New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is scheduled to speak to House Republicans at their annual retreat in Baltimore this week.
Christie is a favorite of the House GOP, and helped raise roughly $10 million for the party’s re-election arm at a 2011 fundraising dinner.
Christie’s attendance is scheduled to be announced by both the governor’s office and the House Republican Conference later this week.
The two-day retreat, which will take place at a waterside hotel in Baltimore, will come as the GOP is dealing with a dose of internal turmoil. The party is trying to rebound from a tough December, which had them wrestling over the payroll tax holiday — a fight they’ll reprise in a few weeks when Congress will attempt to extend the break the rest of the year.
Many members of the conference are piping mad at House Republican leadership for a series of compromises in 2011 and an uncertain 2012 agenda — sentiments that are sure to be dominant at the two-day retreat.
In addition to Christie, lawmakers and aides will have strategy sessions with GOP operatives in an attempt to sketch the year ahead.
Last year, then-Gov. Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Govs. Rick Perry of Texas, Bob McDonnell of Virginia and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spoke to lawmakers. And in 2010, President Barack Obama was the keynote, giving a speech and answering questions from members in a televised forum that many Republicans saw as a formative moment for their party.
Politically, Christie is an interesting choice for the times: he’s a top surrogate for Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. No one in House GOP leadership — including Speaker John Boehner, Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) and Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) — has endorsed for president.