15:30:00 O'Donnell Comes Out Swinging at Opponents, Status Quo
Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, entering to the soaring chorus of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" came out swinging against critics and what she called the "ruling class elites."
"The small elite don't get us. They call us wacky. They call us wingnuts," O'Donnell said, "I call us we the people."
O'Donnell issued a call to arms, noting that it wouldn't be without difficulties. "This is not a moment for the faint of heart," O'Donnell warned, "but is it worth it?" The crowd roared back "yes!"
There were also plenty of hits on Washington throughout the course of O'Donnell's speech. She called the nation's capital "a company town."
"The company is government, and they are deep in to mergers and acquisitions," O'Donnell said.
Making mention of the tax debate currently raging on Capitol Hill, O'Donnell called the lapsing of the Bush tax cuts "another government bailout... Although this time they're just bailing out themselves." She then added that it was up to the American people to take the nation back.
Conservative heavy-hitters are gathering in Washington for the kick-off to the annual Values Voters Summit.
Keep checking here for real-time updates on the action.
11:38:20 Romney Serves Red Meat at Summit
Former Massachusetts Governor and likely 2012 hopeful Mitt Romney issued a stinging indictment of the Obama administration and Congressional Democrats at Friday morning's Values Voter Summit. "This president and his fellow-travelers in Congress implemented the most anti-growth, anti-investment, anti-jobs measures we've seen in our lifetimes," Romney said, "He called it ambitious. It was reckless."
Romney argued that the administration's stimulus plan was unuccessful, but insisted that there was a bright side to the Obama economic agenda, "Their failure is one reason why they will only serve one term."
"Isn't it fitting that those who have such contempt for the private sector will soon find themselves back in it," Romney added to laughter from the crowd.
11:15:31 Pence Hails Resurgence of Conservatives on Capitol Hill
Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., says that Congressional Republicans have regained their conservative principles, after losing them four years ago. "Our party in Congress walked away from the principles that minted our governing majority," Pence said.
According to Pence, those days are over. Noting that House Republicans opposed the stimulus bill and health care overhaul in lockstep, Pence reassured the Values Voters attendees that "House Republicans are back in the fight and back in the fight with conservative values."
He praised what he called historic gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, the election of a conservative senator "in the state formerly known as Taxachussets," and said that the state of Delaware would soon be sending a conservative to the United States Senate.
"We will win this Congress back in 2010," Pence insisted.
The first fight House Republicans plan to take up will be on the recently passed health care overhaul legislation. "House Republicans will not stop until we repeal Obamacare lock, stock, and barrel," Pence said to a standing ovation. He said doing so would be a simple process, "We repeal the Pelosi Congress in 2010. Then we replace the Obama administration in 2012."
10:50:39 Michele Bachmann Crowd Favorite in AM Session
Rep Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., was the clear crowd favorite at Friday morning's session. Bachmann received a standing ovation one sentence into her introduction, before she was even on stage.
Bachmann used her prepared remarks to hail the Tea Party movement as a non-partisan group that aims to live according the nation's founding principles. "The Tea Party is not a red party or a blue party," Bachmann insisted, "It's a red, white, and blue party."
She said that the movement will have a profound impact on this years midterm elections and in the future. "Voters are going to speak again, and I think they're going to shout in 2010," Bachmann said to vigorous applause.
During a rousing call and response, Bachmann asked the crowd what they wanted to change in Washington, "Do you want to alter your Congress? Do you want to alter your White House? Do you want to alter your Supreme Court?" Each was met with a rousing applause and shouts of yes from the crowd.