Republicans aren’t talking about Chris Christie.
The New Jersey governor’s name has been conspicuously omitted during speeches given by key GOP figures during a Republican National Committee meeting in San Diego this week, a GOP official confirmed to The Daily Caller on Thursday.
“None of the speeches so far have mentioned Christie,” the source said, noting Christie was kept out of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ opening remarks. “In Governor Mary Fallin’s speech last night,” the source went on, “she rattled off a bunch of governors running for president but left Christie out.”
RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told TheDC that the omission shouldn’t be overanalyzed: “With all due respect, there’s only been one event. The only thing that Reince has been at was the opening reception and it was just last night where he introduced Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin. My point is, there’s only been one meeting, so it’s a little bit of a stretch.”
According to the RNC meeting source, most attendees are talking about Florida Governor Jeb Bush as the strongest possibility for a 2016 presidential nominee, followed by former GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has also gotten some buzz at the gathering.
Christie’s political troubles include his handling of “Bridgegate;” and despite a special committee absolving him of wrongdoing, his tepid relationship with the base of the Republican Party — going back to the Romney 2012 campaign — continues to follow the New Jersey GOP’er.
Walker will give a speech before the RNC attendees Thursday night, and Romney will address the RNC meeting on Friday. Former Texas Governor Rick Perry will also appear before the RNC at a lunch in San Diego on Friday. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson delivered remarks to the RNC at a lunch earlier on Thursday.
Christie addressed the RNC’s 2013 summer meeting in Boston. According to CNN, although Christie received positive reviews by various GOP attendees, others were not so satisfied.
“He wouldn’t play too well where I’m from because we’re a little bit too conservative,” said Alabama GOP Chairman Bill Armistead. “He is probably a bit more liberal socially than some folks. That would cause some problems in Alabama. But everybody loves that he tells it like it is and doesn’t flinch at the opposition.”
Other reports confirm Christie received mixed reviews at the 2013 meeting. What was supposed to be a 2016 foundation building event for Christie turned into a political slug fest instead. During the meeting, he took a swipe at Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal — his predecessor at the Republican Governors Association — after Jindal said Republicans needed to stop being the “stupid party” and needed to learn to “talk like adults.”
Christie said in his remarks at the time: “I am not going to come and call you the stupid party.”
The RNC meeting in San Diego is scheduled to wrap up on Friday night.