The largest group of conservative grassroots activists and leaders are gathering this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference – known as CPAC – to listen to the top conservative voices as they address the struggles the nation faces under the leadership of the most liberal President in our history.  

This is a historic moment for the conservative movement, and as chairman, I am honored to help lead the discussion on the principles that have made America exceptional.   

This year’s CPAC and its theme of “We Still Hold These Truths,” will energize our efforts to expand conservatism across the nation.  

I am particularly proud of the role that young people continue to play at the conference, and we are also seeing a growing number of Latinos participate and embrace the conservative principles to restore America to greatness.

Latinos and other immigrants often uniquely understand the problems associated with left-wing governments that trample on human rights and destroy the entrepreneurial spirit.  

Sadly, we have seen these destructive forces sweep across much of the Western Hemisphere, and even more tragically America herself is locked in a battle over state control of many of the most important parts of the economy, like health care and energy and even basic freedoms like our First Amendment rights, which are under attack by the current administration.  

America remains a beacon of light for the world, but we must continue to battle for the truths that make her so.  

A recent Gallup poll once again proved that more Americans associate themselves as conservative then liberal, which shows why the Obama Administration is suffering from such weak approval ratings from voters.  

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The Administration is pushing a hard left-wing agenda that clashes with the true desire of the American people who want the federal government to find ways to encourage private sector job growth, by reducing government spending, regulations and red tape.  

Their liberal class warfare agenda continues to divide our country.  The participants at CPAC are ready to battle these radical proposals, defend the Constitution and work together to make America all it can be.

Hispanics, like most Americans, are not looking for a hand-out.  Instead, they are looking for a fair opportunity: they are self-reliant and take pride in working hard to make their own way in providing for their families.  

These are the same conservative values, I believe, can rebuild our country and will be on display at CPAC.  

In fact, a recent poll by the Resurgent Republic found that 45 percent of Florida Hispanics were aligned with conservative policies.  

Despite their conservative leanings, many of these Americans will too often support liberal Democrat leaders.  

With all the economic suffering in the country from President Obama’s policies, we have a unique opportunity to address this political disconnect. Latinos are facing higher unemployment numbers and greater poverty levels and cannot afford four more years of moving our country further away from its founding principles.    

Our nation is seeing a growing number of Hispanic conservative voices, and more Hispanic conservative leaders are being elected.

Sen. Marco Rubio, Republican from Florida, and Gov. Susana Martinez, Republican from New Mexico, are just two of the rising stars in the conservative movement.  Their common sense approach to limited government and defense of individual liberty resonates with the Latino community.  

After three years of misery and broken promises by the Obama Administration, the conservatives have an opportunity to connect with Hispanics based on our shared principles of rebuilding a stronger nation and returning to American exceptionalism.

The conservative values are the only values that give hope and opportunity to the less fortunate in our society and free themselves from government dependency.  

Latinos pride themselves in being self-reliant and having a strong work ethic, which has led to the creation of many successful small businesses in America.  The last thing they need is burdensome regulations and more government intrusion, which Obama continues to push.  

Conservatives know that government does not create jobs, but job creation largely comes from these small businesses.  We need more conservative elected officials to protect these small business owners and help more Hispanics succeed as entrepreneurs.

Our job at CPAC is to broaden our message to all Americans – including Hispanics.  

We share the proven values of faith, family and freedom, as well as support free market and a constitutionally limited government.  

With the upcoming November elections, Latinos will need to choose between supporting a destructive class warfare agenda by the Obama Administration or help rebuild the American ideals of freedom and opportunity by joining the conservative movement.

Al Cardenas is chairman of the American Conservative Union

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