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GOP Stars Headline Conservative Summit In Denver

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DENVER (CBS4) - Republicans and tea party members thrashed President Barack Obama and Democrats over the red-meat topics of immigration, school choice and fracking at a conservative conference this weekend.

Michele Bachmann attacked Obama on his handling of the swell of migrant children across the U.S.-Mexico border.

“President Obama has virtually taken an eraser, and there is no southern border anymore,” Bachmann said.

She said signals from Obama and some Republicans, including outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, on illegal immigration is threatening the nation.

“We have people coming across the United States (border) who are coming from terrorist nations, and we don’t know who these people are. We have criminal gangs coming in,” Bachmann, who is serving her last term in the House, told CBS4.

The fifth annual Western Conservative Summit drew nearly 3,000 attendees, the group said, up from approximately 2,000 attendees last year.

Jim DeMint, a former U.S. House representative who is now the president of The Heritage Foundation, said issues like education are rallying voters on both sides of the aisle.

“We’re finding a lot people who used to be on the far left,” he said, “who see the benefit of giving parents and children more choices of education.”

DeMint also said fracking, a hot-button topic in Colorado and in other states, could unite the country.

But Democrats rebuffed their remarks.

“This weekend’s conservative summit is further proof that today’s GOP is no longer a big tent party that is interested in real solutions for all Americans, rather they’ve become a circus sideshow,” according to a statement issued by Rick Palacio, the chairman of the Colorado Democratic Party.

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