Video: Standing ovation for Christie at CPAC

Actually, although I have video of his speech, I don’t have video of the reception he got. You’ll have to trust David Freddoso and Eliana Johnson on that:

The crowd gathered at the Conservative Political Action Conference rose to its feet as Chris Christie exited stage left…

Christie’s remarks were highly anticipated, not only because of the lingering scandal but also because CPAC brass dinged him last year by leaving him off of the guest list. Today, the governor was greeted with murmurs and some quiet cheers; he drew more excitement from the audience as he proceeded…

Christie returned to a familiar theme, contrasting the labor of the GOP’s governors with the fecklessness of politicians in Washington. “The most dangerous ten feet in Washington, D.C., is between anybody who wants to talk about something and a camera,” he said.

Criticizing other pols for playing to the media is an … interesting line of attack from a guy who got famous for yelling at people in YouTube clips, but oh well. He does sound like a candidate: “We don’t get to govern if we don’t win,” a key line from today’s speech, is one I’ve heard him use before as an allusion to his alleged electability advantage over the rest of the field. Emphasis on “alleged”:

As conservatives gather in the Washington area on Thursday for three days of speeches from prospective 2016 presidential candidates and discussions about the future of the GOP, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll found that three in 10 of all Republicans say they would not vote for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie if he ran for the White House…

Just 9 percent of Republicans say they definitely would vote for Christie, while 50 percent say they would consider doing so. Eleven percent say they have no opinion.

The 30 percent of Republicans who say they definitely would not vote for Christie is the highest percentage for any Republican tested.

Here’s what the overall numbers look for Christie, the consummately electable centrist with crossover appeal…


…and here’s what they look like for Rand Paul, the supposedly unelectable far-right libertarian:


If that doesn’t grab you, here’s what Christie’s numbers look like in Fox News’s new poll. Note the partisan split, especially:


Of the seven candidates mentioned in Fox’s poll — Hillary, Biden, Paul, Cruz, Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Christie — only Christie had negative numbers in all three partisan groups, including his own. Among tea partiers, he’s at 35/47, behind even Bush (42/46), which means he’s actually doing slightly better with TPers than with the rest of the GOP. The only good news for him in all of this is that, per the WaPo data noted above, there’s an even greater number of Americans (48 percent) who say they definitely wouldn’t vote for his centrist rival Bush than say the same for Christie. Go figure that, in the electability sweepstakes, the guy named “Bush” has the biggest hill to climb.

Here’s two minutes from today’s speech, which included a reminder that the blue state of New Jersey has twice elected a pro-life governor. Translation: Reports of my squishiness are greatly exaggerated.