CPAC, Day 3, Part II: Mark Levin, Berning, Centofante, James, Overguard, al-Aqidi, and Alice Marie Johnson

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

These are my continuing highlights from the American Conservative Union’s (ACU) Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). I am capturing as many cogent remarks by the speakers as possible in order to convey the highlights to readers. I previously posted my notes from the early morning Thursday session here, here, and here; Day 2 Part I, II, and III here, here, and here; and Day 3 Part I here.


From the “Life Support: Questions the Candidates Should Have to Answer” session, with Emily Berning (Let Them Live) and Alison Centofante (Live Action), moderated by Mary Vought (Senate Conservatives Fund)

  • Here’s one: why do you want more abortions? Safe legal and rare is not what Democrats are about.
  • Another one: what is abortion? Many people don’t even know, including the legislators who are writing laws governing abortions. 77% of Democrat voters want abortion restricted in some way, yet all of the Democrat candidates support late-term abortions because that’s what the abortion industry supports.
  • Abortion kills more black Americans than any disease. The question is, who are Democrats sticking up for when they support late-term abortions?
  • The abortion industry is transactional; they’re only after the money (they could care less about after-care). It is pro-life organizations that support women during and after pregnancy. Pro-lifers are about love and compassion and support over the long-term.
  • How can the Democrat Party claim to be “pro-woman” when they are rabidly pro-abortion, and there are women who have abortion who lose their reproductive capability? Because it’s all about the money.
  • The Democrats claim abortion facilities are just like other healthcare facilities, but they aren’t held to the same medical hygienic standards.
  • Pro-life is a winning political issue. Helping women resonates with many people. Having pro-life services available makes it much easier for women to choose life.
  • How can anyone support “post-birth abortion” and be for human rights? Because there will always be evil in the world. This practice is barbaric and de-humanizing. Pro-lifers fight for those children who don’t have voices by fighting for “heartbeat bills” and other measures that prevent abortions.
  • 73% of women get abortions because of financial instability. Pro-life organizations are performing outreach every day to reach these women and provide them the support they need to make the right decision.

From the “Please America, Don’t Give Up” session, with John James (James Group International); Health Care (Steve Overguard, Alberta Adventures); Military (Amb Cho Tae-young, columnist); Free Speech (Dalia al-Aqidi (journalist; running against Ilhan Omar in Minnesota):

  • James: Do not underestimate the appeal of socialism to the underprivileged in America. We must show them that there are far better choices than socialism, and that freedom and opportunity work for everyone. There is only one place that you can go from being a slave to a senator in four generations, and that place is America.
  • Healthcare (Overguard): I am a Canadian and love Canada, but without the US, we’d be screwed. I have first-hand experience with Canadian healthcare. Our healthcare system totally sucks. Canadian doctors prescribed me medicine for what was diagnosed as a blockage. I went to Cleveland where the US doctor told me I didn’t have a blockage and should get rid of all of the prescriptions. It worked. [We get prescriptions, not proper treatment.] My daughter got whip-lash in a car accident and had many other problems that a Canadian doctor diagnosed as anxiety. She again went to Cleveland and got diagnosed with a rare disease that is under treatment, and she is now functional. With social medicine you will experience what I did. Don’t listen to their B.S. Without America, Canada would be screwed for real healthcare.
  • Military (Cho): Military power is vital to confront the expansion of China. The Chinese are pushing anti-access and area denial in the Chinese periphery, affecting all countries in the area. They are projecting power beyond East Asia and expanding military power everywhere. The Chinese oppose US exercises and ultimately any US presence on the Korean peninsula. The Chinese control the North Korean nuclearization that is ongoing in order to put political pressure on South Korea, the US and other allies. We must maintain joint military power to counteract the Chinese.
  • Free Speech (al-Aqidi): I am a proud conservative challenging Ilhan Omar this year! We’ll get it back. I grew up in Baghdad, but we had no freedom or liberty. Saddam’s Baath government controlled the only two TV channels and all other media. We couldn’t stand up and speak about Saddam’s wars, his persecution of Iraqi minorities, and his corruption. Hostages have no choices; that’s what we were. We couldn’t even talk to family members and neighbors because we were afraid of informers for the secret police. The countries we were taught to hate like the US and Israel had the freedoms that we didn’t have. Freedom was a forbidden word that we dreamed of. We arrived in the US as refugees. I am heart-sick for this country. The liberal press and the Democrat Party look like they will nominate a socialist – someone who supported authoritarian regimes who made hostages of their people. Ilhan Omar also defends those countries who make hostages of their people. They only care about equal distribution of material things; they never talk about any form of freedom. Economic freedom, freedom of speech, etc., get in the way of their quest for political power and control. I am using my voice to defend the freedoms of people in the Middle East and here in America. I am a Sunni Muslim and wear a cross in support of all the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. The Democrats would like to criminalize speech that they don’t like. If you don’t have freedom of speech, you don’t have the freedom of thought. We Americans are taking that for granted. We are an election away from losing our freedoms. I will do everything I can to keep this from happening. Sharia law has no place here; I ran away from it. I am a Muslim, and I know what it’s like. There is a lot of difference between being just a Muslim and an Islamist, and we are at war.

