Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Pres. Candidates: Abortion & Marriage Top Issues

In spite of the nation's elite liberals and GOP establishment continually trying to convince Americans that social issues are NOT relevant in the 2012 elections, every Republican candidate speaking in Iowa gave abortion, homosexuality and religious liberty prominent attention.

UPDATE 6/24/11: GOP Candidates Sound Pro-Life Themes at Right to Life Event

-- From "Iowa blastoff: 2012 candidates say social issues are job No. 1" by Maggie Haberman & Jonathan Martin, Politico 3/8/11

Five potential presidential candidates vied to please a socially conservative crowd at a packed event here Monday night that marked the unofficial start to the Iowa caucus campaign and the first time a crush of GOP hopefuls shared a major stage.

Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer and Herman Cain each took a turn at the microphone, riffing on a range of social-issue touchstones — denouncing gay marriage, lambasting activist judges and praising the push to defund Planned Parenthood.

The theme throughout the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's presidential forum was a push to make social conservative values on par with the economy in the upcoming elections. Foreign policy was barely mentioned — there was one reference apiece to Libya and Israel.

That sentiment was echoed by national Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed, who said, “If you turn your backs on the pro family pro life constituency... you will be consigned to permanent minority status."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition: Five Republicans fight for the faith(ful) in Iowa" by Jacques Berlinerblau, Washington Post 3/8/11

Meshing the Tea Party Agenda and the Evangelical Agenda: Well, that happened fast. In the run-up to the midterm elections most Republican candidates were (suspiciously) silent on the issues of abortion and gay marriage. Instead, the focus was on lowering taxes, reducing the size of government, taming the national debt, etc.

What was curious yesterday was how evangelical worldview and Tea Party bluster seamlessly coalesced. Nearly every one of the speakers managed to integrate anti-abortion themes with small government appeals.

"We need to be a country that turns toward God," declaimed Pawlenty," not a country that turns away from God." Gingrich spoke of the need for "a change so deep and so profound that nothing we have seen in our lifetime is comparable to the level of depth we have to go to get this country back on the right track." Santorum urged his listeners to fight for their freedom.

As a scholar of the Bible I find it fascinating, and alarming, that so many politicians (even Catholic ones such as Gingrich and Santorum) are reading the Constitution precisely the same way evangelicals read their Scriptures.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "2012 hopefuls, Pawlenty included, woo Iowan social conservatives" by Mark Zdechlik, Minnesota Public Radio 3/7/11

Iowa groups that oppose same-sex marriage are riding high after victories in last fall's midterm elections. They're hoping that momentum will help them influence the selection of the Republican candidate who will take on President Barack Obama.

The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition invited candidates to its presidential forum with this reminder: In 2008, 60 percent of Iowa GOP caucus-goers claimed to be evangelical Christians. In the invitation, the coalition's president, Steve Scheffler, said there would be no better opportunity to meet those people than the forum.

Republicans won back the governor's office, the Iowa House, and, in their biggest victory, social conservatives voted to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices because of their decision allowing same-sex marriage.

Iowa Family Leader President Bob Vanderplaats . . . said he thinks opposition to same-sex marriage will play nationally in next year's presidential race as well. And Vanderplaats thinks the issue will be even bigger than it otherwise would have thanks to the Obama Administration's recent determination that the federal Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "GOP presidential contenders make case to Iowa faithful" by Brian Montopoli, CBS News 3/7/11

Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, said America needs "to be a country that turns toward God, not a country that turns away from God." He railed against the "immoral debt" and efforts to define marriage as between anything other than one man and one woman.

"We need to remember, as others try to push out or marginalize people of faith...the Constitution was designed to protect people of faith from government, not to protect government from people of faith," said Pawlenty, who complained that the media, judges and "elites" need to remember the Constitution grants power to the people.

"We the people of the United States will rise up again, we will take back our country," he added, his voice going horse.

"Once you stick your head out on the social issues, once you fight for the social fabric of this country, you're labeled," said [Rick] Santorum, who pointed to his efforts to end partial birth abortion but also his work on health care and welfare reform. He joked that his children had come to think his first name was "ultra," a reference to how he had been portrayed as extreme in the media.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

Also read, Obama 'In Bed' with Homosexuals for 2012