So a speech that started out talking about hard truths turned into a pretty easy message for the conservatives gathered at CPAC. Our ideas are best, we need to improve our messaging, and, by the way, we’ve got to stand up to the liberal media. That doesn’t involve much soul-searching.
To be fair, Christie included a few rhetorical departures from the standard Republican talk. For example, he stressed that he is pro-life, but added, “When we say that we’re pro-life … that doesn’t mean we’re pro-life just when that human being is in the womb. We need to be pro-life when they leave the womb as well, for every step of their lives.” Christie said that means more GOP ideas for education, for creating opportunity, for creating jobs — and to help people who stumble in life, like those who become addicted to drugs.
It’s not a surprise that Christie didn’t venture far beyond Republican orthodoxy at CPAC. After all, he wasn’t even invited last year. Now, he’s most likely running for president and doesn’t need to alienate some of his party’s most loyal voters.
But there are a lot of Republicans who believe the GOP continues to need a serious talking-to, and that Christie could be the man to do it. If he is, he didn’t show it at CPAC.