From the “Afterlife: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom” session, with Alice Marie Johnson (author; recently pardoned by President Trump):

  • [Alice Marie Johnson’s sentence was commuted by President Trump, who has signed out transformational criminal justice reform that gives non-violent offenders a second chance at life.]
  • Johnson: This is a great day to be free. My life has been totally changed by President Trump. I made mistakes and took full responsibility for my crimes. I was married at 15 and pregnant. I was a manager at FedEx. My parents believed in hard work, so I grew up in a working family. After 19 years of marriage, I found myself a divorced mother of 5 with no support. I then lost my job, and my life spiraled out of control. I was desperate. Sin will take you further than you ever thought you would go. When everything fell apart, I was convicted of conspiracy and attempted drug possession and was sentenced to life plus 25 years. My family members thought that visiting me in prison was like visiting a graveyard where my body resided by not my spirit. I was able to bring light into a place [prison] that was only supposed to be darkness. I was denied clemency on three separate occasions. Ivanka and Jared became a part of Team Alice. The President’s heart made it happen. I became the face of compassion, grace, and mercy; that’s what this country has been built on. President Trump is to be commended in signing out the First Step Act – the first bipartisan criminal justice reform in 30 years. Faith, family, and a love for this country – these are my values. President Trump gave a second chance to three women on a list I gave to him. Criminal justice reform is a very part of his administration.

From the “A Conversation with Mark and Julie Levin” session, with Mark Levin (Life, Liberty and Levin on Fox News Channel) and Julie Strauss Levin (attorney):

  • Levin: The elections for prime minister in Israel are in two weeks. What are the implications?
  • Levin: In so many ways, Donald Trump is an exceptional president. When he says something, he does it. Netanyahu is the strongest Israeli prime minister in history, and the Israeli Left wants to put him in prison. The Left is diabolical everywhere. We have one of the greatest presidents in history, and the Democrats want to put him in prison.
  • Levin: The Left have done everything they can to break down civil society. The Left want government control over everything.
  • Levin: When is the last time in the Democrat debates that they ever talked about the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution? Anyone can create an authoritarian dictatorship. There is no such thing as “democratic socialism” [it’s an oxymoron]. How many more examples of that travesty do we need to realize that the result is misery for the people? Bernie Sanders has done absolutely nothing in his entire political career, and he wants to nationalize everything.
  • Levin: It’s unbelievable to think that Sanders will be the Democrat nominee. Isn’t there a bigger concern that in the US – of all nations – that we will have a Marxist that could actually be the president of the United States?
  • Levin: He’s always been a Marxist. We need to crush Bernie Sanders. Wouldn’t you rather have moderates in the Democrat Party than Marxists? Buttigieg, Klobuchar … they’re all Marxists. When you look at them, there’s not a moderate among them. If you want to fix the healthcare system, we need a thousand more insurance systems, and thousands more doctors and hospitals. The coronavirus vaccine won’t be discovered in a socialist country; it will be discovered in a capitalist country. The Democrats like Thomas Friedman at the NY Times used to praise China. A challenge to Democrats: how about a one-hour speech where you praise America, praise free enterprise, praise freedom?
  • Levin: They want to steal our wealth and our freedom. Bernie Sanders thinks he knows how to run everything, and yet he couldn’t even run a hot dog stand. People are prepared to support a demagogue. The Bernie Sanders agenda who lie in bed all day and want free stuff, and I don’t intend to pay for that (and neither should you). The coronavirus – the Democrats have a plan: open borders. And sanctuary cities so we don’t know who has it. And to weaponize it against our president. When the coronavirus broke out, the Democrats shut down Congress for their impeachment farce.
  • Levin: Picture a Democrat debate in which Mark Levin is asking the questions, not the Democrat media hacktivists. What would your one question be for each candidate?
  • Levin: Joe Biden – what time is it, Joe? Klobuchar – who are you? Elizabeth Warren – what tribe exactly do you belong to? Mini-Mike – he loves China and is an oligarch. Are you five-two or five-three? Mayor Pete – what’s with your hair? What else am I going to ask the guy because he’s never done anything? Steyer – you’re an ass. Are you an ass? Bernie – aren’t you running for president in the wrong country?

This is the end of Day 3, Part II. More to follow!

The end.


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