CPAC: Rubio now committed to appear
posted at 5:05 pm on February 24, 2016 by Ed Morrissey
It’s the right move. It would have been even more right two days ago:
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) February 24, 2016
Charlie Spiering confirms that Rubio will speak on Saturday:
Rubio speaking at 11:35am ET CPAC time slot on Saturday, March 5.
— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) February 24, 2016
What took so long? Team Rubio made it clear that they weren’t averse to speaking at CPAC — Rubio has spoken there for the last few years — but that they couldn’t commit to their schedule for March. That’s a strange comment, considering CPAC is a fixture on the conservative schedule, and other candidates committed to their appearances months ago. It’s even more odd considering that CPAC heavily features the kind of organized activists that Rubio will need if he wants to take on Donald Trump, who has a powerful populist wave behind him, even while many of the think tanks and more formal activist groups remain a bit skeptical of Trump’s conservative bona fides.
The momentary kerfuffle between CPAC and Team Rubio won’t dampen the welcome Rubio gets, in all likelihood. He’s still part of the future of organized conservatism, even if some at the conference prefer other candidates in this cycle. If Rubio can’t pull off the nomination this year — and Allahpundit’s skepticism about the chances for either Rubio or Ted Cruz after the Super Tuesday next week is well founded — then he’ll need CPAC more than ever to generate backing for whatever his next move may be.