Meet the Press   |  March 17, 2013

Reviewing CPAC speeches

A Meet the Press panel of experts discusses Rand Paul’s remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference and how they portray the identity of the GOP.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> do. two sound bites from this week, two different visions of the road ahead. let's play that and get some reaction.

>> we don't need a new idea. there is an idea. it's called america. and it still works.

>> the gop of old has grown stale and moss covered. i don't think we need to name any names, do we?

>> one of the things he means i think, senator mccain , or picked a fight with hawks in the republican party . who's the face right now? what does it mean to be a conservative in the party right now?

>> i don't think we know. i think that we learned something in these last three days, is that you can see it one of two ways. there's a very healthy debate going on or the conservatives are suffering from multiple personality disorder , because i heard both some panels and some speeches that were very pro- immigration reform , and then i heard some very against. i heard panels that were very strong on national defense and having a strong role for the u.s. and international security , and i heard some that were rather isolationist in saying we need to back off. i think there was a lot of debate going on. you could either see it as healthy or you could see it as not healthy.

>> frank keating , where are you with all this?

>> well, i mean, cpac , i was the emcee once for one of their --

>> former governor.

>> dinner several years ago. it really is a spring stew. you have conservatives. you have social conservatives . you have economic conservatives. you have libertarians. and rand paul won the cpac poll. what is his viewpoint? his dad's, i guess, would be legalize heroin, get rid of nato. i mean, it's a very, very --

>> he wants to cut the department of education . he wants to stop aid to --

>> it's all over the place. that to me is the conservatives, not the common denominator of the party. what is the common denominator of the party i think is growth, opportunity, incomes, making us finally address this very serious debt, deficit.

>> you're going to iowa. would you like to be a nominee of the republican party ?

>>> i've been to michigan, illinois, other places. i'm satisfied being governor of wisconsin. i had to do it twice to run for office. but both senators, they're somewhere in between. there's the prince. s that are timeless combined with the fact that we need to be more relevant as conservatives and republicans. what i mean by that, to your point, who in america grows up wanting to be dependent on government? who moves in from another country, comes in as an imgrant and doesn't want to live the american dream ? we need to be the movement and the party that says we're the ones that have you not become dependent on government but empower you to live your treatment dream for more freedom and prosperity.

>> we used to talk act conservativism as a three-legged stool. i can tell you at least one or two of those legs are awfully wobbly if you judge it by the cpac conference because the national security , the strong defense is getting wobbly. and also social views, social issues. you've got rand paul saying let's back off from talking about that. so, i mean, we're either down to being a bicycle or unicycle depending on who's speaking.