Nightly News | February 11, 2012
>> washington, where romney won straw polls . it's an important nod for romney whose conservative credentials have been challenged throughout the campaign. he topped rick santorum , followed by newt gingrich and ron paul . but the big attention getter at this weekend's gathering was sarah palin who emerged with a rallying cry to voters.
>> reporter: sarah palin late today before a raucous crowd and back on center stage .
>> it is about one country united under god. we're not red or blue americans. we're red, white and blue and president obama , we are through with you.
>> reporter: palin brought conservatives to their feet, mocking the president and dishing up plenty of red meat .
>> he says he has a jobs plan to win the future. wtf, i know. and i'm the idiot.
>> reporter: though she don't endorse a candidate as some had hoped an energized palin rallied the base at cpac, an influential annual meeting of activists on the right.
>> our nominee must be ready, strong, fortified, passionate. a fighter for american ideals!
>> reporter: many conservatives haven't gotten over palin's decision not to run.
>> i think she represents a lot of what this country is about. she would be a great leader.
>> reporter: mitt romney narrowly beat rick santorum at the straw poll , but with some conservatives dissatisfied and the field still unsettled. today, cpac chairman spoke openly of a possible brokered gop convention.
>> i mentioned jeb bush as a personal favorite, but i said there could be others. whether he was the prime choice or not at the convention, you know, you could think of mitch daniels , chris christie , you know, mike huckabee and the list goes on.
>> reporter: while the economy and jobs remain a key cam thane theme, this week's social issues eremerged. including denouncing president obama 's ruling on contraceptive coverage and striking down gay marriage in california . it increases the risk for the americans in the fall.
>> certainly if the republicans are seen as too doctrinaire or pushing the social issues too hard it could scare the swing voters .
>> reporter: and most convention wisdom said it's all just part of the process and it could happen. lester?