Chris Christie update: Guv steps into the CPAC lions' den

New Jersey's embattled governor is set to reach out to skeptical conservatives who still don't want him for prez

By Elias Isquith
March 6, 2014 6:50PM (UTC)
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Chris Christie (Reuters/Andrew Kelly)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, despite once being the shadow front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, has never had a great relationship with the Republican Party's Tea Party base. Things between the two were once so chilly, in fact, that Christie, riding high after his widely applauded handling of Superstorm Sandy, wasn't even invited to last year's edition of conservatism's annual premier event, CPAC. But now that the governor is bleeding support and fending off a ravenous media, conservatives have begun warming up to the guy, even going so far as to invite him to this year's CPAC. Christie is scheduled to speak to the crowd on Thursday, a short address that nevertheless may be one of the more consequential moments of his political career.

Here's the latest from Christieland:

  • A new report featuring a preview of Christie's prepared remarks for CPAC shows that the governor will try to win over conservatives by bashing one of their favorite targets: the "liberal" media. He'll also urge conservatives to keep "listening" to the American people and reaching out to those they might not initially think of as Republican voters. But criticizing the media, that's the real selling point.
  • He'll need all the help he can get, however — a new poll shows that three in 10 Republicans say they won't vote for Christie for president in 2016, full stop.
  • This might help: The Washington Post reports that Christie's relationship with President Obama — which was infamously revealed to be quite good during the immediate days after Superstorm Sandy — is starting to hit a rough patch. The primary reason for the split (besides the fact the two no longer need one another to burnish their respective bipartisan credentials) is over the federal government's handling of Sandy relief. Christie has been asked at many town halls why relief efforts are going so slowly; he's consistently blamed Washington for mistakes and delays.

Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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