Gingrich Opts out of Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference

Jun 2, 2011 6:03pm

ABC News' Arlette Saenz (@arlettesaenz) reports:

Despite the attendance of a large portion of the 2012 Republican field, Newt Gingrich will not attend the Faith & Freedom Coalition conference in Washington, D.C. this weekend due to scheduling conflicts.

"He and Mrs. Gingrich had planned time off early in the campaign, and it coincided with the event," Rick Tyler, spokesman for Mr. Gingrich, told ABC News.

Instead, Gingrich recorded a video, which will be shown to the social conservatives attending the conference.

"It's an important event. It brings together an important constituency, many of whom we've talked to before," Tyler said. "They've been gracious enough to allow us to send a video."

Gingrich spoke to the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition in March and attended last year's national conference.

While Gingrich plans to skip this year's event, all of the other official candidates and a number of potential contenders eying a 2012 run will speak at the conference.  The speakers list includes Rep. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum.

Gingrich's next event will be a screening of his documentary, Nine Days That Changed the World, on June 8th in New Hampshire.

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