The real reason for the Christie CPAC snub
He's not a true blue, died in the wool, 100% real American conservative - that's why.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie was not invited to address the Conservative Political Action Conference because of his position on gun control, according to a source familiar with CPAC's internal deliberations who requested anonymity to speak freely.
Christie has a "limited future" in the national Republican party given his position on gun control, the source tells National Review Online. As a result, the CPAC insider says, the focus of this year's conference, "the future of conservatism," made Christie a bad fit.
Christie, the source adds, is simply not a conservative in the eyes of organizers.
The New Jersey governor, who has expressed concern about "an abundance of guns out there," has said he backs the gun-control legislation currently on the books in his state, some of the nation's most restrictive. Christie has also not been afraid to speak out against the National Rifle Association, calling an ad the group ran in the wake of the Newtown shooting "reprehensible" and "awful."
In another move that may distance him from conservatives, Christie, who boasts a 74 percent approval rating in New Jersey, is set to announce this afternoon that he will accept Obamacare's Medicaid expansion. His reversal follows those of other GOP governors including Florida's Rick Scott and Ohio's Jon Kasich who, like Christie, have been vocal in their criticism of the Affordable Care Act.
I asked Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller last night on my radio show if any governor who accepted the Medicaid expansion had a chance in 2016. Matt didn't think it would hurt that much, but, like accepting stimulus cash, any governor so inclined is going to have a very hard time in the primaries if they accept the Medicaid expansion.
For GOP governors, it's the difference between being forced to make hard choices and posturing, as most of their critics have the luxury to do. But Christie has other problems besides his stance on gun control and Medicaid, so any campaign he would run would likely have powerful factions in the GOP against him. If the Tea Party succeeds in expanding a Republican majority in the House and gaining control of the Senate in 2014, Christie would be facing a far more conservative primary electorate and might decide not to run at all.
I worry that Christie may decide his future belongs with the Democrats. Some might say good riddance and good bye, but unless the GOP wants to write off the entire northeast and New England, I would suggest they find a way to live with more moderate Republicans.