EXCUSIVE – A half-dozen potential 2024 Republican presidential contenders are speaking Monday and Tuesday at the Susan B. Anthony List’s Pro-Life Leaders Summit in Palm Beach, Fla.
Headlining Monday’s session at the conference of social conservative activists and leaders is former President Trump, who has repeatedly flirted with making a 2024 presidential run.
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Also speaking Monday, according to a schedule that was shared first with Fox News, are Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, whom pundits consider potential presidential contenders in the next White House race.
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is scheduled to keynote Tuesday’s session. Seen as a rising star on the right, Scott’s seen that star shine brighter the past couple of days, following his GOP rebuttal last week to President Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress. The speech by Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, won rave reviews by many conservatives.
Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida, 2016 GOP presidential candidates who are considered potential 2024 contenders, will also address the conference on Tuesday. Former Vice President Mike Pence – who has long spotlighted his faith and values and who chose the Palmetto Family Council, a conservative Christian nonprofit based in South Carolina, as the group to whom he would give his first post-vice presidency speech – will address the SBA List gathering via video.
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SBA List, which says that its “mission is to end abortion by electing national leaders and advocating for laws that save lives, with a special calling to promote pro-life women leaders,” has long attracted potential Republican White House hopefuls to its events. Social conservative voters have been a key part of the GOP base for decades.
According to excerpts in advance of their speeches, DeSantis will spotlight how he has appointed state Supreme Court justices in Florida that “respect the rule of law and religious liberty, and by signing legislation….that empowers families and sends a clear message that we will do everything we can to protect the unborn. Building a culture of life requires us to champion policies that fight for our most vulnerable. Today is about applauding the tireless work of advocates like the Susan B. Anthony List team who defend life with vigor.”
Pence will highlight that “thanks to your support, the Trump-Pence administration became the most pro-life administration in history.”
And Cruz and Rubio will take aim at Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“Defending the right to life is one of the most important responsibilities an elected official has. Not only do Joe Biden and Kamala Harris fail to embrace that responsibility, they pander to pro-abortion activists at every turn – even though a large majority of Americans believe abortion should only be legal under certain circumstances or completely illegal,” Cruz will charge. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are on the wrong side of history when it comes to abortion, and their views don’t reflect what Americans want.”
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Rubio will spotlight that “America was founded on the fundamental truth that all people are created equal and that our rights come from God.” And he’ll argue that “today, the Biden administration is dominated by pro-abortion radicals who want to make it easier than ever to deny freedom to the unborn. I will never stop fighting to protect the rights of those yet to be born.”
Other speakers at the conference are also expected to take aim a the president, who didn’t mention the abortion issue during his address to a joint-session of Congress last week.
Other members of Congress scheduled to speak at the two-day summit, which is closed to the press, are Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Reps. Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, Beth Van Duyne of Texas and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina.