The Lincoln Project on CPAC: Where’s Ron?


CPAC is the Mos Eisley Cantina of politics, full of scum and villainy. CPAC’s lineup is a who’s who of conspiracy theorists and insurrection supporters, who are only concerned with obtaining power and their own celebrity status. They are wrong for America and wrong about America.

Where’s Ron?
Where’s Ron DeSantis is the question that should be on top of everyone’s mind. The media appointed “rival” to Trump is so afraid of being overshadowed that he’s skipping the GOP’s most influential conference to save his ego.

Watch our ad we dropped this morning about Ron’s bravery.

Ron likes to play the tough culture warrior. His attacks on the teaching of American history and against Disney “wokeness” are a pathetic attempt to get into the good graces of MAGA. (Though, there’s no word if he’s thrown out the photos from his Disney wedding.) Does he really believe he can supplant Donald Trump as the MAGA standard-bearer when he’s too weak to even show at CPAC?

Fox News and It’s Nightly Lies
Rupert Murdoch admitted that Fox News has nothing but contempt for its audience and lied night after night to them. Murdoch is willing to see America burn for profit.

As the propaganda wing of the MAGA movement, Fox News has direct responsibility for the violence of January 6th. They enraged Trump’s violent supporters night after night with lie after lie. When the mob stormed the Capitol and attacked police Rupert Murdoch was an architect of the brutal spectacle.

Attendees deserve to know that Rupert, Sean, Tucker, Laura and the rest of the crew at Fox were laughing at them off-air. So we created an ad to run digitally geo-fenced around CPAC, the RNC, and Mar-a-Lago this week to let them know, since Fox isn’t going to tell them.

Donald Trump’s CPAC Domination
Trump is the de facto leader of the GOP. He put McCarthy into the Speakership and MAGA controls the levers of the Party. This conference is his terrifying vision for America if he gets a second term.

Trump will be greeted like a conquering hero. The rabid MAGA base that floods these grievance galas are Trump diehards to a tee. Just look at the straw polls that are coming out of these events. Trump couldn’t get stronger support if he polled his own family. (We all know how Ivanka and Melania vote when the curtains are drawn).

Trump’s so-called ‘demise’ is a false media narrative that defies logic. 40% of the GOP faithful are on a ride or die mission with Trump; They’d rather see the party burned down to the ground than vote for someone else. All the other candidates are competing with Trump for the final 60%. That math makes him difficult – if not impossible – to beat.

Every speaker at CPAC owes their allegiance to Donald Trump, including Presidential dreamers Nikki Haley and Mike Pompeo. They both worked for Trump and pretend to embrace the MAGA universe. Neither of these weaklings have shown any gumption to directly attack Trump. Both these candidates will be lucky to make the debate stage and are non-factors.

CPAC Will Create Dangerous Policy
CPAC – and its MAGA audience – holds enormous influence over policy choices. Speakers include nine Senators, four Congressional Committee Chairs, plus the Conference Chair. They have the ability to craft and move a legislative agenda.

Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jim Jordan, and Paul Gosar are some of the most ridiculous Members of Congress, but they can’t be discounted. They now play key roles in running the US House of Representatives that gives them enormous influence over the legislative calendar.

The GOP is the party of insurrectionists and secessionists. There’s no moderation in their policy choices:

  • They support Putin over democracy.
  • They want to end all U.S. aid to support Ukraine. 
  • They want to crash the global economy rather than pay for the enormous debt that Trump ran up while in office.
  • They believe the 2020 election was a fraud (or at least they say they do, to stay in MAGA’s good graces).
  • They’ll do anything to subvert our democracy for power
  • Their right-wing outrage machine (Fox) just got caught lying and lying and lying about the 2020 election… and they all did it intentionally. 
  • And now we can add… pro-secession!


GOP ‘Moderates’
GOP members claiming to be ‘moderates’ and ‘centrists’ are trying to sound appealing to their constituents who rejected the nihilism of Donald Trump. The reality is they support the ultra-MAGA agenda and refuse to condemn the behavior of their colleagues for their destructive actions.

McCarthy and McConnell will pretend they don’t have anything to do with CPAC, but they are both owned by MAGA. McCarthy sold every ounce of dignity he had to get the votes needed to become Speaker of the House. He handed over the agenda of the House to Marjorie Taylor Greene just to become the weakest Speaker in history.

McConnell privately hates MAGA because his preferred candidates were destroyed in the primaries, leaving him as Minority Leader. Now he’s stuck having to defend whatever crackpot ideas that come out of the MAGA-controlled House and fighting off dumb ideas from Rick Scott and Ted Cruz. But like all Republicans, he gets in line when the MAGA hordes demand.

Bottom Line
No longer a fringe movement lurking in the shadows, MAGA now has complete ownership of the party apparatus. It’s turned the GOP into an authoritarian nationalist cult obsessed with lurid conspiracy theories and fighting a weird culture war to roll back individual rights and destroy our democratic institutions.

The Lincoln Project is a leading pro-democracy organization in the United States — dedicated to the preservation, protection, and defense of democracy.

To learn more about The Lincoln Project, go to



There is no time for complacency.

There is no time for living room activism. Every day must be spent asking ourselves if we’re doing our part, if we’re doing enough to ensure that the grand idea called America continues.

Thank you for joining us in this fight.