Ted Cruz and Donald Trump are set to rally against the Iran deal next week in Washington, but will other 2016 candidates be joining them?
According to Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin, whose group is organizing the event, not a single presidential candidate or campaign has expressed interest in attending the September 9 event at the Capitol.
"I know no other candidates for president in their official capacity or even as a candidate have reached out to us at all about [attending]," Martin told the Washington Examiner Tuesday evening. "No one else has reached out to us."
"I don't even know that we're sending a whole lot of invitations out. Most of the people are coming to us," Martin said".
This claim comes one day after Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, told National Review that two different campaigns have expressed interest in attending the event, both of which were forwarded on to Cruz. The comments triggered speculation that Cruz and his team were calling shots regarding invites to other 2016 hopefuls.
However, according to Martin, the Tea Party Patriots is the organization handling who will speak at the event, though Martin confirmed Cruz reached out to Trump.
Martin added that all candidates are invited and encouraged to attend the rally next Thursday.
"If they want to come in their official capacity, as a former governor, a sitting member of Congress or a businessman — whatever. As long as it's in their official capacity and not as a candidate and not the campaign, they can reach out," Martin said. She explained that the rally was intended to showcase opposition to the Iran deal, not to function as a campaign event for any candidate.
Martin's comments echo those of Cruz last Friday, who said the other candidates were "absolutely" welcome to attend when asked by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin if there was an open invitation.
Thus far, aside from Cruz and Trump, only conservative radio hosts Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, along with Martin, have confirmed they will attend and speak at the event.