CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp welcomes liberal media at annual event, but quit asking him about Mitt Romney – Fox News

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ORLANDO, Fla. – The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) typically includes members of the liberal media attempting to cause scenes, mock attendees and harass Republican lawmakers and other prominent speakers – but CPAC chairman Matt Schlapp doesn’t seem to mind. 

Schlapp, who jokingly rubbed his hands together as if he was chomping at the bit to discuss mainstream media, said liberal critics simply can’t help themselves. 


Mercedes and Matt Schlapp spoke to Fox News Digital backstage at CPAC in Orlando, Florida. 

Mercedes and Matt Schlapp spoke to Fox News Digital backstage at CPAC in Orlando, Florida.  (Fox News Digital)

“The fact is that we put on this big show, we put on this interesting conversation, and they all come. And they hate the fact that they have to come, but the fact is a lot of news gets made here,” Schlapp told Fox News Digital from his private green room backstage at The Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando as the conference aired on screens throughout the room. 

“There is no other conference like this in the world. We’re the largest annual conservative conference in the world on politics, and now we do two in this country, and we’re doing them overseas,” Schlapp said.

The weekend’s event featured everything from CBS News reporter Robert Costa confronting the event’s controversial figures to Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” correspondent Jordan Klepper attempting to dupe attendees into making unflattering comments that will presumably air on the liberal comedy program. Other mainstream reporters badgered Schlapp throughout the event. 

“I would just say to the liberal media that keeps harassing me on why we’re so divided as a movement, it’s so obvious that we’re not,” Schlapp said. “We’re not at odds, that we are together.”

Schlapp said that one of the talking points often spouted by his liberal critics in the media is why Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, wasn’t invited. 


Matt Schlapp doesn’t think CPAC attendees wants to hear from Sen. Mitt Romney. 

Matt Schlapp doesn’t think CPAC attendees wants to hear from Sen. Mitt Romney.  (Fox News)

“Literally nobody in this whole hotel is concerned about whether or not Mitt Romney is going to speak. No one holds him up as a conservative here. No one hold Liz Cheney up as a conservative hero. In our ratings she gets a C,” Schlapp said. “When my kids get a C we don’t get them a cake, we say, ‘You gotta do better,’ so this idea that we’re kind of messing something up here, it’s just the opposite.”

Schlapp loves inviting people the liberal media loves to hate to his event and the 2022 edition certainly had a plethora of speakers who fall into that category. Everyone from former President Trump to former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard took the stage. 

“It was just too delicious to set a bomb off in the middle of the Democratic Party with their heads exploding on Twitter over the fact that one of their own is coming to CPAC, and by the way, we don’t cancel people,” Schlapp said. “She’s allowed to say whatever she wants, even things we disagree with. She has free rein.” 

Principles First, an anti-Trump conservative group, held a two-day grassroots summit at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. that directly overlapped with CPAC. However, Schlapp dismissed the notion that the event is any sort of competition for his gathering of conservative leaders. 


“It’s very interesting. Principals first, as opposed to America first. It sounds like they don’t believe that being pro-America is being principled. That’s our very problem,” he said. “You can be an American and be proud of every aspect of America and her founding and the problem with Trump’s critics is that, and the end, Trump isn’t the problem. America is the problem and that’s why we’re going back to say we’re Americans who love our founding.”

Fox Nation is the Featuring Sponsor of CPAC 2022. Watch CPAC speeches live and on-demand on Fox Nation. Sign up using promo code CPAC to receive a 30-day free trial. Offer ends April 30, 2022.

Fox News’ Andrew Kugle contributed to this report. 

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