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Darragh Roche  1 hr ago


 

A major Florida newspaper has offered harsh criticism of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) due to begin in Orlando today in an editorial published on Wednesday.

The Orlando Sentinel, the main newspaper for Orlando the Central Florida region, argued that traditional conservatives would be unhappy at the focus of the event, in particular citing National Review founder William F. Buckley.

“If the political descendants of William F. Buckley Jr., Ronald Reagan and Antonin Scalia were coming to town, that would be exciting,” the newspaper wrote. “But that’s not what CPAC is bringing to Orlando.”

The editorial highlighted CPAC’s focus on elections – there will be seven sessions covering the topic.

“The panels will repeat over and over the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, and they will further rationalize election law changes that make it harder to vote,” the editorial said.

Former President Donald Trump and his Republican allies claimed without evidence that the 2020 presidential election suffered from mass voter fraud an other irregularities.

These claims are likely to feature prominently at the four-day conference in Orlando ahead of Trump’s keynote address to CPAC on Sunday. It will be his first major appearance since losing the election and he is widely expected to frame himself as the leader of the GOP.

The newspaper noted that while the conference was titled “America Uncanceled”, CPAC has cancelled an appearance by commentator Young Pharaoh because of previous anti-Semitic tweets.

The editorial went on to criticize the limited attention CPAC will pay to the national debt and deficit, suggesting that “the right’s historic meat-and-potatoes issues” are being sidelined.

“As much as we would like to welcome to Orlando a thorough and thoughtful examination of today’s issues based on conservative principles, that’s not what we’re getting,” the newspaper said.

“Instead, a political clown car is arriving on I-Drive, driven by Sunday’s keynote speaker and today’s undisputed leader of conservatism — Donald J. Trump,” the editorial went on. “William F. Buckley would weep at the thought.”

Buckley is considered an icon of the modern conservative movement, whose approach to politics laid the foundations for former President Ronald Reagan to win office.

Since his death in 2008, Buckley has often been invoked to criticize the behavior of some modern Republicans. Admirers cite his commitment to traditional conservative principles and his polite demeanor with ideological opponents on his long-running public affairs show Firing Line.

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