Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 06/14/2012

Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum among ‘Faith and Freedom’ speakers this week

The presumptive GOP presidential nominee, those who waged a hard-fought primary against him and those hoping to be tapped as his running mate will grace the same stage at Washington’s Renaissance Hotel this week for the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s conference and strategy briefing.


Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R). (Win McNamee — Getty Images)

The social conservative group, headed by former Christian Coalition executive director Ralph Reed, kicks off its annual summit Thursday afternoon with luncheon speeches by two potential Mitt Romney running mates, Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).

The gathering is one of two major social conservative conferences considered campaign-trail “must-stops” for GOP White House contenders; the other is the Family Research Council’s Values Voter Summit, which takes place in Washington in the fall.

Friday and Saturday bring speeches by several of Romney’s former opponents, including former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), businessman Herman Cain and former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.).

Romney himself addresses the gathering on Saturday morning, live from the road; the summit concludes Saturday night with the presentation of awards to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (R), both of whom emerged victorious from last week’s recall election.

Other top conservatives expected to address the summit include Reed; Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.); Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus; Virginia Senate GOP nominee George Allen; commentator Glenn Beck; Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist; Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R); Family Research Council President Tony Perkins; Indiana Senate GOP nominee Richard Mourdock.

Conservative activist James O’Keefe and Foster Friess — the businessman and Santorum super PAC financier whose aspirin joke brought him campaign-trail infamy earlier this year — are also expected to address the group.

Two former Romney opponents who are not expected to speak at the summit are Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Paul’s son, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), will address the gathering Friday morning.

By  |  11:51 AM ET, 06/14/2012

 
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