the policy contained in this 620-page rewrite of [No Child Left Behind] did not limit Washington’s overreach into education,” said Lindsey Burke, The Heritage Foundation’s Will Skillman Fellow in Education.

Their voices, expressing concern that this proposal represents a missed opportunity to restore state and local control of education and empower parents, have been heard.

Conservatives opposed the Student Success Act because they feel it did not go far enough in reducing the federal government’s imprint in state and local education policy. Democrats argued it went too far.

>>> Read More: The Conservative Problem With No Child Left Behind

Conservatives’ biggest issue with the legislation is that it failed to offer states an option to completely opt out of the 80-some programs under the No Child Left Behind law, which was re-authorized and renamed (from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) in 2001 under President George W. Bush.

“This proposal spends nearly as much as No Child Left Behind, is nearly as long in page length, and fails to give states an option to opt out of the law,” Burke said of the House proposal.

Instead, conservatives would like to see the Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success (A-PLUS) amendment added to the No Child Left Behind rewrite.

The A-PLUS proposal would provide states that did not want to participate in No Child Left Behind a way out.

Infographic: Kelsey Harris

Infographic: Kelsey Harris

Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C., and Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., led the effort this week to pressure Republican leadership to include the 10-page A-PLUS proposal in the Student Success Act.

Although conservatives effectively stopped the Student Success Act from moving forward, Walker told The Daily Signal it’s not necessarily a “win.”

“I don’t view this as a win—a win would be bringing a bill to the House floor with a more open amendment process and passing smart, conservative education reform,” said Walker, adding:

I believe government is at its best and has higher accountability when it’s managed on the state and local levels. H.R. 5 has some good reforms but it should do more.

>>> Commentary: Student Success Act Does Not Repeal Common Core. States Must Do More.

Earlier this week, the Obama administration threatened to veto the Student Success Act without the A-PLUS amendment, calling it “devastating” for low-income families and students with disabilities. It is therefore unlikely that Obama would sign into law any No Child Left Behind update that includes A-PLUS.

Still, conservatives so far refuse to endorse any legislation that does not further their policy beliefs about education.

Republicans did not say when the House would consider another No Child Left Behind rewrite.

Conservative Conference Attendees Walk Out of Jeb Bush Speech - Daily Signal

Conservative Conference Attendees Walk Out of Jeb Bush Speech

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre / Video Team / Video Team / Video Team / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn /

In an act of protest against 2016 hopeful and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a crowd of attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference walked out in the middle of his speech.

Bush spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, outside Washington, D.C., today. The former Florida governor spoke to a packed house, but a group of less than 100 attendees walked out of Bush’s speech. William Temple, a staple of conservative conferences who dresses in colonial attire and waves a Gadsden flag, led the quiet revolt.

“Jeb Bush is an establishment kind of man. We fought the Brits—they’re our friends now—but we fought the Brits so we wouldn’t have a monarchy. Now, in Washington, we have an establishment royalty,” said William Temple.

“Jeb Bush is an establishment kind of man,” Temple told reporters who surrounded him after he left Bush’s speech. “We fought the Brits—they’re our friends now—but we fought the Brits so we wouldn’t have a monarchy. Now, in Washington, we have an establishment royalty.”

Instead of giving a traditional speech before those attending the annual conference, Bush participated in a 25-minute question-and-answer session with Fox News host Sean Hannity. To bolster support for the White House hopeful, Bush’s “Right to Rise” PAC bused in supporters from nearby Washington, D.C.

>>> 15 Things Jeb Bush Said While Facing Conservative Critics

Bush formally announced he would explore a run for president late last year. Since then, he has been working to shake the narrative of a “Bush dynasty” and differentiate himself from his father, George H.W. Bush, and his brother, George W. Bush, both former presidents.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference. (Photo: Olivier Douliery)

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference. (Photo: Olivier Douliery)

Though Bush laid out his “conservative” vision for his White House—should he win in 2016—and dubbed himself a “practicing reform-minded conservative,” those who walked out argued Bush represents the “establishment” wing of the Republican Party and didn’t fit in at the conservative conference.

>>> Rand Paul: ‘Defend the Whole Bill of Rights’

“It’s the exact same thing over and over again. Bush is the same thing as Clinton, who’s the same as the other Bush, same as the other Bush, same as Obama,” Ben Levitt, 23, told The Daily Signal. “It’s not working. It’s broken. Let’s fix it.”

Levitt watched Bush for less than a minute, he said, and then walked out.

Both Temple and Levitt found themselves in the company of those in agreement, and at one point, Temple was joined by another man in a tricorn hat: James Manship, who was dressed as George Washington.

“No more Bushes,” Temple said. “No more Clintons.”

When @jebbush took the stage at #cpac2015, these gentlemen staged a walk out. You can hear in this video why they decided to take action. #cpac

A video posted by The Daily Signal (@thedailysignal) on

While addressing a bevy of television cameras, Temple and Manship rejected “establishment” Republicans, but were interrupted by a choir of young conservatives chanting “USA, USA” and “Stand with Rand,” a reference to Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Tim Weppner, 20, told The Daily Signal he’d rather see Paul become the commander in chief in 2016 and said he didn’t understand why Bush was addressing the conservative conference.

“I think that Jeb Bush—he’s not fake, but he shouldn’t be here. He’s not really conservative. He’s a Republican, but he’s not conservative. He’s one of those Republicans that are more liberal than conservative,” he said. “It doesn’t really seem like anybody here wants him, and he shouldn’t run for president.”

A New Era at CBO - Daily Signal

A New Era at CBO

Ben Smith / Nile Gardiner / Josh Siegel / Ken McIntyre / Video Team / Video Team / Video Team / Kelsey Harkness / Melissa Quinn / Curtis Dubay /

Chairman of the House Budget Committee Tom Price (R–GA) announced the appointment of Dr. Keith Hall, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, as the new Director of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Hall will take over for Doug Elmendorf, whose term expired in January.

Congratulations and good luck to Dr. Hall.

Although we have had our disagreements with Dr. Elmendorf in the past, we express our gratitude for his public service and his strong leadership at the CBO. We wish him well on his next endeavor.

As in all organizations, the appointment of a new leader marks a new chapter for the CBO. Hall should maintain the CBO’s sterling reputation for estimating the budgetary effects of spending legislation, while leaving his own mark on the organization.

Dynamic Scoring

That should begin with establishing accurate dynamic scoring of certain spending legislation. (Scoring of tax legislation is the domain of the Joint Committee on Taxation.) Until now, the CBO’s methodology for scoring spending dynamically has been incomplete in a way that overinflates the economic benefits of government spending. Hall needs to fix that issue.

Clear Baselines

As importantly, Dr. Hall will finally need to resolve current problems with the CBO’s presentation of its spending and revenue baselines. He will need to find a way to present them so that Members of Congress will clearly understand whether those baselines reflect current policy or current law.

More Accurate Health Care Modeling

He also needs to update the models that the CBO uses to evaluate changes to health care policy. The ongoing debate about Obamacare’s impact has shown that the CBO’s methods are not up to par.

Entitlement Reform

Lastly, entitlement reform will need to happen in the near future. It is unclear whether the CBO can accurately model modernizations to Social Security and Medicare. Ensuring that the CBO can accurately assess changes to those programs should be one of the new director’s chief tasks.