msnbc | March 14, 2013
>>> so it's being called the new march madness , republicans are gathering out the beltway in maryland for their annual cpac conference. still scheduled to speak on day one, senators marco rubio , rand paul and tim scott and former presidential candidate and texas governor rick perry . it was former congressman who kicked off the day and seemed to allude to the heart of the gop.
>> this conference, this audience, these values all jealously guard conservative identity from liberal wolves in sheeps clothing .
>> joining me for sound off is s.e. kupp co-host of the cycle. one of the big talkers out of cpac is the straw poll that will take place. senators rubio and rand paul on the speaking list. both have gotten 2016 buzz. one off the poland springs water bottle gate, the other off the epic filibuster. who has the best chance of taking the straw poll ?
>> that's what's great about cpac , we're a diverse tent. you have someone like rand paul with libertarian bend and marco rubio , who i would put somewhere more toward the middle. it's such a great celebration of diversity. also on the straw poll , chris christie who was not invited as you mow to cpac . we get it wrong there. trying to shun certain members out of the big tent when we should be celebrated just how diverse and interesting we are.
>> you called it the purity test , the cpac purity test . which is different than the -- bob mcdonnell is great, two governors not invited. but they don't pass the cpac theory.
>> we have to stop judging conservatives on a sliding scale of conservativeness. who is getting a right on the issues, who is too conservative, who is too moderate. instead we need to judge our leaders and our candidates on a vertical scale of effectiveness. are they effective communicators. do they put us in a good light. chris christie absolutely does. whatever sorts of hits and misses on the horizontal sliding scale of conservatism, that has to be put aside. he's a really good spokesperson for the gop.
>> someone like christie does have a future, meanwhile we're getting people from the past, mitt romney reemerging, showcasing the man behind the 47% tape, a bartender from florida who was with our ed schultz last night talking about why he wanted to get this tape out and what he has to say about romney now. take a listen.
>> i think the guy needs to respect the will of the voters. the election wasn't even that close. i think he needs to take personal responsibility for his campaign. take responsibility for the words he said. and move forward.
>> does mitt romney move forward if he owns it, recognizes that was the achilles heel of his campaign, recognize where he screwed up? and tries to get people, like a scott prouty who says he's an independent, doesn't have a political bent. wasn't out to tank his campaign but felt the words needed to be shared.
>> i hardly think he's a political expert or analyst. i don't think mitt romney needs to take advice from him. but to that point --
>> that's the guy who would elect mitt romney .
>> who knows.
>> this is a guy who clearly wanted to put himself into the mix or he would have released this and gone away. he wants his opinions out there. good for him.
>> come on.
>> mitt romney can take advice from other folks.
>> he didn't come out -- the tape came out. he did not show up until last night. it's not like he made a maim for himself.
>> months later out of nowhere. for what reason? i mean, mitt romney , i'm sure --
>> he didn't get paid for his interview.
>> that doesn't matter. i'm sure mitt romney has learned the lessons from his campaign. the mistakes that he made on camera, off camera, behind the scenes and i'm sure he's very contemplative about that. i expect at cpac for him to be humble and to sort of jolt the base back into an exciting kind of mood.
>> se kupp always great to see you. you can watch weekdays at 3:00 p.m . eastern on msnbc. joining us now