Veepstakes hits high gear at CPAC

June 10, 2012


CHICAGO — A parade of vice presidential possibilities came here Friday to strut their stuff in front of a gathering of conservative activists.

Republican Govs. Chris Christie (New Jersey), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), Bob McDonnell (Virginia), and 2012 presidential runner-up Rick Santorum — plus ex-contender Herman Cain — all took a turn on the Conservative Political Action Conference stage.

The Republican farm team touted their records in their respective states and tried to undercut President Barack Obama’s case that he deserves a second term, especially on a day when his statements about the economy sparked a firestorm. But the group as a whole spent a surprisingly scarce amount of time promoting presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney, who has never enjoyed a cozy relationship with the party’s conservative wing.

The CPAC Chicago conference — a regional offshoot of the three-day Washington conference — gave the men that could be vice president a chance to take a solo tour and preen in front of hundreds of activists and party faithful.

Some, like Christie — who flirted with a 2012 presidential bid and has been an enthusiastic Romney surrogate — delighted the activists with his straightforward, unorthodox message.

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