What, Chris Christie worried?
Not only did the New Jersey governor seem unfazed about not being invited to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference on March 14, but other Republican heavyweights have since stepped up to help prop up Christie's 2013 re-election campaign.
Word has it that failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has forked over the maximum $3,800 contribution to the governor's re-election bid. This comes as a bit of a surprise because of the fury that Christie's chumminess with President Obama ignited inside Romney's inner circle in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Romney is not the only Massachusetts politician sticking his neck out for Christie, (whose record-breaking approval ratings in New Jersey appear to make him a virtual lock for reelection). Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown is slated to host a $3,800-per-person dinner in Boston Friday night in support of Christie.
"Part of the reason he is popular is because he is not the type of conservative that CPAC embraces," the Daily Beast's Michelle Goldberg said on Thursday's Hardball. "A candidate who spoke only to CPAC audiences would never be so successful in deep blue New Jersey. Because he has a reputation as an independent, because he has a reputation as someone who will put the state's welfare above the conservative orthodoxy, that's why he is beloved right now, but that's also why the party is angry at him."
Congressman Peter King (R-NY), who also has not been shy about critcizing his party's extreme right flank, did not hold back in his disdain for the CPAC and its short-sighted orthodoxy. King told The Hill Thursday that "if Republicans had any brains they'd stay away from CPAC. The thought that he's being penalized because he sought to get the aid for Sandy relief is disgraceful regional bias. To hold that out against him shows a narrow-minded bigotry from the party."
"The Republican Party now is suspicious of anybody who's popular with the majority of Americans," said Politico's Roger Simon on Hardball. "CPAC figures this guy is popular, there's got to be something wrong with him. This [thought process] started when ideology started driving the party instead of getting people elected to office."