DES MOINES, Iowa – It could be an event like Iowa has likely never seen before: 23 of the biggest names in the 2016 presidential race all in one place.
Entrepreneur and Republican donor Bruce Rastetter is putting together what he calls the first-ever Iowa Agriculture Summit. Speakers, which include prominent Democrats and Republicans, would each get 20 minutes to discuss their views on issues related to agriculture. The summit is scheduled for Saturday, March 7th, at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.
Rastetter said in a statement:
“Every four years, Iowa becomes an epicenter of American politics, often shaping and almost always reflecting national policy movements. Unfortunately, until now, there has not been a forum solely dedicated to matters that directly affect Iowa farmers who feed and fuel not just the country, but the world,” said Rastetter, who said the forum will also feature other elected officials and public policy leaders. “The 2015 Iowa Ag Summit will highlight and promote agriculture. Most importantly, the bipartisan event will allow elected officials and public policy leaders to have a public discussion on issues that are vital to the Iowa and American economy.”
Virtually every name connected to the 2016 presidential race is on Rastetter’s invite list:
Vice President Joe Biden, former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida, Dr. Ben Carson, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, New York businessman Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad first spread word of the event to WHO-TV Monday following an event in Des Moines. He said Rastetter asked him, along with Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, to work the phones to get some of the guests to agree to come to the event.