NPR : News

GOP Candidates Seek Social Conservative Support at Iowa Forum

A Republican presidential nominating contest that has focused largely on the economy turned to social issues and personal narratives Saturday night, as six GOP hopefuls took part at a Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines, Iowa. Notably absent was former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who declined the invitation and is instead campaigning in New Hampshire.

"If only Mitt Romney were here to respond," said moderator Frank Luntz, after businessman Herman Cain brought up the federal health care overhaul, which has been compared to a Massachusetts' system that Romney oversaw as governor.

The candidates in attendance — Cain, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry — are actively competing for the social conservative vote in Iowa and in other key states, especially as the GOP electorate remains unsettled on a Christian conservative standard bearer.

Seated shoulder-to-shoulder around a "Thanksgiving table," the candidates took part in a wide-ranging discussion about issues like abortion, gay marriage and the role of religion in public life. Candidates also revealed their softer sides — at least two of the candidates openly wept as they recalled the health and spiritual challenges in their lives.

"You have more that you agree on than the small things you disagree on," said Luntz. But that lack of disagreement at the evening forum left the evangelical voters in attendance unsettled on a clear favorite.

"It does make it tough," said Warren County Republican Chairman Rick Halverson. "These guys are vying for the votes of people like me ... They're gonna divide the not-Romney vote. Somebody's gotta break out of the pack."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Inspired by the Black Panthers, the Young Lords were formed in New York City by a group of Puerto Rican youth in 1969. Their history is now on display in a new exhibition.
NPR

Europe's Taste For Caviar Is Putting Pressure On A Great Lakes Fish

Scientists say lake herring, a key fish in Lake Superior's food web, is suffering because of mild winters and Europe's appetite for roe. Some say the species may be at risk of "collapse."
WAMU 88.5

A Congressional Attempt To Speed The Development Of Lifesaving Treatments

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act in a rare bi-partisan effort. The bill is meant to speed the development of lifesaving treatments, but critics warn it may also allow ineffective or even harmful drugs onto the market.

NPR

Some Google Street View Cars Now Track Pollution Levels

Google's already tested three of the pollution-sensor equipped cars in Denver, and is currently trying them out in the Bay Area.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.