POLITICS

Chris Christie Invited To Speak At CPAC After Being Snubbed Last Year

02/03/2014 11:02 am ET | Updated Feb 03, 2014

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) will speak at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference organized by the American Conservative Union next month, a year after he was snubbed by the conference for not being sufficiently conservative.

The conference, held outside Washington, D.C. annually, is considered a valuable opportunity for would-be Republican presidential candidates to reach out to conservative grassroots activists.

“We are very excited to announce that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will speak at CPAC 2014," ACU Chairman Al Cardenas told Yahoo News. "At this year's CPAC -- and through our theme 'ACU's Golden Anniversary: Getting It Right for 50 Years' -- we will celebrate how conservatism has shaped our past and look to the future with excitement. This will be the year that conservatives begin pulling the nation back from the brink of Barack Obama's disaster with a movement that inspires, unites, and discovers new solutions to our current challenges."

Other Republican policymakers speaking at the conference include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has also been invited, though her attendance has not yet been confirmed.

Cardenas told the National Journal last year that Christie wasn't invited to attend because he had decided to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and supported a $60 billion aid package for Hurricane Sandy victims.

“CPAC is like the all-star game for professional athletes; you get invited when you have had an outstanding year,” Cardenas said at the time. “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.”

This year has been a controversial one for Christie thanks to the recent "Bridgegate" scandal and the investigation into whether he inappropriately handled Hurricane Sandy aid.

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