New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie was left off the invitation list for next month’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) because of his criticism of GOP leaders over the Superstorm Sandy relief bill.
Now Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, which runs CPAC, has defended the decision to snub one of the Republican Party’s biggest stars.
“CPAC is to conservative politics what all-star games are to professional athletes,” he told Politico
. “You get invited to speak amongst literally thousands of potential candidates.”
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The rejection of Christie caused a hubbub in the party. Christie criticized Boehner early last month for briefly keeping the relief bill off the House floor.
“Gov. Christie was invited to CPAC last year because he did a great job in New Jersey facing up to the teachers unions, balancing the budget and cutting debt,” Cardenas said.
“This past year he strongly advocated for the passage of a $60 billion-plus pork barrel bill [the Sandy relief bill], containing only $9 billion in disaster assistance. And he signed up with the federal government to expand Medicaid at a time when his state can ill afford it. So he was not invited to speak.”
The snub isn’t permanent, Cardenas says. “Hopefully he will be back in top form next year. We would be delighted to invite him again in that case.”
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