February 27th, 2013
05:56 PM ET
1 year ago

Christie dismisses lack of CPAC invite

(CNN) - Gov. Chris Christie, the outspoken Republican from New Jersey, says he isn't offended that an invite to the Conservative Political Action Conference was not offered to him this year.

"Listen, I wish then all the best. They're going to have their conference, they're going to have a bunch of people speaking there. That's their call," he said at one of his town hall meetings in Montville, New Jersey on Wednesday, according to the Star-Ledger newspaper.

"It's not like I'm lacking for invitations to speak around the country."

The roster of speakers at the March conference reads like a who's who of potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates. Among those who have accepted a speaking slot at the high-profile gathering of conservatives is Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida; Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky; Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the party's 2012 vice presidential candidate; former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who was a 2012 Republican presidential candidate; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. The 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney will also speak at the event.

A source close to CPAC told CNN on Monday that Christie was not on the invite list.

The Republican governor drew headlines for appearing with President Barack Obama after Superstorm Sandy ravaged parts of his state and for praising the federal government's response to the storm.

"When the president does things that deserve praise, I will give him praise," Christie later explained on CNN. "And when the president does things that deserve scorn, I'll give him scorn."

The governor said no officials with CPAC had reached out to him with about an invitation.

"I didn't know that I hadn't been invited to CPAC until like two days ago when I saw it in the news," Christie said at the town hall meeting, according to the Star-Ledger.

Al Cardenas, chairman of CPAC organizers The American Conservative Union, explained his rationale for not inviting Christie in an interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront."

"We want to, one, give you an attaboy if you've been a good conservative. And two, hopefully serve, I say, as an incentive for you to be a conservative," he said. "So I hope Chris Christie gets it done this year. Listen: he's always been a crowd favorite, but you've got to be a conservative on that particular year in order to get invited."

Santorum, a favorite among conservatives during the GOP presidential primary, said on the program, "They invited me; they didn't invite Chris; they have the reasons."

CPAC, which touts itself as the largest annual gathering of conservative leaders and activists, turns 40 this year and will be held March 14-16 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Maryland near Washington.


Filed under: Chris Christie • CPAC
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. Name lynn

    The people could have sworn that obama is the president, the media is putting chris on the news like hes the president what the heck is going on.

    February 27, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  2. mommytwice

    Not being invited to CPAC would seem to me to be a blessing. I would distance myself from those people every chance I got.

    February 27, 2013 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  3. Yanni

    How someone with the right brain from the GOP will cooperate with the president to work for the American people if they treat our president as radioactive man. God knows how we deserve them and God knows how much hate is festered in their heart. There is so much to say about the current GOP when history book is written, but it will not be pretty.

    February 27, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Bob

    He is better off not being seen at that BIG TIME CLOWN CONVENTION.

    February 27, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  5. Evergreen

    "CPAC is like the A ll-star game for professional athetes, you get invited if you have had an outstanding year" Cardenas said. Cardenas might want to give his roster a second look. Most of his players have had a very bad year.

    February 27, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  6. Steve

    Pretty funny – the most popular governor (by approval rating) and the one with the highest approval rating in New Jersey history is being ignored by his own party.
    Seems like a smart strategy...

    February 27, 2013 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Ocho

    Only people making a big deal out of it are the libs and CNN. Christie as he said has plenty of other things to do and he has done a great job for NJ. As far as a leader Christie makes Obama look like an amatuer. Of course so does Clinton, Reagan, and some of great corporate CEO's over the years.

    February 27, 2013 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  8. freedom

    Praise?? – during one of the most contentious, vicious campaigns in history – with Obama lying about everything? Praise?? No way, man. Doesn't fly.

    February 27, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  9. @RI_Roger

    Why does CNN think we care if Gov. Cristi attends CPAC or not? It;s not like this is some big televised event like the Olympics.
    If these non stories were printed on newspaper, we would call it Trash and line the bird cage with it. Because it is virtual, we get to Trash them on their own site! We need "Like" and "Who Cares" buttons to be able to senfd the real message of how irrelevant these journalist and editors are becoming.

    February 27, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  10. Name

    Being an Independent voter, who voted for Obama twice, I like the Governor, and I probably would vote for him for President of these United States of America, but not until 2024. His own party can't handle him, Stupid as they are, so if he becomes Independent hed get more votes, I can't see myself voting for anyone besides Hillary, sorry but its time for a women President.

    February 27, 2013 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  11. Logic N LA

    He's lucky they left him out. Their endorsment hasn't done much for their last candidates.

