Five GOP Contenders Sign Onto Iowa Tea Party Bus Tour

Jun 7, 2011 5:41pm

ABC News' Arlette Saenz reports: Five Republican contenders — Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, and Rick Santorum — have signed on to participate in a Tea Party bus tour through Iowa, according to organizers of the tour.

The Iowa Tea Party, in conjunction with American Principles in Action and the Leadership Institute, will launch a three-week bus tour through the Hawkeye state starting in Council Bluffs on June 13th and ending in Des Moines on July 2nd. The bus will travel to 20 cities in Iowa to train grassroots activists and offer candidates a platform to speak with Tea Party supporters.

“The purpose of the tour is to train grassroots activists in the state of Iowa to get them as prepared as they’re going on and best advocate for the candidate of their choice,” Ryan Rhodes, the tour's organizer, told ABC News.

The main focus of the tour will involve training on precinct organization, distributing a mock caucus video explaining the process, and educating people on the Tea Party principles and the gold standard.  Organizers hope to train 500 to 1,000 individuals over the course of three weeks.

Candidates have been invited to attend the training sessions to talk with Tea Party activists.

“We’d like to see these candidates have to answer the questions from the grassroots tea parties across the state,” Rhodes said.  “I think it’d be imperative that they come if they want to show that they want the Tea Party support.”

Rhodes said one candidate will participate at a time, with some riding on the bus for a period of time and others joining the tour along the way.  Rhodes said they are not releasing the exact dates candidates will be on the tour at this time.

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