Huckabee Picked as Keynote Speaker for Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Event

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Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 09:04 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has said he may consider a presidential bid in 2016, will head to Iowa in April to be the keynote speaker for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition's Spring Kickoff.

The conservative group typically attracts top Republican presidential hopefuls, plus key lawmakers from across the country, to its annual gatherings, reports The Hill. Huckabee is joining numerous House and Senate midterm election candidates attending the IFFC's event.

Huckabee's speech is "sure to be a call to action going into the 2014 election," IFFC President Steve Scheffler told The Hill.

"Gov. Huckabee will bring a message of optimism while stressing the urgency to elect constitutional conservatives here in Iowa this fall. We look forward to his perspectives on abusive IRS practices and new regulations that threaten free speech as outlined in our first amendment," Scheffler said.

Huckabee hasn't officially announced his 2016 presidential bid yet, but has been speaking frequently about his qualifications and interest in the White House.

"It's not just a campaign," he said at a Republican National Committee luncheon in January. "It's really about being able to govern and experience governing in an environment that is not altogether your party. And certainly nobody governing brings that quite like I could."

Huckabee made a strong showing in the 2008 presidential election, when he won the Iowa caucuses, but sat out 2012. He has said this time around, he's getting encouragement from "business, people some would maybe call the establishment," both of whom did not support him in 2008.

The IFFC Spring Kickoff is just one of Huckabee's upcoming appearances at key conservative events. He plans to attend the New Hampshire Freedom Summit in the spring, joining other potential GOP presidential hopefuls such as Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

Huckabee will also speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference in March, where he'll take the podium along with Cruz, Paul, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, GOP Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Last year's CPAC event drew some 11,000 participants. 

"Gov. Huckabee has always been a CPAC favorite," says American Conservative Union chairman Al Cardenas. "This will be the year that conservatives begin pulling the nation back from the brink of Barack Obama's disaster with a movement that inspires, unites, and discovers new solutions to our current challenges."

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