New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who has fallen out of favor with some conservatives in recent months, is not being invited to the Conservative Political Action Conference, according to someone close to CPAC who was not authorized to speak publicly.
The big conservative confab in the Washington area is a routine stopover for potential future potential GOP presidential candidates and has already nabbed most top 2016 contenders.
"CPAC schedule is still being finalized, with several more announcements pending over the next three weeks," said CPAC spokeswoman Laura Rigas.
Christie's apparent snub comes as most other big-name potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates have been invited and accepted the invitations, including Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R), Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), former Alaska governor Sarah Palin (R), Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).
While broadly popular in his home state, Christie has irritated some conservatives in recent weeks and months, first by praising President Obama's Hurricane Sandy efforts in the final week of the 2012 campaign (some Republicans even blame this for the GOP's loss) and then by taking on his party's failure to pass a Sandy bill. He also offered some tough criticism of the National Rifle Association after the group ran an ad using President Obama's daughters to make a point.
It wouldn't be the first CPAC has left out someone who has departed from its principles. The gay Republican group GOProud has also been excluded.