Conservative author and columnist Ann Coulter, a long and loyal supporter of New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie, told attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Saturday that he was “off her list.”
“Did you see his convention speech?” she asked the crowd. “It was really bad. And I must say, though I loved Chris Christie, I’m now a single issue voter against amnesty, so Christie is off my list.” She noted, however, that Senator Ted Cruz (R – TX) “is still on (her) list.” Coulter has hopes for Senator Marco Rubio (R – FL) but wondered, “Why on earth is Marco Rubio and these endless Republicans supporting [amnesty]?”
Governor Christie was not invited to the annual conference this year. The decision raised questions among conservatives again if Christie’s actions during the Romney-Ryan campaign, particularly towards the end damaged his credibility with the GOP’s conservative base.
“This year, for better or for worse, we felt like he didn’t deserve to be on the all-star selection, and for decisions that he made,” CPAC Chairman Al Cardenas told reporters. “And so hopefully next year he’s back on the right track and being a conservative.” Cardenas noted that Christie “is popular figure, but everyone needs to live by the parameters of the movement.”
Coulter said that she does not know who she is focused in on for 2016 but she described what kind of candidate should not be running. She previously supported former Republican Delaware Governor Pete du Pont, conservative political commentator Pat Buchanan, business mogul Steve Forbes, and former Congressman Duncan Hunter (R – CA). Coulter admitted she made mistakes with some of her past choices.
“No, you can’t run a congressman. I have learned that. You cannot run a governor from a state that’s only as big as a congressional district. That’s the equivalent of running of congressman. We can’t run businessmen, pundits,” she said, adding, “People who have not run and won elections in at least a mid-size state. We’re looking at governors and senators. Once you throw in the governors and senators, let’s see how they debate, let’s see their positions then.”
Coulter was particularly critical of conservatives who put themselves before the movement. She pointed to the Senate races lost by Republicans in 2012. Coulter pointed to former Congressman Todd Akin’s unwillingness to drop out of the Senate race in Missouri and those who supported his decision. “Passion is great but in politics, scoring is all that counts,” she said.