POLITICS
03/15/2013 09:46 am ET

Donald Trump CPAC Speech: U.S. Is Run By 'Very Stupid People'

Outspoken business mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump offered a rebuke on Friday of the Romney campaign, American Crossroads, his critics on both sides of the aisle, and in particular the Obama administration.

"We're run by either very foolish or very stupid people," he said during his speech at CPAC. "What's going on in this country is unbelievable. Our country is a total mess, a total and complete mess, and what we need is leadership."

Trump tends to be polarizing, but he was popular here at CPAC. His early-morning speech drew a large crowd -- far larger than remarks at the same time on Thursday -- and he has claimed credit for an increase in ticket sales after his appearance was announced. But conservative commentators have criticized the fact that he was invited when other popular conservatives, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, were not.

Trump mocked those who have dismissed him, saying his business success proves his importance.

"I'm continually criticized by total lightweights all over the place," he said. "It's unbelieveable. When you see these guys on television, they can't buy a clean shirt, and they're saying 'Donald Trump, he's nothing.'"

He said that Romney should have, like him, touted his business success.

"Republicans and Mitt, and I told him this, didn't talk enough about the things he did, the great things," he said. "They were in the defensive instead of taking that offense."

Trump had harsher words for the Karl Rove-founded super PAC American Crossroads and the failure of the candidates it backed in 2012.

"When you spend $400 million and it's a failure, and you don't have one victory, you know there's something seriously, seriously wrong," he said.

Trump also had some ideas for the country, such as going back to Iraq to take some of its oil to pay for the war.

"When I heard that we were first going to Iraq, some very smart people told me we're actually going for the oil, and I said, 'Alright, I get that, there's nothing else, I get it,'" he said. "We didn't take the oil. And then when I said, we spent $1.5 trillion, we should take that -- you know, they have the second-largest oil reserves in the world after Saudi Arabia, so $1.5 trillion is nothing ... we should take it and pay ourselves back."

"What are we thinking? And this is whether it's Obama or [former President George W.] Bush or whoever -- what the hell are we thinking?" he said.

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"

ALSO ON HUFFPOST:

PHOTO GALLERIES
CPAC 'All-Stars' Have A Way With Words
Subscribe to the Politics email.
How will Trump’s administration impact you?

CONVERSATIONS