DES MOINES, Iowa–Saturday will be a “Who’s Who” of Republicans thinking, running or wanting you to think they are running for president in 2016. Congressman Steve King hosts his Iowa Freedom Summit in Des Moines. But pies, books, thank you’s and speeches will fill some of the time away from the summit.
The speakers’ list includes some of the most well-known names on the Republican circuit. They include: Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Newt Gingrich, Marsha Blackburn, Ben Carson, Mike Lee, Carly Fiorina, Jim DeMint, John Bolton and Jim Gilmore. The only prominent names missing are Mitt Romney, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.
Some of the group are already out with schedules that show they want to take advantage of their time both in and outside the actual event.
Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, will gather with supporters of her group, Unlocking Potential, on Thursday for a dinner. Participants say they expect it to be a time for “thanks” from Fiorina for their work in the past election cycle. Fiorina will head to Cedar Rapids Friday to meet with the Iowa chapter of the National Contract Management Association.
For Santorum, Saturday’s afternoon speaking event with King in Des Moines begins four straight days of Iowa travels. He’ll headline the Cherokee County Republicans Party’s Pie and Politics dinner in Aurelia Saturday night. His Sunday schedule includes speaking at the Siouxland Rallly for Life in Sioux City and then a showing of his company’s documentary “One Generation Away” in Logan. Monday, Santorum headlines a luncheon with the Scott County Lincoln Club before stopping by one of his favorite coffee shops, the Java Lounge in Williamsburg. Santorum’s schedule also includes an event Tuesday in Altoona, where he will speak at the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Conference.
Huckabee will spend some of his time promoting his new book, “God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.” He will do book signings Saturday afternoon in Ames and Sunday in Cedar Rapids and Windsor Heights.
Trump has a Friday event on his schedule. He will speak at the Land Investment Expo in West Des Moines.