2014-03-06T224848Z_1_CBREA251RDF00_RTROPTP_2_USA

Christie calls on conservatives to focus on 'what we're for'

New Jersey Gov Chris Christie attends Conservative Political Action Conference in Oxon HillBy John Whitesides and David Lawder NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland (Reuters) – New Jersey Governor Chris Christie urged conservative activists on Thursday to talk about what they are for, not just what they are against, and said Republicans need to focus on winning elections in addition to promoting their ideology. In his first major appearance before Republicans since he was engulfed in a home-state scandal over political retribution in January, Christie led a parade of potential 2016 presidential contenders who laid out their visions for activists at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). He is viewed warily by some of the most conservative members of the Republican Party, in part because he oversees a mostly Democratic state and praised Democratic President Barack Obama’s work on disaster relief in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy in 2012. Christie was not invited to the CPAC meeting last year, in a move widely viewed as retribution for his friendly words about Obama just before the 2012 presidential election.

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