Washington (CNN) – Expect Tim Pawlenty this weekend to praise the tea party movement and call for holding the line on government spending and taxes as he headlines an inaugural policy summit being put on by one of the nation's largest national tea party groups.
The former Minnesota governor and probable Republican presidential candidate is keynote speaker Saturday at the event, titled "American Policy Summit-Pathways to Liberty."
The three day summit is being put together by the Tea Party Patriots, a national grassroots coalition which says it has more than 3,000 locally organized chapters and more than 15 million supporters nationwide.
"Governor Pawlenty will thank the Tea Party movement for their energy and passion, and give them well deserved credit for this fall's victories. The Tea Party's efforts resulted in Nancy Pelosi losing the speaker's gavel, and electing Republican leaders like Governors Walker, Kasich and Haley," a Pawlenty adviser tells CNN.
"The Tea Party is concerned with holding a line on taxes and spending, and restoring limited government - all priorities for Governor Pawlenty. The Governor will reiterate his call to hold the line on the debt ceiling, repeal Obamacare and stand up to public employees' unions. He'll talk about his record of conservative success in a liberal state like Minnesota, and share stories about cutting spending and taxes, and standing up to public employees unions," adds the adviser.
Pawlenty's Saturday in the spotlight will come just two days after he strongly threw his support behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
Pawlenty's political action committee launched a website praising what he called Walker's "tough choices" in trying to strip the collective bargaining rights of some public service union workers. It appears Pawlenty, as well as some other possible contenders for the GOP presidential nomination, are using the standoff in Wisconsin to highlight their own conservative credentials.
Tea Party Patriots announced one week ago that Pawlenty would keynote their event. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas and businessman and radio talk-show host Herman Cain - who are also considering bids for the White House - are also speaking at the event, which organizers say will bring tea party supporters and public policy analysts together for briefings, discussions and policy debates. The summit is being held as tea party activists mark the second anniversary of their movement's birth.
"This summit will be an important opportunity for Tea Party Patriots to come together to celebrate and recommit to the ideals and values that are responsible for the dramatic victories in the November election," said Jenny Beth Martin, national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, in an e-mail release last week.
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