Strong Words, Little Policy at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City this past weekend gave candidates the opportunity to increase name recognition as we progress further into campaign season. The conference allowed candidates to clear the air and let the voters get to know their candidates for the Republican nomination. But what could have been an informative session largely resembled a superficial popularity contest instead.


Over the course of the three days, only a few candidates, Carly Fiorina, Mark Everson and Chris Christie, took the opportunity to discuss hard politics, none of whom took home many votes as represented in the straw poll conducted throughout the conference. Instead, speakers regurgitated information and complaints about the Obama administration and the state of the nation. Even more, candidates spoke not on beating the Democratic Party as a whole to take back the White House, but solely spoke against Hillary Clinton.

“I know more world leaders than anyone else running except Mrs. Clinton, but I don’t only do photo-ops,” Fiorina said.

“Hillary Clinton is Barack Obama’s ideological twin,” former UN ambassador John Bolton said, who attended the conference as a speaker and has declared he is not running in 2016.

“Who is responsible for September 11, 2012, for not protecting our people [in Benghazi]? Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama,” Bolton said. “The hallmark of a Clinton presidency would be deception,” Bolton said.

“We’re going to beat Hillary Clinton because our ideas are better and we connect with American people better,” Gov. Chris Christie said.

Nearly every speaker, from Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and candidates alike made known their animosity for former Secretary Clinton.

“A presidential election isn’t a beauty pageant. Our first priority must be winning,” Christie said.

While a presidential election is not just a beauty pageant, the Southern Republican Leadership Conference sure looked like one.

Story By: Bradon Long

Categories: Politics

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