It is the conservative antidote to President Obama’s upcoming State of the Union address and ongoing legacy building. That would be the inaugural Iowa Freedom Summit later this month, which now bristles with an expanding roster of conservatives, some with their eye on the White House, some not. On the podium in Des Moines on Jan. 24: Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Chuck Grassley; Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Steve King, Govs. Chris Christie and Rick Perry; Ben Carson, Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Jim DeMint, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Carly Fiorina, John Bolton, Rick Santorum, Jim Gilmore, Donald Trump and Rod Blum. So far, there’s no Jeb Bush; he has opted out, a factor that did not escape the press.
“Is Bush willing to lose the primary to win the general election?” asked MSNBC host Steve Kornacki, who calls the aforementioned Mr. King — an organizer of the summit — a “right-wing immigration hardliner.” Notes Noah Rothman, a Hot Air analyst: “Clearly, the political press’ editorial culture sees participation in or avoidance of this minor event as a proxy for how individual GOP aspirants will approach the process of appealing to Hispanic voters.”
Meanwhile, the event is actually themed “Getting America Back on Track,” with considerable backing from David Bossie, president of Citizens United. “With the Iowa caucuses only a year away the summit will be a launch point for conservative ideas as we head toward 2016,” organizers say. The one-day grass-roots event is free, includes an old-fashioned box lunch and will be staged at a local historic landmark.
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