If Christie is too liberal while these three aren't, does it give them any pause that he's very much on the rise right now in New Jersey and nationally with a 74% approval in a blue state where these three who made the cut aren't even in politics at all anymore? Are all the real conservatives in retirement? How does CPAC imagine it may build a future movement if the real conservatives all aren't in politics anymore?
"Despite his sky-high approval rating, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's rhetoric against congressional Republicans after superstorm Sandy cost him an invitation to speak at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday."
"He made it very hard for Republicans in the Congress at a time when we were trying to deal with fiscal restraint," Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, told the Journal. The American Conservative Union organizes CPAC, an annual gathering of prominent conservatives."
"In an email to National Journal, Cardenas added that Christie's decision to accept Medicaid expansion under President Obama's health care law was another disqualifying factor."
“CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” he told National Journal. “Hopefully he will have another all-star year in the future, at which time we will be happy to extend an invitation. This is a conservative conference, not a Republican Party event.”
"Many conservative stars are slated to speak at the conference, including Sarah Palin, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R)."
Of course, it's a catch 22: Christie's acceptance of ObamaCare's Medicare expansion hurts him among conservative ideologues but helps him among his blue state voters. Jamelle Boule points out that it's groups like CPAC will need in 2016 if he hopes to run so that his strategy will help him now but not so much in 2016:
On the other hand McCain was able to win in 2008 without their support-he may even have deliberately snubbed them, declining to speak in front of them. The GOP may be really desperate come 2016.
His snub by CPAC, however, underscores the problems the party faces.
Of course the problem is that while that Domino's Pizza executive that spoke before the House GOP meeting in January said that what he realized when he came in was that their pizza is terrible, the GOP mostly wants to think this is about marketing.
Just in case Christie wasn't popular enough in New Jersey-no mystery why Cory Booker chose not to oppose him-he's now singed a bill to allow online poker in New Jersey, just the third state to do so.
To be sure this was a bill put forward by the Democratic state Congress. Still, when are we doing this Governor Cuomo? Do we not need the revenue? Are we willing to forgo it to save our souls?