New Jersey Govenor Chris Christie, who has a job approval sitting at around 74 percent, was left out of the elite group invited to speak at at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) 2013. CPAC is an annual gathering of conservatives from across the country. The Republican star from New Jersey was reportedly not invited to speak at CPAC in March, while hopefuls like Marco Rubio, Sara Palin, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan will each be taking a turn at the CPAC podium.
Christie, a blue state Republican governor, is considered by many people to be one of the GOP’s presidential candidates in 2016. But, according to a source who spoke with the New York Daily News, Christie has not and will not be invited to attend.
Many speculate that the snub is due to the criticism Christie drew from some conservatives after praising President Barack Obama’s efforts post Superstorm Sandy. Christie also spoke out about taking on climate change and has been perceived as not “pro-gun enough” for some ultra-conservatives.
The N.J. governor was recently seated next to First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House ball for state governors on Sunday. While shocking, the CPAC snub may actually work to Christie’s advantage in his Democratic-majority home state, as he is up for re-election this year.
On the one hand, not attending CPAC spares Christie the from having to make an appearance that many Democrats could eventually use against him in 2013. On the other, it simply solidifies that many conservatives still are angry over the post-Sandy performance, as well as his tongue-lashing of House Speaker John Boehner for shelving a bill to provide storm aid.
Although Christie’s approval ratings continue to be very high, his conservative positions have already begun to take fire from his likely Democratic opponent, Barbara Buono and her supporters. Pro-choice political group EMILY’s List called Christie’s record as “right wing and indefensible” on Monday.
Christie is not the first to be snubbed by CPAC officials. In 2007, they decided not to invite former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Like Governor Christie, Giuliani was pro-choice but was deemed too far to the left on social issues by other conservatives and left out of the convention
CPAC officials say the speaker line-up is still being finalized. “We still have three weeks to CPAC and have several more announcements to go,” Communications Director Laura Keehner Rigas said. “I encourage everyone to hold tight.”
Source: New York Daily News