Last year, New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie was the star of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He delivered a fiery speech blasting President Obama. The crowd roared as he talked about job growth, the “ineffective waste stimulus plan that did nothing to help this economy,” and pointed out all of the “the core difference between who we are and what he represents for America.”
And this year? He’s not even invited. That’s right. Superstar, mega-popular Chris Christie has been excluded from the second most important GOP gathering of the year. He has been upstaged and put to the back burner, replaced with people like Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin. Yes, two losers will be the big attractions at CPAC 2013.
Christie’s star rose high. The GOP was frothing at the mouth waiting for him to make up his mind about a 2012 presidential run. He was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention and seemed to spend more time on the campaign trail showing support for Romney and other GOP candidates than he did governing New Jersey. He was famously hailed by Ann Coulter as the GOP’s only hope for winning the 2012 election. But something went wrong somewhere along the way. It started with Hurricane Sandy.
The very thing that warms liberal hearts makes the GOP’s hearts go cold. When the hurricane hit Christie’s beloved New Jersey, everything else was over for him. He focused on doing his job and essentially abandoned the campaign trail in the crucial last two weeks before the presidential election. He embraced his new BFF President Obama and snubbed Mitt Romney’s request for a photo-op of the Sandy destruction. His show of bipartisan leadership was hailed by liberals and the residents of his state. Not so much by the GOP.
As I reported in January, the GOP’s love affair with Chris Christie has cooled and their loyalty, as we know, is not to any sort of greater good (or lesser good), but rather to their agenda. Christie was already a little more centrist on the issues than most Republicans, but they overlooked that because of his popularity and the charisma he brings to the dry and stale GOP.
We can look at Chris Christie’s downfall to see just how shallow and vapid the GOP leadership AND voter base is. Despite all that he has brought to the party, the betrayal of embracing and praising President Obama for his support during the days following Hurricane Sandy was too much for the GOP. But Christie’s betrayal didn’t stop with Hurricane Sandy.
From my January article:
How Christie has betrayed the GOP:
- He actually did his job. It started with Hurricane Sandy. When his state was devastated, he surprised us all by being completely non-partisan and working side by side with President Obama, even though he had previously said “If you’re looking for leadership in America you’re not going to find it in the Oval Office.” The timing couldn’t have been worse for the GOP. Just days before the presidential election, their golden boy ignored Mitt Romney and heaped praise upon the president, and was very appreciative of the president’s “leadership, caring, concern and interest.”
- He refused a photo-op with Mitt Romney days before the election.
- He spoke out against Speaker of the House John Boehner and other congressional Republicans, because they were remiss and negligent in passing much-needed Sandy aid.
- He got in bed with one of the biggest enemies: a union. Specifically, the Newark Teachers Union. Christie signed a merit pay contract with the Newark Teachers Union to provide performance bonuses, and then had the audacity to appear on MSNBC with American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.
- He accepts science. Misguided people like to hang out with other misguided people. Christie knows that the climate is changing and that humans are causing it.
- He said the words that make the GOP gasp: raise taxes. He warned New Jersey residents to expect tax increases to help fix the damage done by Hurricane Sandy.
- He actually thinks some gun control might be pretty cool.
- And the icing on the cake? He slammed the NRA for targeting President Obama’s children in a recent ad.
If you’re not a “yes boy” (I’m looking at you, Marco Rubio), you just really aren’t going to fit in with the Republican Party leaders and gain their favor.
From Huffington Post:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who will deliver the event’s keynote address, have all confirmed invitations to speak. Former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) are also set to make their respective returns to the GOP spotlight. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), commonly thought of as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, was reportedly not invited by the ACU.
Christie’s political future is up in the air at this point. Being snubbed by CPAC indicates that Christie would have a hard time acquiring GOP support for a presidential run. The best thing he could do would be to “go into the light” and become a Democrat. We’re forgiving and embrace newcomers and converts. Unfortunately though, that option is too late for him, too. He’s trashed our president and other Democrat leaders, and things like vetoing a 25 cent minimum wage increase for his state makes OUR hearts grow cold.
NBC’s First Read says:
The only prominent Republican we can see who won’t be addressing CPAC appears to be New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. This is all a recognition of how mainstream CPAC, which used to be considered the anti-establishment wing of the party, has become. (NBC)
Ummm…I don’t think so. I totally disagree. I think with the GOP snubbing one of the most popular Republicans in the country, AND snubbing gay conservative groups, the GOP continues to show us that they’re going to dig their hole deeper and deeper. Christie’s approval rating among New Jersey voters has set a record at a whopping 74% ; polls show that, for a potential 2016 presidential run against Hillary Clinton, 45% of voters favor him – only slightly lower than Clinton at 49%.
You would think the GOP would want him in their pocket, eh?
At the 2012 CPAC, Christie spoke these words:
“I remind my staff of this every day, and I want to remind you all today, the most powerful thing on our side is this we’re right and they’re wrong,” Christie said. “So let’s not make it any more complicated.” (ABC News)
The GOP, by snubbing one of their greatest weapons and embracing losers (really, losers…that’s not just me tossing an insult), they’re showing that it is more complicated. All the “right” in the world is not as important as GOP ego and a crooked agenda. In the end, that’s all that matters to them.
I am an unapologetic member of the Christian Left, and have spent a lot of time working with “the least of these” and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. I’m passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics I discuss, subscribe to my public updates on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me via LinkedIn. I also have a grossly neglected blog. Find me somewhere and let’s discuss stuff.