A conservative speaker was escorted by security out of the Conservative Political Action Conference Saturday after she criticized conservatives for their hypocrisy when it comes to sexual misconduct allegations against President Donald Trump and criticized event organizers for inviting French nationalist Marion Le Pen.
Mona Charen, a conservative author and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, participated in a panel discussion with three other women on the main stage of the annual conference held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center that was titled "#UsToo: Left out by the Left."
During the panel, panelists were asked about what is upsetting them about today's feminism.
"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, who brag about their extramarital affairs, who brag about mistreating women," Charen said. "And because he happens to have a R after his name, we look the other way. We don't complain. This is a party that was ready to endorse — the Republican party endorsed — Roy Moore for the Senate in the state of Alabama even though he was a credibly accused child molester. You cannot claim that you stand for women and put up with that."
Charen's comments didn't sit well with some in the audience. Several people pushed back with boos and jeers and some repeatedly shouted, "That's not true."
After an audience member shouted that they needed to separate the "good guys" from "bad guys," Charen criticized the fact that CPAC would invite Le Pen, the 28-year-old granddaughter of National Front founder Marine Le Pen.
Le Pen addressed the CPAC crowd on Thursday, which led to some media outlets suggesting that her presence shows just how far right American conservatism has come under Trump.
Charen, too, was dismayed by Le Pen's presence.
"Speaking of bad guys, there was quite an interesting person who was on this stage the other day. Her name is Marion Le Pen. Now, why was she here?" Charen asked. "Why was she here? She's a young, no-longer-in-office politician from France. I think the only reason she was here is because she's named Le Pen."
While some in the audience cheered Charen's criticism, others in the audience began to boo. At one point, a man shouted, "Why are you here?"
"And the Le Pen name is a disgrace," Charen continued. "Her grandfather is a racist and a Nazi. She claims that she stands for him."
More booing ensued.
"And the fact that CPAC invited her is a disgrace," she stated.
Charen's statement was followed by even moore boos. According to Politico's Tim Alberta, one man even yelled at Charen, "You're a disgrace."
Alberta reports that Charen was surrounded by three security officers as she was leaving the panel and she was "marched briskly to the front doors."
"They were acting as if I were in real danger," Charen told Alberta later on, adding that she didn't feel as though she was in danger.
Charen opened up about what happened on Saturday in an op-ed published by The New York Times titled "I'm Glad I Got Booed At CPAC."
She explained that she has been a conservative all her life and even wrote speeches for First Lady Nancy Reagan and also worked for President Ronald Reagan.
"So you'd think that the Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, would be a natural fit. It once was," she wrote. "But on Saturday, after speaking to this year's gathering, I had to be escorted from the premises by several guards who seemed genuinely concerned for my safety."
"What happened to me at CPAC is the perfect illustration of the collective experience of a whole swath of conservatives since Donald Trump became the Republican nominee," she argued. "We built and organized this party — but now we're made to feel like interlopers."
Charen stated that she was surprised to be invited to speak at CPAC because her views on Trump and Moore are "no secret."
"I knew the crowd would be hostile, and so I was tempted to pass," she said.
Matt Schlapp, the head of the American Conservative Union, told Politico that he didn't see Charen's panel and doesn't know who requested the security guards.
Although Charen's comments might have been out-of-step with the 93 percent of CPAC straw poll voters who approve of the job Trump is doing so far, Schlapp added that Charen's comments are evidence of the diverse viewpoints at CPAC.
"That's a little bit of what CPAC's all about," Schlapp said. "We don't have a monolithic message. We put a lot of people on stage."
Charen told Alberta that there are "a huge number of conservatives who feel as I do."
"And I just felt it was important that people at this conference hear from us, too," Charen explained."The conservative movement is broader than CPAC. And it still contains a tremendous number of people with principles and high standards. ... There are still good people at CPAC. Very good people. But it's important to draw a line."