Potential GOP presidential candidates brandish conservative credentials
March 26th, 2011
10:47 AM ET
3 years ago

Potential GOP presidential candidates brandish conservative credentials

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) - Conservative activists will converge on this capital city Saturday to talk politics, policy and hear from a handful of potential presidential candidates, who are eager to court this group of influential voters.

The day-long "Conservative Principles Conference" is meant to give these grassroots activists – the kind who will brave March snow showers and sacrifice part of their weekend – an opportunity to begin sizing up the Republican presidential primary field. Five candidates eyeing the GOP nomination are scheduled to address the meeting: Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Ambassador John Bolton, businessman Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Notably absent from the event are a handful of former governors, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Sarah Palin of Alaska, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. Pawlenty recently announced plans to seek the GOP nomination, and Romney is expected to make his campaign official in the coming months. It remains unclear whether Huckabee or Palin will decide to enter the race.

The event being sponsored by Iowa Rep. Steve King is the latest so-called political cattle call in this first in the nation caucus state, which will be the first to weigh in on the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

Iowa plays a major role, critics argue outsized, in helping to choose presidential candidates for both parties. With President Obama expected to seek a second term in 2012, the political spotlight in the coming months will be focused primarily on the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Follow Mark Preston on Twitter @PrestonCNN


Filed under: 2012 • Iowa • Republicans
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. Bill from GA

    What they are really going to do is tell us what President Obama is doing wrong, in 12,000 words or less. Each.
    Otherwise, all they have to say is: Abortion Bad! Guns Good!! Obama Bad!! We Good!! Less Government Good!! And so on.

    March 26, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  2. willie floyd

    Wow!! The freaking five together in one place. Sure am glad I don't live in Iowa. We have confederate flag-waving Barbour,
    Family values Newt, Bad mouth Bachman, and a few others for window dressing. Good to know Pres. Obama is safe in 2012!!

    March 26, 2011 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  3. GI Joe

    Bring in the clowns.

    March 26, 2011 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. GOP = Greed Over People

    Could we have that whole "end of days rapture" thingy happen while they are all corralled?

    March 26, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  5. EddyL

    What a pack of lying hypocrites.

    March 26, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  6. Martha in CF

    All the GOP nopefuls...........

    March 26, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  7. Mindy Terrel Iowa

    So sad this people ruinning the reputation of Iowa. Iowans are very tolerant compared to this hateful bunch.

    March 26, 2011 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  8. me

    Pawlenty will be much like a 16th seed March Madness team, first in – first out. And that will leave such qualified candidates as...oh, oh my...never mind. Obama/Biden 2012.

    March 26, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. PalmReader

    Aren't these guys supposed to be gearing up for the Republican Presidential debates coming in May? This only leaves one month for all of the hopefuls to declare their intentions. Apparently they would rather be speaking in front of their cheering supporters than actually do the hard work of putting forth campaign platforms, state their positions (including goals) to ALL of America. It's becoming more and more obvious that these GOPers goals aren't to actually become elected President, but instead simply bask in the glory of their speeches and fundraising.

    March 26, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. B

    They are all standing in line to finish what Bush almost accomplished, destroying the middle class of this country.

    The Republicans will not be happy until they own or control everything.

    March 26, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Redleg

    Notice that none of these "conservatives" ever served one day in uniform. If you talk like a hawk please do not show you have the guts of a chicken. Ted Kennedy had a DD-214 that said honorable. What have these people ever risked or done for the country versus their own pockets?

    March 26, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. jonnie

    Nice try gaylon...nobodys scared of palin,and obama supporters are not breandead,clearly you don't understand the medical ramifications of that word

    March 26, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. one voice

    Tomahawk missle anyone? LOL

    March 26, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  14. Tired of the nonsense

    Vote for anyone BUT conservatives. These people do not like America, Americans or the American ideal of democracy.

    March 26, 2011 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  15. Obamacare = Romneycare v1.01

    My interest extends only to fiscal conservatives. I have no use whatsoever for social conservatives. They are just as bad for the country as liberal Democrats.

    March 26, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Larry L

    The yery term "conservative" means so little these days. The "don't-tax-but-spend-anyway" conservatives were the ones who almost destroyed the American economy during the Bush era. They were the folks who wanted to allow unrestricted wire-tapping of American citizens and holding prisoners of war without charges or a trial. Are those conservative values? They want "small" government but want the government to determine a woman's reproductive rights. They defend religion – as long as it's the Christian religion. They appear to hate environmental protection, gays & lesbians, people of color, cultural diversity, the working poor, the middle class, and organized labor. They work together to undermine progress in America – to promote their own political goals. They're well-represented in white militias determined to overthrow our government. I don't think the Honorable Barry Goldwater would have identified with this crowd...

    March 26, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  17. Clwyd

    As Americans get turned off by what these right wing nut cases are trying to do all across America their credentials will make them unelectable!

    March 26, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Pat

    Sounds like a fun time/not Obama/Biden2012

    March 26, 2011 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  19. 21k

    is newtie-boy still married to wife #3, or has he tired of her also?

    March 26, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  20. informed voter

    There is not one winner among them. Where are the sane, intelligent, electable Republicans? I know, in my family of highly educated, successful professionals, those who used to call themselves Republican switched to Independent when McCain foisted Palin on to the political stage. Things have only gotten nuttier since then. But for those of us who call themselves Democrats, things look very bright for our party in 2012. Intelligent, thoughtful leadership: Obama/Biden 2012!!

    March 26, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  21. The Greedy Old Pigs love to roll in the mud!

    Brandishing "conservative credentials" is like bragging about a low IQ. "Conservative credentials" are most oven repetitious phrases that demonstrate the speaker's fear, hate, lies and/or ignorance. To the extent an actual policy suggestion is involved, it can usually be debunked or discredited by anyone with half a brain or a high school degree. The myth about tax cuts for the filthy rich creating jobs would be just one good example.

    March 26, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. T'sah from Virginia

    Has anyone ever thought about the fact that what is running on the RIGHT is nothing but "wannabe rift rafts?" Have you noticed all of the TRUE potentials are NOT running and dropped out – the ones who JUST MIGHT have a chance against President Obama (not really, but...).

    The people currently running on the RIGHT are money-hungry PACers using PAC money for their vacation, mortgage, book pushing and traveling!!

    March 26, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Brett

    They must be shooting a sequel to Fellini's Satryicon.

    March 26, 2011 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. OneMoreTime

    Who keeps lettin the dawgs out?

    March 26, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  25. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thank God President Obama doesn't have to worry about any of these stooges beating him!

    March 26, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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