Broadside: Critiquing CPAC

(NECN) - For political junkies, the scene of all the action is the annual CPAC gathering, taking place just outside of Washington, D.C.

It features a parade of 2016 presidential possibilities. The result is a red state talent show - the GOP equivalent of a tryout for the hearts and minds of hardcore conservatives.

Two Massachusetts lawmakers who are not presidential candidates, Democratic Rep. William Straus of Mattapoisett and Republican Sen. Bob Hedlund of Weymouth, joined Jim Braude on Broadside to discuss.

First, the panel discussed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

"He's the most colorful guy out there, mentioned as candidate, so you're going to want to have a colorful guy in the mix," said Hedlund.

"I don't know that the details of the bridge closure issue will survive," said Straus. "What does survive, to me, is that it gave a window into his personality, which really is this very aggressive - use the word, 'bully' type - personality in the way he conducts himself, and those that serve under him."

Additionally, the lawmakers discussed America's handling of the crisis in Ukraine.

"I do think some of his foreign policies have been a disaster throughout his term," said Hedlund of President Obama. "In this instance, I have to defend him a little bit. I mean, Ukraine is to Russia as Mexico is to the United States ... To listen to the John McCain's - and, I mean, seriously, Lindsey Graham needs some kind of intervention."

"My hope, as a citizen of the United States, is that the president make no calculations based on politics as to how to respond to this situation," said Straus. "I haven't heard anybody say that the response, which would be sending in NATO troops, or sending in our own troops, is one we should consider."

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