There’s already a contingent of Republicans who have expressed confusion about the guest list for this year’s Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC), set to take place in March. In fact, the anger about who did not get asked to speak has been getting more attention than the individuals who will be giving speeches: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, and Allen West, to name a few.
Of course there’s New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was snubbed despite the fact that he’s widely considered a potential presidential candidate for 2016. His high approval rating in his home state was apparently not enough for organizers who still feel that Christie may have provided the edge for President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
There’s also been outrage that two prominent conservative gay groups, GOProud and Log Cabin Republicans, were initially left off the invite list. It was recently announced that GOProud worked its way into the conference through alternative means–the gay conservative group will hold a panel of its own at the conference, although its members weren’t officially invited.
There is one snub that might seem logical to those who want CPAC to avoid unappealing headlines: anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller. Geller has hosted unofficial events at CPAC, where she warns attendees of the potential dangers of Sharia law and jihad infiltration right here in the United States. Geller told conservative radio host Janet Mefferd, “This year I could not get an event, I was banned.”
Ah, but why was she banned, you may ask. Turns out, she thinks Islamic extremists have struck at CPAC. According to Geller, she was excluded by “the influence of what can only be described as Muslim Brotherhood facilitators or operatives.”
(If CPAC is looking for a lively debate, Geller could face off with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Is the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrating the Obama administration, as Bachmann has alleged, or the Conservative Political Action conference? Or both!)
Geller has a name in mind for who is leading the Muslim Brotherhood charge within CPAC. Hint: in his speech at CPAC last year, the individual had this advice for GOP voters: “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.” (Translation: don’t worry if you don’t agree with everything Mitt Romney says. As long as he’ll cut taxes, we’re good.) That’s right, it’s anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist (whose wife is a Muslim).
Take a look at the Hardball Sideshow for the full dose of right vs. right.