On an ABC News panel this Sunday, George W. Bush’s former chief strategist Matthew Dowd slammed the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) for excluding New Jersey Governor Chris Christie while inviting other divisive figures from past election cycles such as Sarah Palin.
Starting off the segment, Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot said that CPAC had made a strategical mistake by snubbing Christie after he pushed Congress for Hurricane Sandy relief funds and even showed support for some gun-control legislation in the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
“If I were CPAC, I would have invited Christie and let him say what he wanted on guns or anything else,” Gigot said. “And if you disagree with him, boo him or what have you — but this is a time that the Republican Party needs to have a debate, and a pretty raucous debate.”
“CPAC, to me, has totally diminished its credibility as an organization,” Dowd replied. “And you invite Sarah Palin, who wasn’t competent enough to keep a Fox News contract? But she’s invited to CPAC meeting?”
Democratic strategist James Carville welcomed the CPAC miscalculation, suggesting that it could help Democrats by bringing fringe elements the forefront of the Republican Party.
“Any day that you have more Sarah Palin and less Chris Christie is a good day for James Carville,” he quipped. “I’m all for it.”
Watch the ABC segment in the video below.