Former Rep. Mike Rogers is pairing with two influential Iowa Republicans to organize a foreign policy forum this year for potential 2016 White House contenders.
The Michigan Republican and former House Intelligence Committee chairman will outline the plans in full on Thursday during a press conference in Des Moines, reports The Hill
, and plans to team with Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn and influential conservative Sam Clovis for the event.
Rogers opted not to seek re-election last year to the House seat he held for seven terms, saying he wanted to move into broadcasting. He is now a national security commentator for CNN and host of the nationally syndicated Westwood One radio show
"Something to Think About with Mike Rogers."
Rogers has been focused on foreign policy for some time, even suggesting that he may one day mount a presidential campaign to draw more attention to national security issues, according to The Hill.
A source who is involved in the event commented that now that Rogers is not participating in the GOP debate, he is looking at shaping it.
"I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out where his interests are," the source told The Hill. "Because of the RNC debates we're not going to see a lot of debates. But you're going to see a lot more forums, you're going to see a tremendous amount of forums."
Foreign policy issues are already a hot-button item among potential candidates. Late last month, Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio squared off on stage at the winter meeting of Freedom Partners, a conservative group aligned with GOP donors Charles and David Koch, reports The Hill
Cruz and Rubio, who are both sons of Cuban immigrants who fled the Castro regime, said they strongly oppose President Barack Obama's plans for normalizing U.S-Cuba relations, but Paul stressed he supports the steps, as he believes they will open trade opportunities.
And Rubio, who chairs the Senate Foreign Committee's Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere affairs, presided over a subcommittee hearing
on Tuesday to examine Obama's plans for Cuba, giving him the chance to distinguish himself from other potential 2016 candidates when it comes to foreign policy.
The Florida senator indicated in a Monday CNN.com opinion piece
that he plans to reach a much wider audience than that in a Capitol Hill hearing room.
"What happens with Cuba has far-reaching and potentially damaging implications far beyond the island nation," said Rubio. "Cuba is not the only rogue regime with which Obama is engaging in an attempt to end bad behavior. When America sits at the negotiating table with one tyrant or radical regime, the others — from Iran to North Korea and elsewhere — watch closely and learn best practices that they can apply to advance their own anti-American agendas."
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