I was ready to mock this as a sign of pathetic linger love on the part of Roger Ailes...
But then I looked at the video of the speech and read National Review's write-up. NR says Christie got standing ovations before and after the speech; you don't see them in the video clip, but I believe it because, after a slow opening, Christie does get the crowd pumped up throughout the speech. He does this by not being what he's been lately in New Jersey -- a guy who sorrowfully says that certain things were done by members of his administration (not by him!) were just awful. Instead, at CPAC, Christie talked about what horrible people Democrats are (at one point he claimed that there's never been an anti-abortion speaker at any convention of the "intolerant" Democratic Party, which is a blatant lie); he attacked Harry Reid for criticizing the Koch brothers (or, as he put it, "rail[ing] against two American entrepreneurs who have built a business, created jobs, and created wealth and philanthropy in this country.... Harry Reid should get back to work and stop picking on great Americans who are creating great things in our country"); and, at around 4:01 in the clip below, he praised a series of Republican governors for, among other things, working to destroy unions in their states:
Look at what's happened in Wisconsin with my friend Governor Scott Walker. (Applause.) Scott Walker stood up for collective bargaining reform, and you know what's happened to the teachers' union in Wisconsin? Their membership is down 60 percent, because Scott Walker made it voluntary to join the union in Wisconsin. (Applause.) People are voting with their feet....I almost think this Chris Christie could be competitive in the 2016 primaries -- after which he'd get his clock cleaned in the general election, because all Hillary Clinton would have to do is expose union members and union retirees in Michigan, Ohio, and elsewhere to the speech excerpts I just quoted. But this is the Christie Republicans used to love -- a bellicose loudmouth whose principal selling point is how effectively he expresses hatred for Democrats and liberalism. Compare Mitch McConnell, who got a tepid reception at CPAC even as he was saying some of the same things Christie said about how awful Democrats are, and even though he walked out on stage brandishing a rifle (an award to retiring senator Tom Coburn, waved by McConnell in what I assume was a deliberate evocation of Charlton Heston's "cold, dead hands" speech).
How about Michigan? How about Michigan, where Governor Rick Snyder has made Michigan, the home of the UAW, a right-to-work state. (Applause.)
Christie should just give up on trying to be a nice guy, even occasionally, and just be this boorish jerk -- what the hell, he doesn't have to run in New Jersey ever again, and Mitt Romney won the GOP nomination not in spite of alienating his state but in part because he did so. Christie could be a wingnut hero again if he'd just keep channeling his inner lout. And that's probably true even if he's forced out of office and has to face charges -- just ask Ollie North.