Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador told the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that his Republican message helped him win his election last November and that conservatives need to stick to that message now that they’ve gained seats in Congress.
“We weren’t elected because the American people love Republicans,” Labrador said toward the end of his 28-minute speech at the yearly conference. “We were elected because the American people love Republican principles.”
Labrador said his message was simple and listed a half dozen key parts of the message. It included lowering taxes, promoting fiscal restraint, the 2nd Amendment, the sanctity of life, the power of the family and opposing government health care and overreaches.
“It’s the message that inspires the grassroots support and inspires voters to get off the couch and work hard for you,” Labrador said.
Idaho’s newest and youngest member of Congress spoke on the first day of the conference, which also features potential GOP presidential candidates and congressional leaders. He told several jokes early in his speech, saying that he and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, represent the different shades of the Republican Party.
Labrador also described his life story, discussing his mother’s shift from identifying as a Democrat to voting for Republican President Ronald Reagan as well as her decision to seek financial help from friends and her church, rather than the government.
He also criticized President Barack Obama. He said that both Obama and Reagan were good speakers, but only Reagan’s actions matched his rhetoric. “(Obama) says things that sound nice and inspire hope in many,” Labrador said. “His actions betray his message.”
Labrador also told attendees at the conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union that the GOP, which now holds the majority in the U.S. House, is merely renting the House and could be evicted from power during the 2012 election if it doesn’t deliver on its message.