No Moderates Allowed

CPAC snubbed Chris Christie. Bouie argues that,  if “conservatives want a national party, they should allow ideological flexibility,” and points out that Christie is hugely popular in New Jersey:

Christie is the most popular Republican governor in the country. His overall approval rating is 73 percent, his approval among conservatives is 80 percent, and his approval among Republicans is a whopping 90 percent. He also holds a 62 percent approval rating among Democrats, and a 75 percent approval rating among moderates and independents. Simply put, there are few people better positioned to sell the Republican message.

Barro identifies why many national Republicans loathe Christie:

What so bothers conservatives about Christie is that he has figured out which parts of conservatism are working and been willing to ditch the ones that aren’t. His Ronald Reagan Presidential Library speech in 2011, full of explicit criticism of Obama, also contained an implicit critique of congressional Republicans’ scorched-earth opposition to the president. Christie has often intimated that as president, as in his governorship, he would treat compromise with the other party as an important strategy rather than a dirty word.