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by Rob Bluey /

The Daily Signal made its CPAC debut this year, closely following the 2016 contenders and hot policy debates at America’s largest conservative conference. We’ve pulled together a quick take on the highlights of the first day.

1) Scott Walker Casts Himself as Champion of ‘Hard-Working Taxpayers’

The Wisconsin governor arrived at CPAC as the early 2016 frontrunner in Iowa, home to the much-anticipated Republican caucus next year. His speech, which came at the end of day one, drove home an economic message, touching on issues such as taxes and jobs that have played a big role in his three electoral victories in the Badger State.

During his speech, Walker found himself heckled by a member of the audience—an experience he’s endured on more than one occasion in Wisconsin. Winning applause from the crowd, he declared, “those voices can’t drown out the voices of hard-working taxpayers.”

Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., at CPAC. (Photo: Mike Theiler/EPA/Newscom)

2) Ted Cruz Criticizes GOP Leadership for ‘Cutting a Deal’ with Democrats on Immigration

With a deadline fast approaching to fund the Department of Homeland Security, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, showed no signs of compromising with Democrats. Conservatives, including Cruz, want to undo President Obama’s executive actions on immigration as part of the funding bill, which the Senate will vote on again Friday.

Before his speech, The Daily Signal joined a handful of journalists for a sit-down interview with Cruz. Here’s what he told us about the state of play:

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