This year’s gathering will highlight the need for bipartisanship in American politics, with speakers including former Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker Paul Ryan.
Former Governor Mitt Romney is gathering political representatives from both sides of the aisle and leaders of business and industry to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the country and the world at the Experts and Enthusiasts (E2) Summit beginning Thursday in Park City, Utah.
The NTK Network has learned that the former governor intends to focus his remarks on the principles of American leadership. “[Romney] will speak about the principles of American leadership and the importance thereof,” Matt Waldrip, executive director of the E2 Summit, told NTK during a phone interview this week.
It is unclear if Romney will use the E2 Summit as a forum to address any of the controversies that are swirling around President Trump and his administration. In the past, Romney has been critical of President Trump, but he has recently taken a lighter approach and even expressed optimism about Trump’s presidency.
Launched five years ago, the E2 Summit has grown in importance (as evidenced by the fact that the 2015 gathering featured six Republican presidential hopefuls). Despite its growing importance, the number of participants remains limited to just under 230 people. Waldrip explained the rationale for keeping the E2 Summit small: “the participants in the audience are equally as impressive as those on the stage.”
As an entity, E2 doesn’t take a stand on specific policy issues. To this end, the organizers aim to invite as many people they can with different policy positions and varying backgrounds – whether from business, philanthropy or politics –to explore their ideas on the future of America with their peers. Waldrip explained, “We find great strength in bringing people together who don’t all share the same vision, and exploring their ideas at a very high-level.”
The 2017 E2 Summit does just that, with prominent members of the business community and from both the Democratic and Republican parties planning on attending this year’s summit.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been critical of Trump, will participate, along with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris who leads President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council and FedEx Founder and CEO Fred Smith. Politico reported last week that speakers at this year’s E2 include major GOP names such as Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC), former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, former CIA Director Mike Morell, and Microsoft Chairman John Thompson.
“No matter how far apart two individuals may be on one set of issues, there is always great power in finding where their lives do intersect,” Waldrip concluded.
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