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Presidential Hopefuls In OKC For Southern Republican Leadership Conference

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We're still eight months away from the first votes being cast in the 2016 race for president, but at least on the Republican side that race is starting to take shape and it's happening right here. We're still eight months away from the first votes being cast in the 2016 race for president, but at least on the Republican side that race is starting to take shape and it's happening right here.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

We're still eight months away from the first votes being cast in the 2016 race for president, but at least on the Republican side that race is starting to take shape and it's happening right here in Oklahoma City.

The Southern Republican Leadership Conference is providing a preview of the upcoming GOP contest.

One by one, top Republican elected officials are taking the stage at this conference, titled "Energizing America," testing their popularity as well as their one-liners.

"Let's remember," said New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, "the 2016 presidential election is not a Miss America pageant."

Governor Christie put it bluntly – six and a half years of President Obama have made it clear, he says, America can't afford for the Republicans to be crowned first runner-up in 2016.

"That cannot happen," said Christie, "the Republicans need someone who is strong and knows how to win."

Each candidate, whether announced or soon to be announced, is making the case to the Republican base, through this conference, that he or she does know how to win, and knows how to make the nation better.

"There is a path out of this mess," said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, "and it will take an adherence to conservative principles and leadership."

A common talking point has been what the Republicans say has been President Obama's failed foreign policy. Bush said leading from behind is not the foreign policy.

Of course, Hillary Clinton, leading Democratic candidate for President, has been a popular target and Florida Senator Marco Rubio says she is out of touch with America.

"The problem with Hillary Clinton," said Rubio, "is she thinks everything can be solved with more money."

Senator Rubio was not actually at the conference. He, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Ted Cruz are all addressing the crowd through videotaped messages. This is because the U.S. Senate was unexpectedly kept in Washington in order to deal with significant trade and security legislation.

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