NATIONAL HARBOR—A panel at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C. went off the rails on Saturday after one speaker blasted the Republican Party and organizers of the major annual gathering of conservatives.
Comments made by Mona Charen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, at Saturday’s CPAC panel titled “#UsToo: Left out by the Left” were relatively conservative—she criticized the modern feminist movement and argued for more traditional male and female gender roles.
But Charen quickly lost the Republican audience when she turned her attention to the Republican Party for enabling and excusing candidates accused by many women of harassment and assault.
“I'm disappointed in people on our side for being hypocrites about sexual harassers and abusers of women who are in our party, who are sitting in the White House,” Charen said, noting the accusations against President Donald Trump, “who brag about their extramarital affairs, who brag about mistreating women. And because he happens to have an ‘R’ after his name, we look the other way, we don't complain.”
She also went after CPAC itself, saying the conference’s organizers should be ashamed for inviting far-right French leader Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, the niece of anti-immigrant French leader Marie Le Pen and granddaughter of Nazi apologist Maréchal-Le Pen.
“The Le Pen name is a disgrace,” Charen said. “Her grandfather is a racist and a Nazi.”
She continued: “The fact that CPAC invited her is a disgrace.”
The audience turned on the political analyst almost immediately.
When she called out the Republican party’s embrace of failed Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore, who was accused of misconduct and molesting underage women, attendees in the crowd shouted “Not True,” and that accusations against him were a “witch hunt.”
When she asked why Le Pen was here, members of the audience shouted back: “Why are you here?”
The quick backlash to Charen’s speech by some attendees reflected the 2018 CPAC landscape which largely excluded “Never Trump” Republicans and other critics of the president and the Republican Pparty.
Indeed, according to Politico’s Tim Alberta, Charen was quickly escorted out of the event by security guards provided to protect her from the conference’s own attendees.