Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will participate in a New Hampshire presidential summit on spending and job creation at the end of this month, the tea-party affiliated Americans for Prosperity Foundation announced on Monday.
“The American people are eager to hear how Governor Romney and other speakers might plan to change the ‘spend now, pay later’ culture in Washington,” AFPF President Tim Phillips said in a statement.
At the summit, which will allow speakers to woo fiscal conservatives in the first-in-the-nation primary state, Romney will share the stage with former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and businessman Herman Cain. Because AFPF has capped candidate participation at five, one slot remains for the other invitees, who include Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.
Despite the organization's tea party ties, the original short list had not included Bachmann, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus and a movement favorite.
“We’re not trying to exclude Michele Bachmann by any stretch of the imagination,” AFPF New Hampshire Director Corey Lewandowski told National Journal last month. “What we did is we looked at the criteria of individuals back in December [when the invitations were sent] who had at least some media coverage as a potential candidate. It’s fair to say that at that point, Michele Bachmann… hadn’t had any serious press.”
Now, Bachmann, who has been stumping heavily in Iowa, will have to act fast to take part in the summit with Romney, who is often cited as the front-runner.