CPAC 2021 in full swing, with Mike Pompeo, Kristi Noem, Marco Rubio among the speakers

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The Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) is in full swing on Saturday and will see a number of top names speaking about the issues facing the country and the conservative movement.

The biggest names include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who has become a high-profile name in the last year for her handling of the state during the coronavirus pandemic — when she has refused to shut down the state, keeping schools and businesses open.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will also address the conference on “How the Bill of Rights Inspires Us at Home and Across the World.” Both Pompeo and Noem have been eyed as potential 2024 presidential candidates.

Earlier in the day, Sen. Marco Rubio will address his home state as the first speaker of the day. Also in the morning, former acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell will speak.

There will also be a number of panels throughout the day. “Sell Outs: The Devaluing of American Citizenship” will see Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Reps. Yvette Herrell, R-N.M., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speak about issues to do with immigration.

Separately, there will be a panel on China featuring Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., and former Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. A panel on Biden’s energy policies will include Reps. Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, Mike Kelly, R-Pa., and Sen. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo.

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Other panels will include one on the Second Amendment, abortion and “the awakening of corporate America.” There will also be breakout sessions on trade, election law and foreign policy.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., will speak on the subject of “Winning Back America.”

CPAC, which is being sponsored by Fox Nation, is the first major event for conservatives since the presidential election. It provides an opportunity for conservatives to reassess the movement and work out how it should look in the Biden-era.

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But that conversation is likely to have former President Donald Trump at its center for the time being. The 45th president will speak on Sunday, and is expected to offer a stinging rebuke of the first month of the Biden presidency — while laying out what the GOP needs to do to take Congress in the 2022 midterms.

Trump’s influence was felt throughout the conference, with regular references to his achievements in office by speakers — and memorabilia both on sale and being worn by attendees. Meanwhile, some of the strongest anti-Trump voices were not in attendance at the conference.

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Also visible at the conference was the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the conference had moved to Orlando from Maryland due to the restrictions, attendees were still expected to wear masks and take health checks on entering the conference.

Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.

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Adam Shaw

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