Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani was truly leading the pack at the Americans For Prosperity event, claiming "extravagant spending" was the reason for GOP Congressional losses in 2006. Of course, overspending is a domestic issue - and never takes into account the $456 BILLION in supplemental expenditures (not including DoD annual budget requests) on the Iraq war. Never mind that Sen. Ted Stevens' "Bridge To Nowhere" or Sen. Clinton's "Bribes for Babies" is just a drop in the bucket comparatively.
It seems that the GOP candidates (save Ron Paul) are returning to the old school GOP strategy of attacking any kind of liberal domestic program or expenditure as excessive. The only problem is that we weren't dumping hundreds of billions of dollars in the sand in the 1980s and 1990s (even during Gulf War I). The party faithful will eat up the nostalgic rhetoric like twentysomethings over Transformers - but those who look at the math will find their rhetoric ringing hollow.
The strangest thing was the ghost of the Laffer Curve haunting the conference. The article indicates Giuliani, Romney, and Thompson all made references to it - although Giuliani stands out again by stressing the revenue benefits of the theory vs. the benefit to the taxpayer. It's funny, all this "self-condemnation" over spending - yet few calls to simply cut spending across the board (again, save Ron Paul).
This "bring back the good 'ol days of the GOP" is nothing but cotton candy laced with LSD. The reality is that you can't create a credible image that is equal parts George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.