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Potential GOP presidential hopefuls get face time at weekend events in California & Iowa




New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie shakes hands with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney in Des Moines, Iowa, on Dec. 30, 2011.
Evan Vucci/AP

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It was a big weekend for Republican presidential hopefuls as they hunkered down in Iowa for Congressman Steve King and conservative advocacy group Citizens United’s  Freedom Summit, and then here in Palm Desert for the Koch brothers’ annual winter seminar, an invitation-only retreat for potential candidates. Chris Christie, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Sarah Palin, and Donald Trump all showed up in snowy Iowa to hash out priorities for the GOP agenda, which seemed to deemphasize immigration reform and boost a focus on Common Core.

Then Sunday, Senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio were at the Koch seminar in Rancho Mirage to offer similar prescriptions for the middle class but diverge sharply on normalizing relations with Cuba and sanctions on Iran. Perhaps most telling was who did not attend either event, most notably former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who have both hinted at possible runs in 2016. Politicians at both events seemed to be making an effort to play nice and kept attacks largely focused on President Obama rather than one another.

But how are potential candidates differentiating themselves? And how will the GOP agenda evolve over the next year?

Guests:

Tarini Parti, political reporter for POLITICO.

Jonathan Allen, Washington D.C. Bureau Chief for Bloomberg News