CPAC, Day 3, Part III: Hargan (HHS), Wilkie (VA), Wolf (DHS), Brouillette (Energy), and Carr (FCC)

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 and II here and here.


From the “CPAC: The World is Watching” session, with Andrew Cooper (LibertyWorks, Australia), Jay Aeba (Japanese Conservative Union), Daniel Cho (KCPAC), and Eduardo Bolsonaro (Chamber of Deputies, Brazil), moderated by Matt Schlapp (ACU chairman):

  • The fight against socialism is not just in the US, but goes on around the world, too. There are international CPACs in a number of countries. They have tougher fights than we Americans do.
  • Cooper: We have similar problems in Australia. We have the quiet voters who stand up at the ballot box, too, who believe in capitalism and free speech. When we had a CPAC Australia, the Left attacked us on the floor of Parliament.
  • Aeba (Japan): US and Japan must watch and fight against Chinese hegemony. It is conservatives who lead that charge.
  • Cho (Korea): A conservative president was impeached, and a leftist government was in place for the last three years. The country is spiraling down. Our freedoms are being attacked. We had our first KCPAC last year, and we’re fighting back.
  • Bolsonara: My father, the president, defeated a socialist. We are learning from US CPAC. For us in Brazil, it is clear what socialism is bringing to the continent. I would love to have the Second Amendment in Brazil. Now that Brazilians can buy guns, the number of murders has gone down 20% in one year. We are promoting freedom wherever we can. This is about the people, economic growth, not about control or personal gain for the Bolsonara family.
  • Schlapp (ACU chairman): We take this battle against socialism for granted here, but it’s happening everywhere else in the world, too. When I visited Japan, Japanese women were wearing MAGA hats because they said they loved America which has a president that understands the fight against socialism.
  • Cooper: You might seem like you’re under attack, but you have friends and allies in other countries, too.
  • Schlapp: Brazilians understood the phrase “fake news” very well.
  • Bolsonara: We are reforming and deregulating on our way toward free markets.
  • Schlapp: We invited a Hong Kong representative to Japanese CPAC, but that person was refused permission to attend, so we took a risk and joined the Hong Kong protestors in the street. We stood with the protestors – American and Japanese CPAC leaders with the Chinese protestors in the streets.
  • Cooper: Hong Kong is the trench warfare between China and the Free World.
  • Bolsonaro: The biggest challenge we have is the lack of a fair media and universities that can transmit our free market ideas and values (freedoms) to the people. We need to build the structure of freedom in our country.
  • Cho: The biggest threat is socialism from China, not just North Korea. Cyber warfare is a big problem. Conservatives are divided in Korea; CPAC in Korea will help bring them all together. When you saw that America is exceptional, you are right.
  • Aeba: Economy and national situation are the big challenges. We need to broaden economic freedoms in Japan. You conservative friends are inspiring us to fight against the authoritarians in our own country. We need to boost up and strengthen the Japanese Defense Forces to be able to – with America and our allies – to defend ourselves against the Chinese threat.
  • Cooper: The Chinese threat is very real. They are picking of islands in the Asia-Pacific region. They are influencing our universities and cultural institutions, too. Our universities are dominated by leftwing philosophers who are against free market solutions.

From the “A Conversation with Sec. Dan Brouillette (Dept of Energy) and Acting Sec. Chad Wolf (DHS), moderated by Fred Fleitz (Center for Security Policy):

  • Wolf: The President is taking bold steps to secure our southwestern border. We have 126 miles of the border wall built with a total of 450 miles by the end of the year. We are also restoring the integrity of our immigration system. We are returning individuals who have to right to be here to their countries of origin.
  • Brouillette: We have made America energy independent again, which reduced our reliance of countries that don’t have our best interests in mind. We are now #1 in oil and gas production in the world. That gives America a lot of leverage. It allows us to take decisive action against bad actors like Soleimani.
  • Wolf: President Trump was forward-leaning on travel restrictions and other measures to combat the coronavirus. Our main mission at DHS is to keep sick people out of this country. Our people have screened over 50,000 people to date.
  • Brouillette: We run 17 national laboratories and are helping with super computers and probabilistic modeling of the spread of coronavirus. Looking at the protein strains to find off-the-shelf drugs to help deal with the virus.
  • Wolf: New York restricted all law enforcement access to their DMV database. That means federal law enforcement officers can’t run a license check or enforce customs laws on bad actors. We are pushing for DHS personnel access to databases to accomplish their federal law enforcement missions.
  • Brouillette: The President went to the NATO conference to help the Europeans less dependent on Russia for energy. US LNG to the EU are now 600% greater than they were just two years ago.
  • Wolf: We are taking a number of steps to ensure out elections are safe. Cybersecurity experts are working to support all of the states. We are working with them (and social media companies) to understand what foreign interference looks like.
  • Brouillette: Look at Venezuela to see what would happen if the Green New Deal is implemented in America. We have been able to grow the American economy by 17% but have reduced carbon emissions. We are developing battery storage capabilities for resilience purposes as much as for green energy purposes. We are just a few short years from a major increase in battery storage capabilities.

From the “A Conversation with the FCC Commissioners Brendan Carr and Mike O’Rielly” session, moderated by Gordon Chang (author and Fox News contributor):

  • Chang: 5G technologies will link all your devices. Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson are leading the technology development. No US companies!
  • Carr: President Trump has directed a solution that protects American networks We are looking at taking equipment off our networks sourced by foreign countries. We are moving to a virtualized network that relies on software solutions while protecting IP.
  • O’Rielly: We pushing for open standards for 5G technology development. Market forces are going to reduce prices and help innovate.
  • Carr: More ISPs and more fiber are in place now because we’ve gotten government out of the way. The next step is to stop the filtering of content based on political bias.
  • Carr: Those in Silicon Valley have no problem telling the rest of the country what to think, but at the same time they’re willing to help China enforce authoritarian controls on the Chinese people.
  • O’Rielly: The Chinese networks built up with the help of Silicon Valley are doing harm to the Chinese people and also to the rest of the world.
  • Carr: 5G is about everything we value, and if the network is compromised, we lose everything. We must stop Huawei.

From the “A Conversation with Dep’y Sec. Eric Hargan (HHS) and Sec. Robert Wilkie (Veterans Affairs)” session, moderated by Charlie Gerow (Quantum Communications):

  • Hargan: We have the best public health system going. The early statement to ban travel of people from Wuhan into the United States gave us time to prepare. They were the right decisions to make [which has been ignored and twisted by the Democrats and the media].
  • Wilkie: We are constantly rehearsing for major disasters, checking our supply chains, and preparing aggressively as appropriate.
  • Gerow: The Trump Administration concentrates on patient care and healthcare services delivery.
  • Wilkie: This is the first president who has focused on veteran’s care. We have sent 2.5 million veterans into the private sector for their care. Socialism in America will kill the promise made by Abraham Lincoln made that the country is obligated to take care of its veterans.
  • Hargan: We have an emphasis on choices and options. There are now 1200 more choices on Medicare options, which has lowered costs to consumers.
  • Wilkie: We have reduced the percentage of opioid prescriptions in the VA. We are opening the aperture on choice for medical options for our veterans.

This ends Day 3, Part III.

The end.


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