WASHINGTON — Senator Mike Lee, (R-UT) started off the first day of CPAC addressing the conservative audience in the main ballroom stating that he is not running for President in 2016. He will be running for office in 2016, but only in Utah, seeking re-election for a second term as Senator. After much applause, Mike Lee asked a big question regarding the upcoming presidential election in 2016. Noting that over the past 6 presidential elections we haven’t elected a conservative since Ronald Reagan. His question then is,
“Are conservatives ready to pick the next president? “
Senator Lee then went on to explain how to identify a conservative candidate. A conservative candidate has specific policy ideas to reform our government. If you and the candidate disagree on an issue, they will not be afraid to tell you so. Lee warned Americans not to fall for platitudes, generalizations and abstracts from politicians seeking their vote. He then invited the audience and all of America to join him as he defined what that conservative candidate looks like. He proposed they will possess three qualifications: Principled, Positive and Proven.
“A principled candidate means being a conservative everyday, not just on the campaign.”
Being principled is something that you carry into every aspect of your life, and that is the first mark of a conservative candidate. Discussing what it means to be positive, Senator Lee said it means telling us more than what you are against, but what you are for. He then shared this concept by using the analogy of a soldier going into battle.
“A soldier doesn’t fight because of what he hates in front of him, his enemy, but because of what he loves behind him.”
The last quality conservatives need to demand from their candidate is that he or she be proven. Proven means 2 things;
Someone who has proven himself by winning big fights on election day. Someone who has proven himself after election day, while in office. Conservatives must demand both. Show he can win elections, and later show that he deserved to win those elections. He must show he will battle against entrenched interest, not just of the other party, but within his own. The conservative candidate who ignores moderates is as misguided as the moderate that ignores conservatives. The candidate we are looking for can attract both.
His comments were met with approval as evidenced by the crowd’s applause. After outlining the resume of what conservatives need to look for if they want to elect the next president of the United States of America, Senator Lee turned the onus onto the citizens of our country.
“Principled, positive and proven isn’t just up to the candidates themselves. It’s up to us as well.”
In his closing thoughts Senator Lee provided more insights for voters to reflect on.
Republican candidates are only going to be as good as conservatives demand them to be in 2015. Let’s demand that these candidates will be extraordinary. Not one candidate will be anything short of that. Imagine if no one donated a dime of their money to those who talk a big game, about limiting big government, but never gets around to talking about how he would fix broken government.
Principled. Positive. Proven.
“That’s the candidate and campaign people are waiting for and the one conservatives can produce, if and only if we stay true to our own high ideals. I’m here to ask for your help to find him!”
– Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)
NOTE: Story has been edited for content after publication.