Add an Iowa pig roast and motorcycle ride to the events spotlighting future presidents.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, will host her first “Roast and Ride” June 6, featuring Republican presidential candidates. She’ll lead the motorcyclists from Des Moines to Boone, about an hour’s ride.
It’s another in a tradition of colorful Iowa events leading up to the nation’s first caucus early next year. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who retired in January, hosted an annual Steak Fry. Last fall, Hillary Clinton was a featured speaker. Republicans plan to host the Iowa Straw Poll in August, an early test of candidate strength in a fair-like setting.
So far, seven declared and potential candidates are said to be attending Ernst’s roast: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and former executive Carly Fiorina.
They’ll also have meat to cook and eat, games to play and tents.
The Des Moines Register obtained a copy of a memo from Ernst’s poltical action committee saying the freshman senator will urge presidential hopefuls to to "participate in backyard games such as horseshoes, wiffle ball and cornhole."
And, said the Register, citing the memo, "Each campaign team will be given (1) 10'x10' tent for use at the event," the memo said. "Upgrades to the standard 10'x10' tent are available upon request, such as a larger tent, power, A/C, catering, etc.”