During one of the largest gatherings of conservatives before the 2016 Republican convention there was little mention of Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, as conservatives grappled with the prospect of a Donald Trump nomination.
In past years, attendees denounced Clinton as organizers passed out opposition research aimed at implicated the former secretary of state in scandals. This year, few speakers mentioned Clinton or her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Instead the gathering of conservatives turned their attention to a more immediate threat to their party: Donald Trump.
When asked who they were more worried about in the Oval Office, Clinton or Trump, many conference attendees met the question with a blank stare.
"Uhhh, quite frankly I could never vote for either in good conscience so I can't say one is better or worse than the other," first time voter Dylan Rountree told the Washington Examiner while checking out vendors. "Both are big government sadists. Hillary is just doing it from a leftist perspective."
Other CPAC attendees said that while they are more inclined to vote for the Republican nominee, they were too worried about Trump's candidacy to actively support him.
"You have to worry about Trump," attendee Brendan Pierce told the Examiner. "He can be a hot head in the Oval Office. I don't prefer either though. I really couldn't tell you who I'd pick."
On the campaign trail, Republican candidates often compare themselves to Clinton, arguing they can beat her in a general election. But at CPAC candidates focused on Trump.
It wasn't just candidates. Before the business mogul cancelled his Saturday appearance at the event, it was rumored that over 300 people were planning on walking out in the middle of his speech. When Trump made his last minute decision to skip the conference, a CPAC organizer said that "his choice sends a very clear message to conservatives."
Sen. Ted Cruz spent the majority of his speech making the case he is a better candidate than Trump. But the Texas senator eventually touched on reports former Clinton aides had received immunity from feds to talk about setting up Clinton's email server.
Former GOP candidate Carly Fiorina railed against Clinton during her speech at Friday night's Ronald Reagan dinner, claiming that the Democratic front-runner highlights gender too much on the trail.
Otherwise, the only gathering to discuss Clinton occurred in a small side room Friday morning where Judicial Watch, a conservative-leaning watchdog group, addressed the federal investigation of Clinton's email server. The majority of the chairs in the 100-person room remained empty. But the few people who attended said they saw Clinton as a bigger threat than Trump.
"I would be much more concerned about Hillary Clinton considering she's involved in so many things that circumnavigate the law," attendee Rock Borman said. "I guess I'd rather have a guy like Trump in that position, although he's not my preferred candidate."