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Guess Which Popular Republican Governor Will Not Be 'Invited' to CPAC...


Hint: He's a potential 2016 GOP presidential candidate

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie describes plans Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Lavallette, N.J., while making an announcement on the reconstruction of Route 35, a major shore highway that was heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy. Christie says more than $200 million in federal funds will be used to rebuild a 12.5-mile storm-damaged stretch of Route 35. Under an aggressive timetable he says completion is expected by the summer of 2015. Credit: AP

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, whose job approval rests at 74 percent, has not been invited to speak at CPAC 2013, an annual gathering of conservatives from across the country. The blue state Republican governor is considered by many to be one of the GOP's presidential candidates in 2016.

Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are all scheduled to speak at this year's CPAC gathering -- but Christie was snubbed. According to a source close to the event, the popular governor has not and will not be invited.

As Politico notes, Christie drew the ire of some conservatives for heaping praise on President Barack Obama for his efforts following Superstorm Sandy. Christie has also spoke out about addressing climate change and has been perceived as not pro-gun enough for some conservatives.

More from Politico:

On the one hand, it spares Christie — who’s running for reelection in a blue state — the agita of having to make an appearance that Democrats would use against him in 2013. On the other, it underscores that some conservatives still are angry over the post-Sandy performance, as well as his tongue-lashing of House Speaker John Boehner for tabling a bill to provide storm aid.

CPAC officials decided not to invite former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in 2007. Like Christie, Giuliani was pro-choice but was perceived as too far to the left on social issues by some conservatives.

CPAC officials say the speaker line-up is still being finalized.

“We still have three weeks to CPAC and have several more announcements to go,” Communications Director Laura Keehner Rigas told ABC News. “I encourage everyone to hold tight.”

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