Steinhauser: Christie the last major GOP WH hopeful to commit to NH GOP summit
CONCORD - What a difference a week makes.
Tuesday night the New Hampshire Republican Party announced that Chris Christie will attend next month's "First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit."
The GOP governor from New Jersey becomes the last big name Republican who's likely to run for the White House to commit to speaking at the April 17-18 confab. The Granite State's first major 2016 cattle call will be held at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Nashua.
"We are very pleased that Governor Chris Christie will be participating in this important First in the Nation event. We applaud the governor's commitment to engaging in the process of grassroots campaigning by meeting voters face-to-face here in New Hampshire. We look forward to hearing his vision for our country during his attendance at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit in April," said NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn, in a statement.
But a week ago, Horn put out a statement which appeared to put pressure on Christie to attend the gathering, saying "we have been in frequent contact with Governor Christie's staff are and still trying to confirm his attendance. We are hopeful that Governor Christie will recognize the importance of this event and find time in his schedule to address the summit."
Matt Mowers, who stepped down earlier this year as executive director of the NHGOP, is now Christie's top adviser in New Hampshire.
Samantha Smith, communications director for Leadership Matters for America PAC, a political action committee launched by Christie in advance of any formal presidential campaign, released a statement saying "over the last few years, Governor Christie has been to New Hampshire almost a dozen times to support strong Republican candidates. He is looking forward to having the opportunity to discuss the need for strong leadership at all levels of government, as well as how the party can achieve real results for hard working middle-class Americans."
Just about every major Republican presidential hopeful will be speaking at the summit, with the exception of former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 GOP White House candidate, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
600 Republican activists are expected at the NHGOP event, which was first reported by Chip Griffin of the Primary Digest back in late January.