Columnist Charles Krauthammer on Tuesday called the decision to exclude New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) from CPAC a "mistake" and a "vast overreaction" by organizers of the right-wing confab.
"I think this is a vast overreaction. It's a mistake," Krauthammer told Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly. "He's a leading Republican, obviously presidential timber. He's got the highest popularity of any governor and he's in a blue state."
Krauthammer made it clear that he, too, had misgivings about the popular governor's embrace of President Barack Obama following Superstorm Sandy — which he later joked was more of a "lap dance." But the influential conservative said that Christie has served penance for his sins of bipartisanship.
"Look, I wasn't very happy with what he did at Sandy," Krauthammer said. "I thought he deserved three months of quarantine. The three months is up and I let him out. I'd have him at CPAC. We should have a wide tent. And if that's what it takes to win elections in the Northeast and nationwide, let's go for it."
Krauthammer suggested that CPAC might be imposing too stringent of a litmus test to determine who qualifies as a conservative.
"I think they're trying to define legitimate ideology fairly narrowly and they want to rule people out," Krauthammer said of CPAC organizers.