Maybe it’s too early to call it an official 2016 “cattle call,” but the group of Republicans headlining an April New Hampshire event is going to get a lot of tongues wagging.
Featured speakers include Sens. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Donald Trump, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and American Enterprise Institute (AEI) President Arthur Brooks.
Citizens United and Americans For Prosperity Foundation are joining forces to host the April 12 event, titled the “Freedom Summit,” in Manchester, New Hampshire. Breitbart News will be live broadcasting the event online on Breitbart TV.
“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,” AFP Foundation president Tim Phillips said in a release.
Hosts say the event, from two conservative groups with close ties to grassroots activists, lays down an early marker in terms of who will be taking charge of 2016-related political events.
“We believe that this time around, the grassroots of the party should be the ones who lead,” Citizens United president David Bossie told Breitbart News. “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. This event is going to be attended by some of the biggest, more important voices in the movement as they open up a dialogue about individual liberty and the damage done by Big Government. I am honored to team up with Americans for Prosperity Foundation on this event and we are so excited that Breitbart will be live-streaming this event so grassroots conservative activists across the country will be able to also be a part of this ongoing conversation.”
Greg Moore, the state director of AFP New Hampshire, said the gathering would be the “political event of the year in the Granite State.”
Of the confirmed speakers, Paul is among the first-tier presidential aspirants, while Gingrich and Huckabee have previously run and haven’t ruled it out for 2016. Trump has frequently toyed with the idea as well.
Paul said he’s looking forward to the event and loves what New Hampshire stands for. “I always feel at home anytime the motto is ‘Live Free or Die,'” he said.
“I’m very excited and honored to be attending the AFP and Citizens United event,” Trump said. “It’s always great to be back in New Hampshire. See you there,” Trump said.
Lee is unlikely to run for president but has emerged as a key conservative leader in the Senate. He said the event will allow conservatives to forge 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 News. “To move in the right direction, we need conservatives around the country laying out a new, innovative reform agenda. 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,” Lee said.