Immigration, Security Addressed At CPAC
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Much of the Conservative Political Action Conference’s mainstream media coverage focuses on this year’s Washington D.C. convention as a stage for Republican presidential candidates to launch their 2012 campaign but the reality is that the annual event offers lots more than partisan politics.The gathering of the nation’s most prominent and influential conservatives also addresses crucial issues, including illegal immigration, gun rights, terrorism and government transparency. In fact, Judicial Watch will hold a panel focusing on the federal public records law known as the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on Saturday. A separate Judicial Watch presentation, also on Saturday, will focus on the “government gone wild” under the Obama Administration.Other presentations during the three-day conference will cover the leftwing campaign to reshape the federal judiciary, energy efficiency, abortion, healthcare, media and pop culture, education, labor and the threat of Sharia law—the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism. High-profile speakers include presidential contenders Mitt Romney (former Massachusetts governor), Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.Millionaire business magnet Donald Trump stole the show Thursday afternoon with a surprise appearance before an overflow crowd at the convention’s main ballroom. The unannounced speech drew heavy applause and, at times, loud boos. Trump said he’s considering running for president, but won’t decide until June. He blasted the Obama Administration, saying that the U.S. has become the “whipping boy for the world” and is quickly transforming into the “laughingstock of the world.”Earlier in the day Gingrich, who served as House Speaker during the Clinton Administration, called for the abolishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, referring to the bloated federal agency as “top down” and “bureaucratic.” Iowa Congressman Steve King called for repealing Obamacare, which he called a “malignant tumor” that must not be allowed to metastasize.Bachmann, a Tea Party star, opened the conference with a fiery morning speech announcing that President Obama has “ushered in socialism.” Amid boisterous cheers, she pointed out that “socialism kills job creation. The only jobs that are being created are in government.”Friday’s itinerary will feature Romney, Georgia Congressman Tom Price and Hollywood actor Stephen Baldwin addressing conservative pop culture. Border security, abortion and the media will be among the topics covered in presentations throughout the day.