The 3rd annual Western Conservative Summit was held this past weekend at the downtown Denver Hyatt Regency Hotel. Colorado Christian University and Centennial Instutute are sponsors of this gathering of powerhouse Conservative activists and thinkers, and this year, as in former years, they did not disappoint.
Centennial Institute is the “think tank” arm of Colorado Christian University and it has been indispensible in creating opportunities for politically active Conservatives to become educated and involved. Colorado leaders, John Andrews and Bill Armstrong, are the brains and hearts behind the Western Conservative Summit. Nearly 1,400 people from across the country attended the 2012 Western Conservative Summit, along with numerous press outlets including CSPAN and the Washington Times, and uncounted activists from various political campaigns.
About 40 vendors also promoted themselves at the Summit. Many Conservative book sellers, candidates, and organizations shared their goods and messages with the attendees.
Conservative luminaries and leaders filled the slate of presenters. Glenn Beck, a former star of Fox News channel who now runs his radio show and Glenn Beck TV, and Wayne LaPierre of the National Rifle Association, were the keynote speakers at Friday's dinner. The prevailing theme for the evening was “Conservative unity” and Glenn Beck urged people of all religions and political inclinations, from Baptists fo Mormons, and Libertarians to traditional Republicans, to unite to defeat Barack Obama in 2012. He said, “Americans are at their best when they are on the verge of losing everything. We are fighting a battle that it appears we cannot win, and that is why we will win.” Wayne LaPierre gave a fiery speech entailing the Obama Administration's scandal “Fast and Furious,” as well as its punishment of Arizona for attempting to enforce border security.
Discussion about the Supreme Court's decision on Obamacare dominated portions of Saturday's meetings. Bill Bennett, former Drug Czar and head of the Department of Education under Reagan, gave a scathing criticism of Thursday's decision as penned by Justice Roberts. Hugh Hewitt, a Constitutional scholar and radio talk show host, conversely, provided a rationale for Roberts' decision when he keynoted dinner that evening. The afternoon sessions focused largely on national security and the international and domestic threats posed by infiltration by The Muslim Brotherhood. National Security expert, Frank Gaffney, talked about his research revealing extensive Muslim Brotherhood networks in the United States. Dutch Parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, who must be accompanied continually by bodyguards, gave a compelling speech about the loss of freedom of speech, and of the breakdown of European culture due to the penetration of radical Islam into Western countries.
Entertainment was provided by performance poet, Shawn Welcome, Christian comic, Brad Stine, and CCU's vocal quartet, Legacy. Sunday's sessions were highlighted by presentations by Fred Barnes, Star Parker, and Dick Morris. Several Conservative-oriented movies were screened each evening after the formal sessions, including Kirk Cameron's, “Monumental,” and the soon to be released documentary,“Obama's America: 2016.”
The Western Conservative Summit is a conference which is designed to unify Conservatives and to focus the conservative message. WCS 2011 focused largely on the Presidential primaries and the candidates who were emerging as potential GOP nominees. WCS 2012 was clearly designed to garner unified support for Mitt Romney and to win back the White House and the United States Senate in November. The Summit closed with a straw poll in which its attendees selected their favorite running mate for Mitt Romney. It surprised no one when Marco Rubio, the Republican Senator from Florida, won the Vice Presidential straw poll.