Ron Paul won't be speaking at CPAC 2012, despite winning the straw poll at the Republican Party's biggest annual gathering for the past two years.
Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are all featured speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C. next weekend, making Ron Paul the only presidential candidate to not be attending. According to his campaign, Paul turned down the invitation due to scheduling constraints.
Invited speaker Congressman Ron Paul (TX - 14) will be unable to attend CPAC 2012 due to the travel constraints of his Presidential campaign, read a statement by the American Conservative Union. Paul will be campaigning in Maine.
Paul's son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, will be featured speaker at the three-day conference.
CPAC usually attracts large throngs of fervent Paul supporters to D.C., making him the event's straw poll winner for two years in a row. Other Republicans, however, have dismissed the libertarian for having no chance of winning the Republican nomination.
During last year's conference, Republican real estate mogul and new Mitt Romney surrogate Donald Trump angered Paul supporters and incited boos from the crowd when he said Ron Paul cannot get elected, I'm sorry.
Many of the Texans supporters, the so-called Paulites, had been looking forward to attending the conference again in 2012. Paul's absence, however, led the famously internet-savvy bunch to lash out on the internet and spew conspiracy theories about why their beloved candidate was going to be a no-show.
The exclusion of Paul is likely a maneuver by GOP insiders to re-align CPAC, the biggest annual conservative confab, with the Republican establishment and prevent an embarrassing straw poll defeat for likely presidential pick Mitt Romney, who Paul beat in 2010 and 2011, a commentator wrote on infowars.com. Buzzfeed has collected a number of other conspiracy comments.