Christie Still Lying His Ass Off-- "It's Just A Game Of Gotcha"
CPAC hasn't liked Chris Christie. They saw him as too mainstream or even "moderate." Now they see him as a potential cause célèbre that can be turned into a fundraising bonanza for right-wing groups hoping to milk their base of Foxified saps. Yesterday's Christian Science Monitor pointed out that right-wingers from Paul Ryan and Bobby Jindal to Hate Talk Radio sociopaths Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, who haven't appreciated Christie 'til now, are part of his cheering squad. "And last month, when singer Bruce Springsteen mocked Christie, a diehard fan, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh called Mr. Springsteen 'a low-rent character.'"
The episode has cast doubt on Christie’s presidential prospects-- a sharp turn of events for a one-time leading Republican light, who prided himself on his ability to work across the aisle in a blue state, and who won reelection last November with strong bipartisan support.Or, as the right-wing Washington Times put it, "New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is working his way back into Republicans’ good graces, and all he had to do was get Democrats mad at him. After being denied a speaking spot at last year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Mr. Christie has been invited this year. Meanwhile, fellow Republicans have fanned out to the political talk shows to defend the embattled governor, rallying around him in his fight against both federal and state probes.
Now some political observers are questioning whether Christie will even finish his second term as governor. On Friday, a lawyer representing former Christie ally David Wildstein said that “evidence exists” Christie knew of the lane closures onto the bridge when they occurred in September. The statement contradicts Christie’s assertion last month in a two-hour press conference that he did not know about the lane closures in real time. So far, the evidence that Mr. Wildstein’s lawyer claims to have has not been presented.
But “if this charge proves true, then the governor must resign or be impeached,” the Newark Star-Ledger wrote in an editorial Friday.
Christie’s invitation to appear at CPAC next month came to light over the weekend, and Christie has confirmed that he has accepted the invitation. CPAC is an annual conference put on by the American Conservative Union (ACU), and includes a cattle call for prospective Republican presidential candidates. A straw poll on the GOP 2016 nomination will be watched closely. This year’s CPAC will take place near Washington, D.C., March 6-8.
“We are very excited to announce that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will speak at CPAC 2014. At this year’s CPAC-- and through our theme ‘ACU’s Golden Anniversary: Getting It Right for 50 Years’-- we will celebrate how conservatism has shaped our past and look to the future with excitement,” ACU chairman Al Cardenas said in a statement.
“This will be the year that conservatives begin pulling the nation back from the brink of Barack Obama’s disaster with a movement that inspires, unites, and discovers new solutions to our current challenges.”
Last year, Christie wasn’t invited to speak at CPAC, because his record wasn’t conservative enough, the ACU said. Just before the 2012 election, Christie infuriated conservatives when he worked happily and closely with President Obama after hurricane Sandy devastated the New Jersey shore. Christie did address CPAC earlier in 2012.
Though Christie is seen by some as a moderate Republican, he holds conservative positions on social issues, such as abortion and gay marriage.
“We are very excited to announce that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will speak at CPAC 2014,” said Al Cardenas, chairman of the American Conservative Union, the host of the annual gathering, which will take place in early March just outside of the Washington Beltway.
It’s a stunning turnaround for a man who a year ago was facing heated criticism for having hugged President Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and then went on to bash fellow Republicans on Capitol Hill until they approved sending tens of billions of dollars to New Jersey to recover from the storm-- with the money tacked onto the federal deficit.
He also took heat when he refused to take a tougher stand against same-sex marriage and when he signed a bill granting young illegal immigrants the right to receive in-state tuition rates at public colleges and universities.
But now, faced with an investigation by state Democrats into the George Washington Bridge scandal, and another probe by a federal inspector general into a Hurricane Sandy marketing contract, Mr. Christie is once again feeling GOP love.
John Feehery, a GOP strategist, said Republicans are lining up behind Mr. Christie because they feel like he has gotten a raw deal from the media.
…The 51-year-old has had an up-and-down relationship with the organizers of CPAC, which serves as a showcase for some of the nation’s top conservatives and Republican leaders, giving them the chance to speak directly to thousands of the movement’s most diehard activists.
In 2012, he headlined CPAC Chicago, where Mr. Cardenas showered him with compliments, calling him a “great defender of liberty,” “great defender of freedom” and “a fiscal conservative.”
The following year, though, he was shut out of the event because of the sharp criticism he directed at House Republicans for not moving quickly enough to pass $60 billion in Hurricane Sandy funding.
“We felt that the governor’s tone and attitude regarding this relief bill, which was really a pork bill, did not justify an invitation to the conservative conference and we took a pass this year,” Mr. Cardenas told The Washington Times at the time.
The snub also coincided with the news that Mr. Christie was going to expand Medicaid in his state by accepting federal dollars from Obamacare, angering conservatives.
...The CPAC 2014 event is scheduled to feature a slate of possible contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, including Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Rand Paul of Texas and Ted Cruz of Texas. Mr. Paul and Mr. Jindal, as well as former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and New York real estate magnate Donald Trump are also scheduled to speak.
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the party’s 2008 vice presidential nominee, has also been invited to the event, which is being held March 6-8 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center just outside Washington, D.C.
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