April 'Freedom Summit' Attracts Big Grassroots Names

Wednesday, 05 Feb 2014 09:06 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Two conservative groups are planning a political summit in New Hampshire this spring that they say will show the Republican Party's grassroots element will drive discussions as the 2016 presidential race nears.

Citizens United and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation have invited Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Donald Trump; Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and American Enterprise Institute President Arthur Brooks to speak at their "Freedom Summit," planned for April 12 in Manchester, reports Breitbart News.

"We believe that this time around, the grass roots of the party should be the ones who lead," Citizens United President David Bossie said. "We are so excited to host an event where the people who are fighting for conservative principles on the front lines daily get to start the conversation about where this country is heading and how it should be led going forward."

Paul is considered one of the front-running potential candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, while Gingrich and Huckabee have both mounted campaigns in the past and Trump has often mulled a presidential race. So far, no candidates have officially announced their intentions for 2016.

"Set just three days before most Americans have to file their income taxes to pay for the burgeoning federal government, our Freedom Summit will provide an excellent opportunity for the hard-working people of New Hampshire to compare and contrast the direction in which our country is headed and how their tax dollars are being spent," said Tim Phillips, president of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation.

Trump was in the state in January as the featured speaker at a "Politics and Eggs" event held by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and New England Council, reports The New Hampshire Union Leader, and Paul was in the state last May to headline a state GOP fundraiser.

Huckabee, who finished third in the 2008 New Hampshire presidential primary, last visited the state in May 2012 for a state GOP fundraiser, the paper reports.

Lee, who has become a key conservative Senate leader and who delivered the tea party movement's response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Jan. 28, said the summit will help lead to a new reform agenda.

"After five years of Barack Obama, America cannot afford to continue down a path that leads to bigger, more expensive, more intrusive government," Lee said in an email to Breitbart. "The Freedom Summit is a great opportunity to engage in that debate and show people of every political stripe that conservatives have policy proposals that will work — and get people back to work."

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