Christie snubbed from CPAC over Hurricane Sandy aid

The chairman of the ACU explained that Christie "made it very hard for Republicans in the Congress"

By Jillian Rayfield

Published February 27, 2013 2:08PM (EST)

Why was Chris Christie really snubbed from the Conservative Political Action Conference? According to Al Cardenas, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the group that organizes CPAC, it was because the New Jersey governor backed things like the Hurricane Sandy aid bill and the Medicaid expansion.

Cardenas told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that Christie's harsh rhetoric against congressional Republicans during the time that they were blocking the Sandy bill was a dealbreaker. "This past year, we were disappointed with his take on the disaster relief bill," he said. "We're hoping that next year he will give us a reason to invite him again."

He added: "[Christie] made it very hard for Republicans in the Congress at a time when we were trying to deal with fiscal restraint."

Cardenas also told the National Journal in an email that Christie's support for the Medicaid expansion under Obama's healthcare law also contributed to the decision. “CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” he said. “Hopefully he will have another all-star year in the future, at which time we will be happy to extend an invitation. This is a conservative conference, not a Republican Party event.”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at

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American Conservative Union Chris Christie Cpac Hurricane Sandy Medicaid New Jersey