Cruz to Speak at Conservative Religious Conference in Iowa

Tuesday, 25 Jun 2013 04:47 PM

By Dan Weil

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Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas is slated to speak at a conservative religious conference in Iowa on Aug. 10, as speculation continues to percolate that he will run for president in 2016.

Cruz will appear at the Family Leadership Summit, which is sponsored by The Family Leader, a top social conservative group in Iowa, and three national organizations -- Citizens United, Heritage Action, and the National Organization for Marriage, The Hill reports.

"The work of the Family Leadership Summit to fight for conservative values and promote strong families is making a positive impact across our country," Cruz said in a statement. "My dad and I are honored to be included in this year's summit and are looking forward to it."

Iowa, of course, leads off the presidential nomination process with its caucuses. Cruz also is scheduled to attend a fundraising luncheon for the state Republican Party in late July. Cruz's father is set to speak at that event as well.

As for the Family Leadership Summit, other confirmed speakers include former Republican Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and real estate titan Donald Trump. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also have been invited to speak.

Cruz has emerged as one of the strongest Republican voices on issues such as immigration reform and the IRS scandal.

Asked by Fox News earlier this month about whether he has any plans to run for president in 2016, Cruz said. "My focus is on the U.S. Senate. The Senate is the battlefield right now."

Story continues below video.

At a fundraiser in New York last month, Cruz said Republicans should put more focus on helping the poor escape poverty, The Daily Beast reports.

"I am going to suggest that the last election can be explained in two words: 47 percent," Cruz said, referring to Mitt Romney’s secretly-recorded comments that 47 percent of Americans were dependent on the government and wouldn't vote for him.

"The national narrative of the last election was the 47 percent of Americans who are not currently paying income taxes … we don’t have to worry about them,” Cruz said. "That was what was communicated in the last election. I have to tell you as a conservative I cannot think of an idea more opposite to what I believe. I think Republicans are and should be the party of the 47 percent."

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