One year removed from being snubbed by CPAC, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie drew a standing ovation from conservative activists Thursday, pointing to his own re-election last year as an example that standing on principle and winning elections are not mutually exclusive.
Mr. Christie, who many Republicans criticized following the 2012 presidential election for his 11th-hour praise of President Obama’s response to Hurricane Sandy, sought to connect with grass-roots activists who have been wary of him by touting his pro-life credentials and saying it’s Democrats who are intolerant on abortion.
“We need to be pro-life when they leave the womb as well — for every step of their lives,” he said.
Mr. Christie is the favorite of many establishment Republicans, but he still resonated well with CPAC’s audience, which generally tilts toward party insurgents.
“He’s the most skilled GOP politician eyeing 2016,” said Republican strategist Ford O’Connell, complimenting Mr. Christie for getting people “ginned up” in what was likely an audience not entirely enamored with him.