Republican presidential hopefuls to converge at Iowa’s sold-out Family Leadership Summit

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Republican presidential hopefuls are very busy this weekend.

For one thing, the Family Leadership Summit takes place on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa — described by the organizers as “The Midwest’s largest gathering of Christians seeking cultural transformation in the family, church, government and more.”

It’s a sold-out event.

The focus of the gathering is “principle over politics.” But it also will include an additional theme titled “Choose Well 2024,” an initiative meant to “cultivate informed awareness so voters may embrace Christian values and a God-honoring vision for America, culminating in the General Election of 2024,” according to advance press materials.

The moderator for this event is none other than Tucker Carlson, and the invited guests include Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, eight Republican presidential hopefuls — and even President Biden and his challenger for the Democratic nomination, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

So far, the confirmed attendees are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Hayley and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchison. Find more details at

Former President Donald Trump is skipping the big gathering, appearing instead at the Student Action Summit, a two-day event in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Saturday and Sunday, organized by Turning Point USA.

The nonprofit organization was founded by Charlie Kirk, who advises that its mission is to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote freedom.”

Mr. Kirk was also chairman of Students for Trump during the 2020 election. Find his outreach at

The DeSantis experience

Gov. DeSantis has revealed some details about life on the campaign trail.

“The corporate press in this country does not want me to be the Republican presidential candidate because they know I will beat the Democrats, I will beat President Joe Biden. But I think more importantly, they know I will actually get stuff done,” Mr. DeSantis told talk radio host Howie Carr in an interview on Thursday.

“What we were able to do in Florida is take an evenly divided state politically, and go on a leadership path where we were doing huge things about illegal immigration. We’re leaning in on all these issues, and delivering big results. We stood up to COVID, and we ended up winning reelection,” the governor explained.

The press, he said, was watching, and ready to retaliate.

“They see all that — and ever since our reelection, they’ve been doing whatever they can to try to create narratives that trip me up,” Mr. DeSantis noted.

“At the end of the day, it’s just about putting in the work and letting people know my bio, my family, my achievements, and my vision for the country as president. And once that’s clear, we’ll do very well,” he said.

The coffee factor

The state of the U.S. economy during President Biden’s time in office continues to rile critics.

“Bidenomics is bad economics. Bidenomics makes no sense,” declares Americans for Prosperity, a grassroots advocacy organization with 4 million members in 36 states.

The group advises one and all to mull over the rickety U.S. economy over a nice cup of coffee.

But brace yourself.

“Have a cup of Joe. If the caffeine doesn’t wake you, the price of Bidenomics will jolt you awake,” the organization advises, offering a comparison.

In January 2021, a pound of coffee cost $4.60. By May of this year, that price had risen to $6.09, the group said.

Find them at

Money talks

Some people appear to be very anxious for the Republican Party to dominate Capitol Hill, judging by the record-breaking amount of donations that have rolled in for the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC that is endorsed by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other House Republican leaders.

“Congressional Leadership Fund and American Action Network announced raising a combined $35 million during the first six months of the off year, shattering the groups’ combined previous off-year, mid-year haul of $21.6 million in 2021,” the groups said in a written statement shared with the Beltway.

The American Action Network, by the way, is a 501(c)(4) ‘action tank’ which creates, encourages and promotes “center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security,” according to its mission statement.

“We continue to break records because of the results of the Republican-led House and the clear momentum to hold and expand the House majority behind Speaker McCarthy,” said Dan Conston, president of the Congressional Leadership Fund.

This substantial fund is “firepower,” he said, yielding  “critical investments that will yield major results next November.”

Weekend real estate

For sale: Elegant Eastside apartment in the Imperial House, built in 1959 in a “white-glove co-op in the heart of the Upper East Side,” and the former home of writer Erica Jong. Three bedrooms, four baths, 30-foot entrance gallery, open panoramic views from every room, South-facing living room with custom bookcase, dining room, library, office; 2,975 square feet. Custom kitchen and storage space, wrap-around balcony plus enclosed solarium, garage available. Priced at $3.9 million through; enter APT 27G in the search function.

Poll du jour

32% of U.S. adults think that former President Donald Trump’s “perceived ideology” is conservative; 51% of conservatives, 22% of moderates and 26% of liberals agree.

26% think that he is “very conservative”; 22% of conservatives, 21% of moderates and 40% of liberals agree.

21% are not sure about Mr. Trump’s ideology; 7% of conservatives, 26% of moderates and 21% of liberals agree.

14% say he is “moderate”; 17% of conservatives, 21% of moderates and 6% of liberals agree.

4% say he is “liberal”; 2% of conservatives, 5% of moderates and 4% of liberals agree.

3% say Mr. Trump is “very liberal”; 1% of conservatives, 5% of moderates and 3% of liberals agree.

Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted July 8-11.

Follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin.

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