POLITICS
03/14/2013 12:32 pm ET Updated Mar 14, 2013

Raul Labrador At CPAC: '5 Republicans' Ruin Tone On Immigration

Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) grew frustrated at CPAC on Thursday about calls for the GOP to improve its tone on immigration, insisting that there are only "five Republicans" -- he didn't name names -- that hurt the entire party's reputation.

"I know tone is important but we need to stop flagellating ourselves," he said. "You have five Republicans that have that rhetoric."

Labrador was one of five panelists at CPAC's immigration panel, which took a noticeably more pro-immigration reform stance than the anti-"amnesty" railing heard at past conferences. The panelists used the term "undocumented immigrants," eschewing "illegals" or "aliens," language some consider to be offensive.

There wasn't much dissension on stage, but the audience wasn't entirely supportive. As pollster Whit Ayres called for the GOP to bring in Hispanics, one man yelled out, "legally!" Later, an audience member yelled "politically correct!" at the stage.

But despite the centrist message, President Barack Obama received plenty of criticism. Labrador and other panelists said that in the 2007 immigration reform effort, Democrats, including then-Sen. Obama, bent to the will of "Big Labor" groups that opposed guest-worker provisions. The same thing could happen this time, they said.

"If this does fall apart it will be because of the president," said Jennifer Korn, director of the conservative Hispanic Leadership Network.

"The Democratic Party has a problem right now," Labrador said. "They have to pick between their two favorite children ... [Hispanics] and the labor groups."

Of course, labor groups were not the only opponents of the 2007 bill. Thousands upon thousands of conservatives called GOP lawmakers' offices urging them to vote against reform, but nobody mentioned them Thursday as reasons for the bill's failure.

Center for Immigration Studies Director Mark Krikorian, a vocal opponent of immigration reform, tweeted angrily from the back of the room. He will appear on a panel on Friday, but neither his group nor others like it was given a seat at this one.

"So now the conservative base that stopped amnesty is demonized at #cpac2013," Krikorian tweeted after a discussion of the failure of reform in 2007. "Contradictorily, Labrador blames big labor for killing amnesty," he wrote next.

Below, a liveblog of the latest updates from CPAC:

03/16/2013 5:31 PM EDT

Rand Paul Scores Straw Poll Win

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) came out on top of this year's CPAC straw poll. Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:54 PM EDT

Birther's 'Inappropriate' Questions Face Fire

From HuffPost's Paige Lavender:

Orly Taitz, commonly known as the "Birther Queen," was rebuked by blogger Pamela Geller during a Saturday panel on Islam and national security at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 4:53 PM EDT

Walker Goes 47%: Obama Wants 'Government Dependence'

HuffPost's Jason Linkins reports:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the stage Saturday at CPAC, praising the assemblage for its support during the fraught Wisconsin recall fight, which Walker won, allowing him to stay in power. His speech was themed around the idea that the states are the laboratories of policy -- "Real reform does not happen in Washington, it happens in the statehouses throughout this country," he said -- and that he, in particular, was leading the way to end "government dependency."

If future GOP presidential runs depend on silver-tongues articulation of dorm-room "makers vs. takers" arguments, then Walker's future is pretty bright.

Click here to read more.

03/16/2013 1:51 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Sarah Palin Drinks 'Big Gulp' On Stage: 'Bloomberg's Not Around. Don't Worry'

sarah palin cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:37 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Rick Santorum Looks Like He Is About To Give Us A Knuckle-Sandwich

santorum cpac 2013

(Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 1:34 PM EDT

CPAC Highlights: Steve King

@ elisefoley :

RT @EvanMcSan: Steve King calls them "undocumented Democrats" #Immigration #CPAC2013

03/16/2013 1:01 PM EDT

PHOTO: CPAC Highlights, Michele Bachmann: Conservatism Is "The Movement Of Love, The Movement Of Care."

michele bachmann cpac 2013

(Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

03/16/2013 12:57 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly Invited CPAC Audience To Follow Her On Twitter

@ achorowitz :

Phyllis Schlafly just asked if we would please follow her on Twitter. What.

03/16/2013 12:52 PM EDT

Schlafly On Immigration

@ Bencjacobs :

Phyllis Schafly says immigrants will all vote Democratic, I don't think Marco Rubio agrees #cpac

03/16/2013 12:51 PM EDT

Phyllis Schlafly On Amnesty

@ jmartpolitico :

Phyllis Schlafly: "comprehensive is a synonym for amnesty"

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