    February 27, 2013 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  12. Babyboomer

    I just read the list of "WHO's NOT WHO" for the upcoming CPAC. Not one of them could win a presidential election if their lives depended on it. If this is the Republicans way of punishing Christie, this will come back to bit them later on down the line. While I wouldn't vote for any Republican, Christie actually looked like their best hope in 2016. Oh well....

    February 27, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  13. Bob

    Christie is a democrat dressed in republican clothes........the sooner this fat balloon is out of politics, the better.......

    February 27, 2013 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  14. Namejoe lucas

    They only budgeted so much for the buffet.

    February 27, 2013 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. itsjustmyopinion

    I think the whole snubbing Christy thing is a ploy by Carl Rove to make Democrats more sympathetic to Christy for the next election...so they might buy that he isn't very conservative if the Republicans aren't promoting him.

    February 27, 2013 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  16. The Elephant in the Room

    So the CPAC director says they didn`t invite Christie because of the $60B spending bill. I guess that means the SANDY AID BILL. Didn`t Jindal take Federal money for Hurricaine disaster relief? Did Paul Ryan just vote to "raise taxes" [i.e. the partial expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts]? Isn`t that tax increase more of a Conservative transgression that Christie fighting for his citizen`s share of Federal disaster relief.

    February 27, 2013 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  17. Randy, San Francisco

    Handwriting is on the wall. Gov Christie is the target of a Tea Party purge for political heresy. Cross out his name for 2016. Republicans/Tea Partiers are shooting themselves in the foot for ideological purity.

    February 27, 2013 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  18. Gill bates

    Christie obviously wouldn't want to belong to any club that would have him as a member.

    February 27, 2013 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  19. Gringovejo

    Lets see, now. CPAC is 40 years old and that is about how long the GOP has been going far, far from its roots. The Party has been pretty much destroyed by the clueless, classless, intellectually challenged, buffoons calling themselves Republicans today. Where we once had members, that were successful in business, military, law and politics, to name but a few. Now we have people that don't understand any of those areas or the purpose and functions of government in a democracy; or even, the difference between a democracy and anarchism, The latter being what they continue push for as the true meaning of democracy, which just further demonstrates their incredible stupidity. For some years, now, I have suggested that they accept the reality, that they are out of step with those of our Founding Fathers, that, they like to "Quote" from. But, it is like talking to arrogantly ignorant, trash; that have spent their lifetimes believing that the way they are doing something, which happens to be, the wrong way, is the only way to do it. Even, IF their way actually creates more and riskier problems, that can ultimately cost more, and may prove injurious or cause an increase in death. It doesn't sink in. There are no longer reasonable minds, let alone intellectual ones. These people need to be removed from office and they are coming to understand that, so to repress that chance as much as they can, they are resorting to CLOSED selection of Party candidates by a Central Committee, made up of Delegates of their own choosing
    to, according to them, reduce the chances of "Liberals" purposely voting for a "weak" member so that their own Party's
    top vote getter, will win by default. Can you believe that someone in this Country actually came up with this idea, that has been used in every Dictatorship Controlled Country in the World that allows voting for centuries?? And they have the audacity to call themselves Heroes, Patriots, Minutemen, Republicans, Americans. They are none of the above. Their goal is to destroy our system of government and replace it with Anarchism, and with them ruling the masses, who, as Santorum , and others of this ilk have pointed out, should not be sent to College, because it turns them into "liberals." Yep, and it was George Washington who said, "As we become more educated as a Nation, we will become more liberal and open to change." Gee, wonder what he meant by that? Since a couple of the Founding Fathers were my ancestors, I suspect they are spinning in their graves wanting to get back here to knock a few heads together. I know several, 'real' Republicans. like me, that would. And, none of us, will further support or vote for another Republican, or should I say, ' Banana Republican??' So all you neo-fascist, read "our" lips, "GIT!!!"

    February 27, 2013 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  20. Norma Vessels

    Someone tell me what the difference is between a Republican and a Conservative.

    February 27, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. MaryM

    Gov Christie does not want to be associated with the clowns at CPAC. With Gov Christies high approval rating he does not need the bad press of attending CPAC

    February 27, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  22. dave

    Astute and popular, team Christie must be extatic about not being grouped with the CPAC all-star lineup of failures. If CPAC has any sense they will realize how vsluable their snub is and proceed accordingly. I fully expect them to continue in dogmatic oblivion.

    February 27, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. Mm

    What more could you do to kick this guy out of the GOP, Republicans? it's not like he's got a 75% approval rating, or anything...

    February 27, 2013 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  24. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Just because you're not invited to the prom doesn't mean that there won't be other invites to others. I don't agree with Christie on much, but he does have a point about the invite.

    February 27, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. anonoymous

    How did Romney/Ryan have a great year when they lost the election? Sorry gov your petty party just showed you how petty they are...

    February 27, 2013 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
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