Potential GOP presidential candidates brandish conservative credentials
March 26th, 2011
10:47 AM ET
11 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. maeve

    If the only candidates for the next election were the mentioned cast of characters who showed up for this event: (in order) a racist pig, a nut-job, a guy with anger issues, a complete unknown and a philandering flip-flopper...dang...I'djust stay home on election day and weep.
    And Gaylon, who's devoting even one moment or one breath here talking about Palin? Ummm...that would be the ever appropriate NOBODY!

    March 26, 2011 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Nobody is afraid of Palin but Palin. She won't run because it's going to cost money and she only believes in one charity and that's her own. Beside's that she and her husband both are two of the most uneducated people in politics and that should be embarrassing enough.

    March 26, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  3. DENNA

    Credentials? What credentials? All you've done since 2008 is give President Obama a hard time. You have not produced one single piece of legislation to address the jobless problem in America. Taking from the poor is not a solution, hello!!!! When are you actually going to produce the jobs you promised. The more stupid among you like to comment that people don't have jobs because they are too lazy work. Nice throw-away line for the Tea Partiers, not much help for real Americans struggling to survive until things get better.

    March 26, 2011 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. SureNoProb

    @Gaylon Barrow–The Jackals have spoken loud and clear–Palin support from Republicans and Repub-leaning independents is at an all time low. The Democratic party should be so lucky as to have Palin run.

    Obama landslide, 2012, no matter who tries to run against him. And a shoutout to the Fake-tan Five–Donald, Mitt, Newt, Haley and Boehner–whoever told y'all you look good in Oompa Loompa orange makeup must certainly be Democratic party faithful.

    March 26, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. mama grizzly

    Ever wonder why Romney rarely goes to these things and keeps such a low profile? He doesn't want to be associated with this clown car on it's way to Crazyville. He knows if he's going to win, he needs to appeal to the reasonable general election voters.

    March 26, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Joe

    Eye of Newt: Did I miss something? When did Newt Gingrich become anything more than a relic of the past? The only viable relic the Republicans have to run with is lower taxes. The problem for me is not just that they have no solid platform or concrete agenda, but that they have no one comparable to or more genuine than Obama.

    March 26, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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