What Would You Like to Ask Gov. Christie at CPAC?
Gov. Chris Christie did not attend the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last year. The official story is that Christie was not invited because he was open to some form of gun control. But it’s reasonable to suspect that CPAC and Christie both had something to gain but his absence last year. CPAC could placate certain constituencies who are understandably cynical toward Republicans out of the northeast, while Christie could avoid having clips played from the conference during his re-election run. But he’s coming this year just ahead of the mid-term elections and his presidential run in 2016. So what would you like to ask the governor of N.J. –aside from Bridgegate? Until something tangible emerges that says Christie was complicit in the decision to shut down the lanes between N.J. and N.Y. on the George Washington Bridge, I take him at his word. So let’s move onto substance.
Here are a few observations that could find their way into questions when Christie addresses the faithful on Thursday March 6.
1.Guns. Christie vetoed the worst aspects of the legislation proposed in his state. Remember it’s N.J., which is not exactly part of the free America. The mass shooting of schoolchildren in Newtown, Conn. gave rise to public policy proposals that were very debatable to say the least. It’s fine to needle Christie on the Second Amendment and to apply the right pressure points. That’s what CPAC is for, but he did resist some of the more offensive proposals.
2. Openness and Transparency in Government. Let’s not forget that someone out of N.J. named Lisa Jackson was caught using a phony email address in an effort to avoid FOIA requests and other accountability measures. After cleaning house at the Port Authority in his home state, why stop there? Why not move to coral other renegade government agencies at the federal and state level? What’s Christie view of the regulations that now flow out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) where Jackson served as director?
3. The Science of Global Warming. While we are on the subject, where does Christie stand here? He initially made statements that were quite skeptical about the idea of man-made global warming, but quickly pivoted away from that position. CPAC is good time for him to offer some clarification.
4. “Dangerous” Libertarians. If Republican Party operatives think they go into the 2016 elections without some kind of libertarian appeal on that ticket, then they haven’t been paying attention to what’s been happening over the past few years. There’s a healthy tension between the libertarians and I’ll call it the more traditional elements of the conservative movement; always has been. Christie took a shot at Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a likely rival for the 2016 nomination, when he said there’s a “strain of libertarianism” that could be “dangerous.” Christie was speaking mostly of national security and foreign policy where I think libertarians have the most defects. But in light of how the IRS, the EPA and in some respects the NSA has behaved, it’s fair to ask if the libertarians are dangerous, or if the government agencies they criticize are of greater concern.
Anyway, these are just some initial thoughts. Not perfectly formed questions. But as someone who ardently voted for Christie twice in Jersey, I’d like to hear back from all of you. There are other governors out there for 2106 and Christie has not closed the deal with key constituencies on the right who he’ll need to embrace in short order.
Let me know what you’d like to ask the Gov.
Here’s a link back to the CPAC schedule, which includes bios on Christie and other speakers.
Also, please review this report, as it details what Christie has said previously on the subject of global warming. He did withdraw from cap and trade; another point in his favor.