NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Does the Donald know something we don’t?

Thursday marked the first day of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, which brought together prospective White House candidates, conservative opinion leaders and tea party activists from coast to coast.

Watch Video: Trump Speech At CPAC

With the party facing a tug of war for the soul of the GOP, Republicans made the case that they must unite and offer a different path in the midterm elections.

Photos: Donald Trump At CPAC 

Among those who gave speeches were New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Donald Trump.

Christie, facing conservatives who have been slow to embrace him, received applause throughout a speech that highlighted his opposition to abortion and stressed the importance of getting results. “We don’t get to govern if we don’t win,” Christie said.

Trump also spoke to the crowd of conservatives and compared the Obama administration to that of former President Jimmy Carter.

“We’re getting into Jimmy Carter territory,” Trump said. “And I never thought I’d see anything like that again. I lived through that time and it was not a good time and we’re pretty close. I think maybe by next month we’ll have surpassed the late, great Jimmy Carter.”

Problem is, Carter is still alive.

The wealthy real-estate developer is being recruited by some in the GOP to challenge incumbent Democrat Andrew Cuomo.

He said he would consider running if state Republicans join together behind him.

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