"In the year 2009 mandatory government spending took 100 percent of all federal revenue," Armey said. "If you're not courageous enough to look at mandatory spending the two biggest components being Medicare and Social Security, then don't tell me you're serious about fighting the deficit. You've got to put reforms in there."
"The conservatives have always got the better ideas," Armey said. "Yes, what they need to do is they need to get out of politics and into policy."
He said CPAC attendees and tea partiers are more interested in policy.
"When Republicans are investing themselves in policy they are winning elections and serving the nation. When they diminish themselves through politics they do a disservice to the country and to themselves," he said.
I also asked for his take on CPAC, and he pointed to the growing numbers of young conservatives in attendance.
"They can sense where there is great commitment to principles," he said, adding it's the most "attractive" looking CPAC he's attended.