The Elephant on the CPAC Stage

A cardboard cutout of Trump stands in the CPAC Hub room. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

FORT WASHINGTON, Md. — The last two Republican presidential nominees forcefully denounced Donald Trump on Thursday, but at one of the largest conservative confabs of the year, the GOP front-runner's name hardly came up.  

In fact, explicit references to the presidential race were few and far between at the first day of speeches at the Conservative Political Action Conference.  

Walker: 'We Need to Be Happy Warriors'

Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., sought the 2016 presidential nomination before dropping out in the early going. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker never mentioned his failed presidential bid — or anyone else's — while speaking to a gathering of conservative leaders and activists  on Thursday.  

"No matter what you think about what’s happening in the presidential election, you can’t give up," Walker told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference  outside Washington. Avoiding the presidential race and the party's distress over front-runner Donald Trump, Walkers' address at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center at Maryland's National Harbor  sounded like an attempt to reassure and motivate the audience. He repeatedly circled back to the mission of spreading conservatism across the states and avoiding the election that's on most Americans' minds.  

Coasting to Victory: D.C. Bar Handicapping Presidential Race

Coasters featuring political figures such as former Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, center, are being offered at the Off the Record bar in the Hay Adams Hotel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

No matter their standing in the latest polls, every White House hopeful is virtually guaranteed to soak up some attention at D.C.’s historic Off the Record bar.  

The fabled watering hole, which is just a hop, skip and a jump (stumble?) from the Oval Office, intends to handicap the upcoming presidential race by keeping tabs on which signature drink coasters — the extra-long faces of many those vying to be commander-in-chief grace the limited-edition series — customers routinely snatch up before rolling home.  

Rubio Campaign Manager on Walker Exit: It's About Money

Rubio appears at the first Republican debate with, from left, Ben Carson, Walker, Trump and Bush. (Scott Olson/Getty Images File Photo)

As news spread that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was dropping out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio’s Campaign Manager Terry Sullivan explained their differences between Walker's campaign and Rubio's.

“People drop out of campaigns because they run out of money,” Sullivan says at a forum for GOP campaign managers hosted by Google and National Review. “That’s why we run such a lean campaign.”

Scott Walker Drops Out, Wants to Defeat Trump (Updated)

Walker's campaign imploded after a promising start. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:20 p.m. | Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker exited from the presidential race Monday evening after one of the more stunning falls in recent American politics — from a perch atop the Iowa polls before the Summer of Trump left him as roadkill.  

Walker urged other candidates to drop out as well so that the party can consolidate someone with a positive vision can topple Trump.  

Ahead of Obamacare Repeal Rollout, Walker Stocks Up On Advisers Familiar With Capitol Hill

Walker greets a worker at the Iowa Pork Producers Association site at the Iowa State Fair. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

As Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker sets out to unveil his proposal to replace Obamacare, he's been staffing up from Capitol Hill.  

The Wisconsin governor has brought on Andrew Shaw as domestic policy director, the campaign told CQ Roll Call. Shaw has worked since January as the policy director of the conservative Republican Study Committee in the House, where he was involved in efforts by Chairman Bill Flores, R-Texas, and the RSC members to repeal the 2010 health care overhaul law.  

Party Politics: Washington Watches GOP Candidates Debate

Republican presidential candidates, from left, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Donald Trump listen as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush answers a question at the FOX News-Facebook GOP debate on Thursday. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

While the Republican presidential candidates were on stage in Cleveland, several Washington clubs took on the air of sports bars at debate-watch parties scattered across the city.  

Roll Call did the bar crawl and hit those at the National Press Club, the Union Pub and Johnny Pistola's.  

Designers on 2016 Presidential Campaign Logos: Meh

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s entrance into the 2016 presidential race  also meant the unveiling of his campaign logo: a bolded version of his last name with an American flag standing in for the letter “E.”  

Professional designers for the most part were not impressed with Walker’s logo — especially given its similarity to the logo of eyewear company America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses . And the general consensus on his logo and those of his rivals? A resounding "meh."  

2016 Prospects Encouraged to Do the 'Full Grassley' in Iowa

Walker greets guests before Ernst's motorcycle ride on June 6 near Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Sen. Joni Ernst's motorcycle ride and barbecue got most of the attention last weekend as Republican presidential candidates descended on Iowa, but the state's senior senator spent plenty of time with the presidential prospects as well.  

Sen. Charles E. Grassley isn't expected to have any trouble winning a seventh term, but he's taking nothing for granted. He told Roll Call last week he anticipates making appearances with other candidates and said there would be more fundraisers for his own political efforts.  

Scott Walker to Meet and Greet Congress Tuesday (Updated)

Walker will meet with lawmakers Tuesday on Capitol Hill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated May 19, 9:55 a.m. | When you're a Midwestern governor pondering a presidential campaign as a Washington outsider, there are plenty of people to meet on Capitol Hill.  

And that's just what Gov. Scott Walker plans to do Tuesday. In addition to meeting with a group of top social conservatives, the Wisconsin Republican has a full schedule of closed-door events with senior congressional aides and lawmakers, including a few senators, according to sources familiar with Walker's plans.