- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2013

Former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele said Monday that conservatives’ decision to ostracize popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for embracing President Obama in a time of crisis was “nothing short of moronic.”

Mr. Christie wasn’t invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference at Maryland’s National Harbor this month, presumably because of lingering discontent with his praise for Mr. Obama’s response to Superstorm Sandy on the cusp of the November elections. At the ballot box, Republicans failed to retake the White House and lost seats in the House and Senate.

Mr. Steele, speaking about the Republican Party’s messaging and outreach on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” said it was normal for him to look to his federal partners for assistance amid hurricanes and snowstorms when he served as lieutenant governor of Maryland.

“Why would Chris Christie be any less appreciative of help from the federal government at a time when his state was under devastation?” he said on the program. “So when we look our politics in that prism, a lot of that noise comes from people who never had to govern, never had to make a decision and don’t have to account for anyone, other than their mouths, for what’s said or what they’re proposing. And so I discount that.”

“Chris Christie, to me, is as much as a part of the future of this party — as a blue-state, East Coast governor, Republican — than anyone else,” he added.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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