Christie plays down CPAC snub

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Christie has seen high approval numbers in his home state ahead of his 2013 reelection bid and has been touted by some as a potential White House hopeful in 2016.

But his efforts to portray himself as a centrist in blue-state New Jersey and compromise with Democrats have attracted anger from the conservative wing of his party.

CPAC organizers said the popular Republican governor wasn’t invited this year because of his attacks on GOP lawmakers for holding up a disaster-relief bill for victims of Hurricane Sandy, according to reports.

Christie also raised conservative hackles for praising Obama’s response to the storm during the final days of the presidential campaign. Obama visited the state and traveled with Christie to the hardest-hit areas a week before Election Day, moves which were seen as damaging to GOP contender Mitt Romney.

Earlier this week, Christie also became the eighth GOP governor to accept the Medicaid expansion in Obama’s signature healthcare reform law. Christie explained that he disagreed with the law, but would not reject federal funds that could benefit New Jerseyans.

A number of other high-profile GOP leaders have been invited to attend the 2013 conference, including Romney, Rep. Paul RyanPaul RyanHouse Democrat sit-in: well intended but in the wrong well Trump up, Obama down after shocking Brexit vote Republican chairman: Our tax reform plan fits with Trump's vision MORE (R-Wis.) and Sens. Marco RubioMarco RubioVa. GOP delegate files lawsuit over bound convention votes The Hill's 12:30 Report Rubio Senate challenger drops out MORE (R-Fla.) and Rand PaulRand PaulRepublicans question Trump's trip to Scotland Hate TV customer service? So does your senator Overnight Cybersecurity: Senate narrowly rejects expanding FBI surveillance powers MORE (R-Ky.). Former Govs. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and Sarah Palin (R-Alaska) have also been confirmed.

CPAC is seen as an important stop for potential presidential contenders. Christie spoke at the 2012 conference.

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