The winner of the 2010 CPAC presidential straw poll brought down the conservative house again this year with a resounding critique of Washington politics. No one was safe from Texas Rep. Ron Paul's opinion, which often includes condemnation of Republicans and Democrats alike.
"We've had way too much bipartisanship for about 60 years," Paul said, drawing one of many standing ovations from the crowd. "It's the bipartisanship of the welfare system, the warfare system…it all goes through with support from both parties. "
As one of the only speakers to address the unfolding situation in Egypt Friday, Paul criticized the United States' policy toward the pivotal Middle Eastern nation. "We've invested $70 billion in Egypt... and all we get is chaos for it," Paul remarked. "I'm still against foreign aid for everybody."
Just hours after President Barack Obama commended outgoing Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak for heeding his peoples' demands in stepping down, Paul scolded the U.S. for having "propped up" outgoing President Hosni Mubarak for years, noting that what goes on in other countries is "none of our business."
"Temporary stability does not guarantee the stability that we need around the world," he said. "And besides -- we just don't have the money." Acknowledging the ideological divide at CPAC, also asserted that the United States can't sustain troops at 900 bases around the world, but "I'm sure half the people in this room wouldn't cut one penny from military spending," he said.
U.S. aid to other countries is equivalent to "taking money from people in rich countries and giving it to rich people in poor countries," he added.
But one policy area that drew resounding support from the crowd was shoring up America's own economy with smart, conservative fiscal policy. The best way to encourage the development of freedom in other countries, he said, is "to have a sound economy, a sound dollar [and] treat people decently."
"We make promises and we don't know about the future," Paul said about the federal government. He challenged young people to consider "opting out" of the system and agreeing to pay a flat tax in exchange for smaller government and fewer restraints on freedom:
Earlier this week, Paul was one of a handful of congressional Republicans who opposed extending certain provisions of the Patriot Act. During his remarks, he addressed issue, calling the failed vote a "victory for the freedom movement" in the United States. "The Patriot Act is literally the destruction of the Fourth Amendment."
Paul's unapologetic remarks routinely draws some of the largest crowds during the annual conference and this year was no exception. The Texas Republican praised the tea party movement as a "revolution," which helped elect his son, Sen. Rand Paul, in Kentucky.
But despite Paul's vocal base of support every year at CPAC, most Republicans dismiss the possibility that he could be a viable candidate for the presidency. Nevertheless, don't be surprised if the outspoken libertarian walks away with yet another CPAC presidential straw poll victory -- one of an astonishing 15 candidates on this year's ballot.
Rep. Paul's full CPAC speech available below: