2016 GOP Hopefuls to Attend South Carolina Confab

2016 GOP Hopefuls to Attend South Carolina Confab
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This spring, it will be South Carolina Republicans’ turn to get an up-close look at the 2016 presidential contenders.  

Having played host to similar events in Iowa and New Hampshire over the past year, the conservative group Citizens United is set to draw a handful of likely White House aspirants to the first-in-the-South primary state. 

The South Carolina Freedom Summit will take place in Greenville on Saturday, May 9, and feature at least five potential candidates: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. 

Tennessee Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn—another frequent attendee at such early-state cattle calls—is also confirmed to speak at the event.  

“The South Carolina Freedom Summit will build on the successes of our previous Freedom Summits in Iowa and New Hampshire," David Bossie, president of Citizens United, said in a statement. “This is a free event bringing together grassroots conservatives and national leaders to highlight their vision of economic growth, social conservatism, and a strong national security.” 

U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, who represents South Carolina’s heavily conservative and largely rural 3rd District, is co-hosting the event.  

Citizens United invited all of the potential GOP candidates to speak at the May gathering, and the group says it plans to announce other confirmed attendees in the coming weeks.  

It was during the group’s Iowa Freedom Summit last month when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker impressed the party activists and assembled media on hand. His well-received speech helped launch him into the lead in recent polls of the likely 2016 field. 

Scott Conroy is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. He can be reached at sconroy@realclearpolitics.com. Follow him on Twitter @RealClearScott.

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