They are not the only snubs from CPAC. The group caused consternation among many bloggers this year when Pamela Geller from Atlas Shrugged was kept out. Unbending with their decision to ban GOProud in 2012 after the group had been a sponsor the previous two years, CPAC's behavior has also kept away the Log Cabin Republicans from the ever-shrinking tent.
Noting the McDonnell snub, reporter Julian Walker at the Virginian-Pilot wrote:
Like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, McDonnell is a popular Republican state chief executive whose recent actions enraged some purist conservatives. McDonnell's offense is supporting a legislative deal on a state road funding package that included tax increases Democrats wanted and general fund revenue shifts Republicans favored. The result is that Christie and McDonnell didn't make the CPAC cut this year.It is CPAC's loss not to invite these well-known, charismatic, get-something-done leaders. CPAC is falling behind the times. Snubbing McDonnell because of his common sense approach and desire to fix a transportation issue that had been neglected for three decades was compounded by snubbing Christie -- a Republican in liberal New Jersey, of all places -- who supported expanding Medicaid in his state, and who sought $60 billion in aid from the federal government for his citizens who were affected by Hurricane Sandy, some who lost their homes.
Slate wrote of McDonnell:
McDonnell was uncontroversial among conservatives until the last two weeks, when he endorsed and signed a transportation bill that raised taxes. That earned him unending ire from Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist is on the board of the American Conservative Union, which puts on CPAC.
Joe Scarborough, former congressman from Florida and MSNBC host, took offense to the snub of McDonnell and Christie. The Virginian-Pilot's Walker wrote:
Scarborough, an outspoken critic of state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for governor this year, stood up for McDonnell after reporting Tuesday revealed the current governor wasn't invited to next weekend's CPAC gathering after being a featured guest the past two years.For a number of links and more commentary on a dysfunctional CPAC, check out this MSNBC article.
"You talk about the future of the Republican Party. You don't have Chris Christie, but you do have Mitt Romney," he said on Wednesday morning's broadcast. "You don't have Bob McDonnell. But you do have Sarah Palin and Donald Trump."
"Conservatives have to win in 2016. We cannot afford to lose another presidential race," he added. "And I can understand if Chris Christie had been governing as a moderate for four years, or Bob McDonnell had been governing as a moderate for four years. But they're just talking about one transportation bill out of four years that Bob McDonnell supported, and suddenly that one bill disqualifies him."
"There's got to be a bit more nuanced here if we're going to win again in 2016," concluded Scarborough. "And when I say 'we' I don't mean Republicans. I mean 'we' the conservatives.'"
A video clip and transcript from that Morning Joe segment can be viewed here.