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The Mitt/Jeb news just keeps on rolling with word that both men will skip the Iowa Freedom Summit happening on Saturday. The event, sponsored by Iowa Rep. Steve King, a noted conservative firebrand, will include a long list of other 2016 GOP contenders. It should be noted that Jeb declined due to a “scheduling conflict,” according to an aide. Romney cited a “previous family engagement” as his reason for not attending.

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Report from Time:

Mitt Romney will not attend a Saturday gathering of Republican presidential candidates hosted by a congressman controversial for his statements on immigrants, according to a person familiar with his plans.

The person cited previously scheduled family arrangements as keeping Romney, who is “seriously considering” a third White House campaign in 2016, from attending the Des Moines event hosted by Iowa Rep. Steve King.

The Iowa Freedom Summit will include Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, among other Republican hopefuls and conservative leaders. Former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin will also attend. [Emphasis added]

Romney was invited by organizers when he told donors earlier this month he was considering another bid for the White House.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also declined the event “due to a scheduling conflict,” according to an aide.

King’s anti-immigration position put him in the spotlight once again this week when in a tweet he called a State of the Union guest of First Lady Michelle Obama “a deportable” because she was brought to the United States illegally as a child.

It should be noted that Rand Paul’s name is also missing from the list but I’ve been unable to figured out whether he was invited at all or simply declined as well.

It doesn’t surprise me that Romney and Jeb are skipping this gathering. It is not their cup of tea and the attendees will hold views on topics like immigration, global warming, and education which differ greatly from the two establishment front runners. This is a red meat event for people like Rick Santorum, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, and the rest of the grassroots bench.

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