The Washington Times - August 20, 2013, 10:28AM

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, has taken a pass on speaking at an annual fundraising dinner for an influential socially conservative group in New Hampshire, home to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Ashley Pratte, executive director at Cornerstone Policy Research and Cornerstone-Action, told The Washington Times on Tuesday the group had just learned from Mr. Cruz’s office that he could not make the dinner, and she said Cornerstone had sent Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, an invitation a couple days ago.

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“We actually have invited Senator Rubio to headline our fundraiser,” she said. “Cruz’s office confirmed they will not be able to attend this morning due to scheduling constraints.”

Mr. Cruz and Mr. Rubio are thought to be laying the groundwork for presidential runs in 2016.