WASHINGTON, Feb. 20, 2010— -- This year's CPAC convention was an all-out assault against President Obama, his party and his policies.
Big-name conservatives from all parts of the spectrum levied criticism against the administration, including former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich who told the crowd that it's time to "defeat the radicals and put the country back on track."
Conservative pundit and author Ann Coulter described life in an Obama presidency this way: "Now the entire country is like the terrorists in Guantanamo during the Bush administration. We're just waiting for a change of administration to be released from this hell."
It's no surprise that conservatives at the annual CPAC conference would skewer the Democrats. But they also took aim at their own party.
"After eight years of a Republican president and most of those times where we had majorities in Congress, conservatism did not fail America -- conservatives failed conservatism," Rick Santorum, the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania told the crowd this morning.
The key-note speaker, wrapping up the three-day event was conservative pundit Glenn Beck, who was given a rock star welcome when he walked into the event hall. He railed on Republicans for abandonning conservative principles.
"I haven't heard the 'come to Jesus moment' yet," Beck said. "I am a Republican and I have a problem."
Erick Erickson, who runs the conservative blog Red State.com, said establishment Republicans should be more worried about the new conservative movement than even Democrats.
The Tea Party momentum has turned conservative politics on its head by bringing the former fringe into the mainstream, he said.