U.S. Senator Ted Cruz speaks to CPAC 2013. (Reuters)
By Marion Algier – Palin-Cruz 2016
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference is set to begin bright and early Thursday at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Md. Organized by the American Conservative Union, the conference will run through Saturday and will feature some of the most prominent members of the Republican Party, including a bevy of possible 2016 contenders.
The Conference opens with Ted Cruz and closes with Sarah Palin… saving the best for last, and nobody wants to have to follow her!
A straw poll will be held at 5:20 on Saturday in which attendees can choose their preferred candidate out of the 26 options for the GOP 2016 nomination. This year’s poll includes more candidates than any recent year. In 2010, with just 11 candidates on the ballot, then-Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas.) won, followed by Mitt Romney, who went on to become the party’s nominee in 2012.
Below is an abbreviated schedule of the events.
9:00 a.m. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
9:16 a.m. Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey
9:24 a.m. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan
9:40 a.m. South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
10:19 a.m. Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell
11:45 a.m. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
12:00 p.m. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
12:16 p.m. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
12:31 p.m. Utah Sen. Mike Lee
2:45 p.m. Donald Trump
9:00 a.m. Texas Gov. Rick Perry
9:16 a.m. Texas Sen. John Cornyn
10:23 a.m. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
11:15 a.m. Ralph Reed, founder of the Faith and Freedom Coalition
2:26 p.m. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
2:40 p.m. Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union
2:51 p.m. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
12:45 p.m. Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker
1:12 p.m. Jim DeMint, president of the Heritage Foundation
5:23 p.m. Straw poll
5:45 pm. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
For a full schedule, see the CPAC website. C-SPAN will also carry live coverage of the events.