GOP Candidates Seek Social Conservative Support at Iowa Forum | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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/.

WAMU 88.5

Hundreds Brave Frigid Temperatures To Celebrate Kite Festival

There was plenty of wind to lift kites of all shapes and sizes at the National Blossom Kite Festival Sunday; at least for those who could brave the cold.

NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Indiana Governor: Lawmakers To 'Clarify' Anti-Gay Law

Mike Pence, who signed the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act last week, says he didn't anticipate the level of hostility the law has engendered.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

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