Republican Party leaders tried to explain why Gov. Chris Christie was not invited to this year's annual gathers of conservatives in Washington.
The Conservative Political Action Conference, or CPAC, is under way without New Jersey's GOP governor.
One party leader called Christie a watered-down version of a conservative who has become a distraction for the party.
Christie has been heavily criticized by the far-right wing for visiting the White House and touring Hurricane Sandy damage with President Barack Obama last fall.
The party may be at a critical juncture, and we're seeing what may be a rollout for some possible GOP White House contenders.
It is, in part, something of a campaign rally. But this year the conference is also a time for some soul-searching.
FOX's Doug Luzader has more in this video report from Washington.