- ‘I Am Alive’ app gains popularity in terror-ravaged Lebanon
- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
FLASHBACK: CPAC: Chris Christie snubbed for criticizing GOP on Sandy relief
The list of speakers at next month’s CPAC, the nation’s largest gathering of conservatives, will not include New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a snub the potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate earned, organizers said, because of his harsh criticism earlier this year of fellow Republicans over Superstorm Sandy spending.
Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union and host of the Conservative Political Action Conference, said Mr. Christie wasn’t invited because he undercut Republican efforts to slice billions of dollars of pork from the relief package.
“We felt that the governor’s tone and attitude regarding this relief bill, which was really a pork bill, did not justify an invitation to the conservative conference and we took a pass this year,” Mr. Cardenas said.
The annual CPAC meeting is being held March 14-16 at a conference center in the shadow of the Washington Beltway in Prince George’s County.
The three-day affair serves as a showcase for some of the nation’s top conservatives and Republican leaders, giving them the chance to speak directly to thousands of the movement’s most diehard activists.
Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas, as well as Rep. Paul Ryan, the party’s 2012 vice presidential nominee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker are slated to speak.
The guest list also features Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 presidential nominee; Sarah Palin, the party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee; and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Despite the snub, Steve Schmidt, a GOP strategist and former campaign manager for Sen. John McCain’s 2008 presidential bid, suggested Tuesday that Mr. Christie, who is up for re-election this year, has little to worry about.
“Look, this CPAC convention is increasingly the ‘Star Wars’ bar scene of the conservative movement. I mean, all that’s missing at that convention is a couple of Wookiees,” Mr. Schmidt said on MSNBC.
Mr. Cardenas‘ criticism of Mr. Christie coincided with the news that he will be the eighth GOP governor to expand Medicaid rolls in his state by accepting additional federal dollars on President Obama’s health care law, which conservatives loathe.
In doing so, he joins the likes of Florida Gov. Rick Scott, a fierce critic of Mr. Obama’s reforms, who shocked many observers last week when he decided to adopt the expansion. “The most conservative organizations have asked our governors not to sign onto the Medicaid expansion because of the fiscal constraints the country is going through,” Mr. Cardenas said.
Fueled by his blunt political style and high-profile scraps with public-sector unions over pension and health care benefits, Mr. Christie made an immediate splash on the national political stage and won kudos from scores of conservative across the country when he took office in New Jersey in 2010.
Mr. Christie in June headlined CPAC Chicago, where Mr. Cardenas introduced him as “probably the finest straight-talker in America” and called him a “great defender of liberty,” “great defender of freedom” and “a fiscal conservative.”
“He is a Republican, but I don’t think he would accurately be described as a conservative,” said Morton C. Blackwell, an American Conservative Union board member. “And a lot of people have in their minds the image of him hugging Barack Obama in the late stages of the presidential campaign.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- Freedom Summit unofficial start to '16 GOP primary
- Eric Cantor falls hard from good graces of conservatives
- Eric Cantor pressured to skip conference by moderate GOP group
- GOP congressman: Empower states to legalize marijuana
- Gov. Jindal: GOP 2016 White House nominee should be a governor
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
Team Obama's bizarre behavior helps Gitmo terrorists foil justice
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- Obama taunts GOP, takes nationally televised victory lap on Obamacare
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- Brewer signs 1 of 4 pro-gun bills passed Wednesday
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- CBO shows it's Paul Ryan 4, Obama 0 on budget targeting
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.