The Ed Show | February 26, 2013
>>> after considerable discussion and research, i have decided to participate in medicaid expansion under the affordable care act .
>> welcome back to "the ed show." obviously, new jersey governor chris christie today infuriating the republican establishment. christie said medicaid expansion will provide health care for his state's poorest citizens and save money in the long run. holy smokes , how do you get away with that in the republican party ? well, it's a common sense move, and it should please the white house . but moves like this could be why christie wasn't invited to cpac , the biggest republican gathering of the year. it's an odd snub, considering christie is a very popular conservative. he is a republican governor in a blue state with a 74% approval rating. how the heck do you beat that? plus, christie is really a typical republican. he is pro-life, he has taken on unions, he has given tax cuts to the wealthiest residents in new jersey, he has cut government jobs and each vetoed a minimum wage increase. that resume won't get him invited? christie is also a 2016 presidential favorite among many. but somehow he didn't make the cut for the republican super bowl . instead, cpac will feature winners like mitt romney , sarah palin , and alan west . the reason these people made the cut is because they would never say things like this.
>> i cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and compassion for our state and for the people of our state.
>> so governor christie wasn't invited to cpac because he works with the president of the united states to help his citizens in new jersey. he did it after hurricane sandy, and he did it again today by expanding medicaid help in his state. this is a shining example of the blind hate republicans have for president obama . they choose to ditch a potential presidential nominee because he works with the white house ? moderate republicans across america, beware. your party has definitely changed. for now let's turn to salon editor at large joan walsh . also with us tonight " washington post " columnist ej dion, and republican strategist liz mair. great to have all of you with us tonight. liz , chris christie , a popular republican. i just gave you his short resume right there. why wouldn't they invite him to cpac ? doesn't he have anything to offer?
>> i think that he does, but i think it's worth noting that cpac is getting itself in a lot of trouble this year for what appears to be kind of an exclusionary policy regarding a number of people who are within the republican tent, whether that is chris christie there has been some controversy surrounding their inclusion of gay conservative groups. that is something that has occurred for them in the past. and i think the criticism that you're hearing from some quarters is that unfortunately cpac seems to be cutting out a lot of the people who potentially present a more modern and more appealing version of conservatism that is a little bit broader based, maybe a little more inclusive.
>> its tea party swore way.
>> actually, let me distinguish that a little bit. first of all, i think tea party , the meaning of that depends on where you're looking. but there are actually some very inclusive members of the tea party who are very socially liberal and fiscally conservative .
>> liz , it's about obama.
>> it's not when you're look at the gay conservative groups. i think this is a problem that goes -- i think you're actually giving cpac a little bit of a pass here by letting them get off with some excuse. it's beyond that.
>> is this snub about resentment and hate towards president obama . what is it?
>> i think there is definitely some of, that ed, but, you know, somebody from cpac told the national view that they didn't invite christie because he has a limited future in the republican party . and then you look at allen west and sarah palin and mitt romney and think about their future in national politics. they don't have one. so, you know, it shows i think the extent to which conservatism has become a cult, not a vibrant political movement that has conversations and disagreements with itself where somebody like chris christie with that unbelievable voting record.
>> that you ticked off can come and he can agree with them frankly on most things and disagree about an issue or two, and everybody can have a debate and talk about it. instead, it's much more about getting rid of the heretics and also snubbing anyone who has anything to do with president obama .
>> yeah, i agree with, that joan, yeah.
>> e.j., does this show the republicans are just more concerned with ideology than winning races? if there is a guy who could bring in people from the center, it would be christie . all of those speakers that cpac is going to, none of them are in the center.
>> well, i think the core of this cpac conference is going to be the edsel. i mean, this is a really backward-looking meeting when you look at the guests they have. and i think chris christie will wear their scorn as a badge of honor, if i'm permitted to paraphrase dan quayle on your show. chris christie is a very smart politician. he knows that barack obama carried new jersey by 17 points the last time. he is up for reelection this fall. he knew he was going to be judged by how he handled hurricane sandy, so he worked with the president because that was more important to him than republicans not liking barack obama . and on the medicaid thing, that is a very good deal for states, particularly for hospitals in the state. and he just took it. this is a politician who knows he can't go anywhere unless he gets re-elected this year.
>> and he is making a heck of a play for democrats.
>> liz , you gave us your thoughts on cpac . what about christie ? does this help him in the long run?
>> you know, i think that christie is probably pretty safe to be reelected this year. so i'm not sure that this necessarily figures into the calculus too much.
>> i'm talking about being a presidential candidate . does this exclude him from possibly being on the national ticket to run for president?
>> no, i don't think it excludes him. john mccain was never a big fan of cpac and certainly didn't maintain much of a presence there. i'm not sure he spoke there in 2008 even if i recall correctly he did not. and i think that may have been a conscious choice on his part. i don't think it necessarily harms christie . you know, ultimately, i think that being in a position to go and speak to people at cpac does give you the opportunity to have a wider audience for your views and to make sure that conservatives are hearing it. and i think that's beneficial for conservatives. i think as joan said, it would be helpful at this point where i think there is a lot of concern about modernization within the conservative movement if we had as many voices as possible within that gathering. but at the end of the day , i don't think it hurts christie per se .
>> very narrow right now. cpac has chosen that they will throw loyalists to the party right outside. it's now to me there is certainly two parties here. they're just by banner under one umbrella. let's go to sequestration. joan walsh , the president making a heck of a pitch. and of course you've got john boehner telling the senate to go back to work, and he is relying on the two bills they passed in the last session of congress. where are we? who wins? who loses?
>> we're in big trouble . you know, i feel like watching hurricane sandy approach last year, ed, and i could tell my daughter to evacuate in new york and my family got out. but you can't -- you really have no way to prepare for this. kids kicked out of head start . 750,000 jobs lost. i really don't see a whole lot of hope for a compromise.
>> e.j. dionne , has the republican from virginia, scott rigell ended his career with republicans now that he was traveling with the president of the united states today to talk about fixing a financial problem in this country?
>> i actually don't think so. i think to go back a bit to our earlier conversation, as liz suggested, there are two kinds of conservative right now. there are conservatives who say there is nothing wrong but the packaging and are really taking this hard line on the sequester, and there are conservatives saying hey, wait a minute, we got to rethink some stuff. we lost five of the last six elections. and i think people like the congressman from virginia are going to look very good come november of 2014 , because this sequester is just stupid. we're taking a whole lot of money out of the economy at a moment when we should be goosing the recovery, not pulling it back. and i think a lot of republicans in their heart of hearts know that, at least republicans in the electorate, if not in the house of representatives .
>> all right, joan walsh , e.j. dionne , and liz mair. great to have you on the "ed show" tonight. appreciate your time.
>>> stale head, tonight marks a one year since a controversial shooting which touched off a national protest . it also sparked a debate about self-defense. we'll tackle the stand your ground laws just ahead. stay with