Huffpost Politics

Chris Christie Still Not Invited To CPAC 2013: Report

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has still not received an invite to speak at this year's upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, NBC News reported on Monday.

While Christie's name was not included on an earlier list of invitees released by organizers at the American Conservative Union, the group told The Huffington Post that the schedule had not yet been finalized.

It remains unclear if the ACU will change its mind, but Christie's absence at the largest annual gathering of conservatives would likely end up raising questions, as the group has rounded up a thorough collection of potential GOP 2016 presidential candidates -- all included on the list of initial invitees -- to address the conference.

Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana added their names in the past week to a guest list that already features Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who has been named as the event's keynote speaker. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin have also accepted speaking roles at the high-profile conference.

Christie has never attended the annual Washington-area CPAC. He spoke at the Chicago-based event last summer, and notably turned down an invite to the prestigious annual gathering in 2011. He later gave a speech to the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, which drew high praise from attendees, and even claims that he'd outperformed three days of that year's CPAC speakers.

While Christie's approval rating and support remain high in New Jersey, the governor has had a complicated relationship with national Republicans over the past year. His speech at last year's Republican National Convention was criticized for being overly focused on himself and not giving enough attention to then-GOP nominee Romney. Christie also drew the ire of national Republicans when he offered high praise for President Barack Obama in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, just days before the November elections.

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