Matthew Dowd: CPAC Like Going To A Flintstones Episode


Former Bush adviser turned ABC contributor, Matthew Dowd was asked to weigh in during the panel segment on This Week on some the speeches at this years Conservative Political Action Conference, and didn't hold back with continuing his criticism of the decision to invite Sarah Palin to speak at the event.

Two weeks prior, Dowd complained that Palin "wasn't competent enough for Fox News" and "diminishes" CPAC. While I'd agree with him on the former, given the list of the other wingnuts who were invited to speak there as well, there wasn't much left to "diminish." Republicans have been pandering to the Christian right and the TeaBirchers in their party for decades and now that they've taken over the joint, they're complaining.

RADDATZ: Congressman, anybody make you nervous there at 2016?

BECERRA: No, no. I think...

DOWD: The whole thing makes me nervous.

BECERRA: What I see is a party that's in disarray that's trying to figure out where it goes. And what was it, Senator McConnell, Republican Senator McConnell said a cry -- he doesn't want to be a part of a crybaby caucus. And I think that what Republicans are trying to do is figure out what path they choose.

Let them choose. Once they've decided, the American people want to know where are we going to go, let's go there as Americans not as Republicans or as Democrats.

RADDATZ: Audi, Marco Rubio is seen as a reformer, especially on immigration? But he didn't really even bring it up, why not?

CORNISH: No, he didn't. And obviously it's such a complicated thing. There were immigration panels and breakout sessions. This was a huge topic of conversation. Maybe he didn't want to be pigeon-holed, maybe as one Latino conservative said last week, you can't expect Marco Rubio to win the Latino vote for you. And he's obviously staking out some ground there and trying to go with the traditional sort of three stools of the Republican Party.

RADDATZ: Matt, you're just shaking your head. The whole thing makes you nervous. What do you think?

DOWD: Well to me, imagery an who is there and what you say is important. And I don't think divisions are a bad thing. I actually think that a conservative message that is built for the 21st Century would be a good thing. CPAC to me reminds me of going to the land before time. And it's like going to a Flintstones episode in my view.

RADDATZ: Are you talking dinosaurs here?

DOWD: No, it's like a bunch of dinosaurs, most of them are throwbacks in time. It's like who's running for Grand Poobah of the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes is what it looks like to me.

When you have Sarah Palin, who is a -- it's an amazing situation to me, it's between her and the Kardashians, I think you add it up, between a Palin connection (ph) and the Kardashians, there's 10 reality shows that have been built around that.

I don't think it's helpful to the Republican Party. I think there are some people, Marco Rubio in there, who will become and are stars of the party. I think CPAC's time has come and gone. And it's time for somebody to put together a 21st Century conservative agenda.

CORNISH: But what's wrong with hashing those ideas out publicly? I mean, what's wrong with having that conversation in a way that the public can see and understand, that there is real conversation...

DOWD: I just wouldn't do it in the Mezoic era. I just -- that's what I think part of the problem is.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.