Now, today, Politico's Maggie Haberman has gotten on-the-record explanation of the snub from Al Cardenas, CPAC's top official:
“CPAC is to conservative politics what all-star games are to professional athletes,” said American Conservative Union head Al Cardenas in an email to POLITICO.Oh man, you've got to love that. Seriously, people who speak at CPAC are conservative all-stars? And we're not just talking about the also-rans I've already mentioned: we're talking about folks like Allen West, Wayne LaPierre, Rick Santorum, and Rick Perry. Hahaha. All-star losers, perhaps. I guess Chris Christie doesn't fit their description of an all-star because he's actually in pretty good political shape, and if there's one thing these guys seem to hate, it's winning. But that's not Christie's only sin, said Cardenas:
“This past year he strongly advocated for the passage of a $60+ billion pork barrel 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.”Ha! He "strongly advocated" for disaster relief? As I recall, it was more like ripping House Republicans a new one for trying to screw over New York and New Jersey in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
But while I can see why right wing partisans at CPAC might have been pissed at Christie for standing up to John Boehner, I'll admit I'm a bit skeptical of the Medicaid expansion rationale. It's a matter of timing: Christie didn't officially accept the Medicaid expansion until yesterday afternoon—after CPAC had made it's snub public.
And let's be real here: in an election year—especially in a state like New Jersey—the last thing Chris Christie wants is to be the darling of the folks at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Christie might have 2016 issues with the GOP base, but he's got to win in 2013 to get to 2016. And outside of deep red territory on America's political map, CPAC is for losers.