2012 GOPers to convene at Minnesota conservative gathering

Three contenders for the GOP's presidential nomination will speak at a conservative gathering in Minnesota next week that's billed as the right's answer to the liberal Netroots Nation conference.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Hermain Cain will all speak at the RightOnline conference in Minneapolis, which is being held during the same time and in the same city as Netroots Nation.

"We are thrilled to have such a powerful lineup of policy makers, commentators, and activists to address the crowd at this year’s RightOnline conference. Their combined knowledge, influence, and experience will be crucial in informing and empowering our activists to make a difference.” said RightOnline executive director Erik Telford.  “RightOnline’s growing attendance, surpassing 1,100 activists in Las Vegas, proves that our message is spreading."

The three candidates will have the chance to appeal to the conservative grassroots, a voting bloc each candidate would likely need to harness in order to win the Republican nomination.

Pawlenty and Cain are officially in the race, while Bachmann is likely to jump into the field and is scheduled to announce her decision in Iowa this month. 

The former Minnesota governor and congresswoman are rivals and will lock horns for voters in Iowa, the first in the nation caucus state where grassroots activists play a pivotal role. 

Representing President Obama at the Netroots Nation conference will be White House communications adviser Dan Pfeiffer.