At Rosemont's Donald E. Stephens Convention Center on Friday, speaker after speaker spoke of defeating President Barack Obama and rallying the conservative base.
"The election is one we must win," said Rick Santorum at the Conservative Political Action Conference, vowing to mobilize one million conservatives through his new initiative, Patriot Voices. "Debt is burdening us."
Politicians praised Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's recall election win to big cheers.
"Ya know what's happening in Wisconsin? Democracy," said Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson. "Wisconsin has to be a model. We turned a very blue state red."
Richard Mourdock, an Indiana Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, spoke to rousing applause, noting "our nation is in trouble and we need a new direction."
"The President has utterly failed to lead us," said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, a favorite among attendees.
Gov. Chris Christie stole the show, joking about how bad finances were when he took office in New Jersey and warning about the European financial crisis, giving Illinois "my condolences."
"If you're not a millionaire but feel like one, we'll tax you in New Jersey," Christie joked.
He spoke of how he went after public pensions and changed the system. "It's time to tell the truth," he said to a standing ovation.
Christie said he "absolutely" supports Mitt Romney for president and implored conservatives to stop Obama from a second term.
"Campaigns are about speeches," Christie said, reminding the crowd, "We're right and they're wrong."