At the conservative CPAC conference Thursday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will not take any major risks when he speaks to a segment of the Republican Party that has at times viewed him with skepticism.
Instead, sources close to Christie say, he will touch on some of his most popular themes: touting his record as a Republican governor in a Democratic state, and drawing a contrast between Republican governors and the dysfunction in Washington.
And, in line with the overarching theme of CPAC, Christie will touch on what it means to be a conservative Republican.
"The message: we can’t just be against something for the sake of being against it," said a source close to Christie. "Christie will call on the audience and the party not to waste time with political arguments that do nothing to turn our ideas into results."
Lately, Christie has not used his public appearances to defend himself against the high-profile "bridgegate" scandal at home, into which multiple investigations are ongoing. But he has used that controversy as an implicit jumping-off point to criticize the media -- a popular trope among many conservative Republicans. On Thursday, Christie is also expected to hit on this note.
Christie will deliver his speech from notes rather than a full prepared text, an aide confirmed. After his remarks, Christie does not plan to stay in D.C. for meetings or other events.
The New Jersey governor is among a host of potential contenders for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination who will flock to CPAC on Thursday and Friday to try to appeal to the conservative base of the party -- including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.