CPAC draws big names on Day Two

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," March 15, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

TUCKER CARLSON, GUEST HOST: Day two of the 2013 CPAC conference just wrapped up today, and the list of speakers was a who's who in the conservative movement because you probably weren't able to tune into all 11-plus hours of that event although some of you may have. We did it for you. Take a look at the highlights.


MITT ROMNEY, FORMER PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: It's up to us to make sure that we learn from our mistakes and my mistakes and that he we take advantage of that learning to make sure that we take back the nation, take back the White House, get the Senate and put in place conservative principles.


WAYNE LAPIERRE, NATIONAL RIFLE ASSOCIATION: Let's get this straight, to protect our children in school, we recommend a trained professional with a gun. They recommend scissors. And they say we're crazy?

REP. PAUL RYAN, R-WIS.: In our budget, draws a very sharp contrast with the left. It says to the people in unmistakable terms, they are the party of shared hardship, we are the party of equal opportunity.


DONALD TRUMP, ENTREPRENEUR: The fact is, we're run by either very foolish or very stupid people. What's going on in this country is unbelievable.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-KY.: Don't tell me Democrats are the party of the future when their presidential ticket for 2016 is shaping up to look like a rerun of the golden girls.

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA.: We must go out and win the next election so that we can preserve for our children and our grandchildren all that makes us the greatest country in the history of the world.


CARLSON: Joining me now with reaction to what you just saw is the great Dr. Charles Krauthammer. Charles, thanks a lot for joining us.

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: It's a pleasure, with an introduction like that, I'll take it anytime.

CARLSON: And so, what is this tells us about the future of the conservative movement? The Republican Party, the outline for the 2014 mid- terms?

KRAUTHAMMER: Look, some of what we saw today and yesterday tells us that we Republicans have a very strong bench. The pity is, it just wasn't ready in 2012 when we had a fairly weak field. I thought by the way just to write a grace note, to have the defeated presidential candidate Romney speak and treat him as well as he was, I thought that was a lovely moment. It had no sort of particular import for the future, but when you saw yesterday, you saw Marco Rubio, you saw Rand Paul, you see Paul Ryan today and even a couple who were excluded, Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, you know, who for the time being are slightly persona non-grata, but that would only be for a very short time. This is a party with a future. It's got a party with a very strong and I think a winning ideology. I think this is a center right country and you know, there's a lot of despair among conservatives and Republicans, somehow the other party is the party of the future, the demographics are running against us. I think that's simply not true. I think they are a party that is ideologically on the wrong side of the country, they had a very strong candidate, we have a relatively weak candidate, and I think as long as they nurture these young leaders who are coming up and they stick to their principles, I think we have a very good chance.

CARLSON: Did you see the makings of any future dividing lines, fault lines? There are people walking throughout CPAC, he was there the last couple of days wearing "Stand with Rand" stickers on their blazers and I wonder if that suggests, you know, some sort of real competition between the Rand Paul wing of the party going forward and say the Marco Rubio wing. Do you think that's real?

KRAUTHAMMER: I think that's real, but you know, I think that wing has always been there, but it was the Ron Paul wing. And the problem with the wing is that Ron Paul for all of his sincerity was, shall we say, somewhat eccentric on some issues. Rand Paul is polished, sophisticated, he doesn't obsess about the gold standard on the Fed and he talks about it saying that appeal to the young. It's rather interesting.

He is a libertarian, so on social issues, he deviates wildly from where Republicans have been for the last 30 years, since Reagan, so that's I think it does play to the young, but I don't know how it plays to the rest of the party, but even more radically, he is a semi isolationist. He talks about, you know, the filibuster was ostensibly about shooting a missile through a kitchen of a guy in Topeka, but it was really about the whole war on terror abroad and how we ought to be conducting and if we are to be conducting it. And he speaks for a very significant wing of the party, we really have the country that is war weary and wants to withdraw. And that again is very much against the Reagan tradition and against the mainstream of the party. So, I think it does have appeal to the young and I think that's what you see in CPAC was disproportionately young, but I'm not sure how it plays. So while there is a split and I think he will enlarge the libertarian part of the party, I can't see it becoming in any way a majority of the party.

CARLSON: Is it your sense that Republicans are energized by their apparent victory in the politics of the sequester and did in fact they win that political battle?

KRAUTHAMMER: They did, and the reason they're energized, is it took them out of the death spiral. They had been losing everything, including an election that they should have won in 2012, and then they got crushed on the debt -- on the fiscal cliff and on the sequester they simply stood firm, they did what Reagan said, don't just do something, stand there, and did nothing and they won. And Obama, we've seen his numbers fall and it told people, you know, this is not what you think.

When you lose a general election, crushed on a tactical issue a few months later, you do get a sense that we have no hope here. And I think the one tactical success with the sequester and the overshooting, the obvious overshooting by the Obama administration has grown a lot of life back as has the gathering of these young people in CPAC and, you know, I think the despair is a temporary phenomenon. It's going to dissipate very quickly.

CARLSON: Charles Krauthammer, the only person I ever met who speaks in perfect sentences, perfect grammatically, perfectly formed. It's unbelievable. You're not reading that by the way. I just sort our viewers know.

KRAUTHAMMER: Yes, of course, I've been reading off notes written in code --

CARLSON: Teleprompter. Charles, thank you very much.

KRAUTHAMMER: Sure. Pleasure.

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