A number of Republican presidential candidates will be joining a forum hosted by South Carolina Senator Jim “Tea Party” DeMint. The forum will air live today on CNN at 3pm eastern time and also be streamed live online at Townhall.com. This can be billed as a sort of “kickoff” event for the campaign season which shifts into high gear around Labor Day weekend. Mitt Romney originally turned down an invite to the event citing his schedule, however, after a number of developing factors in the race, he was able to work out his “scheduling issues.”

Watch Replay: Palmetto Freedom Forum Replay

Participants: Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain

Air Time: September 5th (Labor Day) at 3pm EST on CNN

Press release from The American Principles Project:

… CNN will broadcast the “American Principles Project Palmetto Freedom Forum” live in Columbia, S.C. on Monday, September 5 at 3:00 p.m. EDT. The event’s unique format will cut through the talking points and put the candidates to test in a crucial early nominating state. The website www.Townhall.com will live-stream the event, including a roundtable immediately following it with analysis from the three panelists.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney will join Texas Governor Rick Perry, Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN), Rep. Ron Paul (TX), former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and businessman Herman Cain are set to participate. They be on the stage one-at-a-time and will participate in a question and answer session with three panelists: Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Rep. Steve King (R-IA), and Dr. Robert George, founder of American Principles Project and McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University.

The event will be moderated by David Stanton, a veteran of South Carolina presidential events and respected former local news anchor

Invitations were also sent to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The criteria set was at or above the 5 percent threshold in the RealClearPolitics.com 2012 Republican Presidential Nomination average at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 22, and therefore all qualified for invitations to the Labor Day afternoon event.

This will be a Q&A forum format so I doubt we will see much back and forth between candidates but I could be wrong. More information can be found on the event’s facebook page.


Rick Perry was forced to change plans today and cannot attend the forum according to Townhall.com:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry surprised the organizers of today’s Palmetto Freedom Forum by withdrawing from the event just hours before it is scheduled to begin. Put together by Sen. Jim DeMint, who is widely acknowledged as a kingmaker in the Republican race in South Carolina, the event, set for 3 p.m. today, will feature candidates Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich in an unconventional question-and-answer format with DeMint, Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King, and Princeton University professor Robert George.

According to several sources familiar with events, the chairman of Perry’s campaign in South Carolina, former Republican party chief Katon Dawson, called organizers this morning to say that Perry needs to return to Texas to deal with quickly-spreading wildfires.

I’d have to believe this is the truth since the situation in Texas with regard to the wildfires has severely worsened in the past 24 hours. I can’t see any reason Perry would have to withdraw unless he was forced to such as a situation like this. We’ll see how his opponents react to his absence.


    • And “if you want more info about the effects of” the Socialist politics of a narcissistic megalomaniac on America, try and find a job, or secure a loan to start a new business, or stay in business; check out the price of commodities, or the price of energy; check out the National debt to GDP ratio, or the budget deficit to GDP ratio; check out the business compliance costs of Sarbanes-Oxley, Dodd-Frank, or The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); check out the industry costs, and likely costs to consumers, of the latest proposed EPA standards for electricity generation plants,or the Cap and Trade Legislation that our genius president wants; check out the NLRB attempts to close the new $1 Billion Boeing plant in South Carolina, or the Justice Departments new campaign to force lenders to make home loans to financially unqualified minorities at below market rates (“Justice’s New War Against Lenders”, Wall Street Journal, by Mary Kissel, 31 August 2011), or the Justice Departments jack booted attempt to shut down the Gibson Guitar Company because they have the nerve to leave a union state for a right to work state; check out the fact that the Treasury Department has printed more money since Inauguration Day 2009 than in the prior 219 years of the Republic. I could go on, but I grow weary of trying to convince fools against their will.

      Once you have completed that task, find one positive element about the current economic environment by any objective or historical metric and please educate us. We’ll be waiting for your answer Einstein.


  1. A freedom forum without Gary Johnson has to be inferior. Their is no other governor with Gary’s record when it comes to supporting freedom, limited government and fiscal responsibility.

    • are you serious? have you even bothered to check out Ron Paul’s credentials? I am so tired of everyone saying he can’t win. They are only saying that because they are afraid he will win and they hope that by saying he can’t, it will discourage the weak-minded sheeples who can’t think for themselves and just swallow everything that is fed to them by Mainstream Media. Ron Paul is dominating the polls, and is doing much better than he did last race. The fact that he has been re-elected in Texas for 23 years is a testament to how much he is loved. His record speaks for itself. He has
      NEVER voted to raise taxes,
      NEVER voted for an unbalanced budget,
      NEVER voted for unconstitutional legislation,
      NEVER voted against the second amendment,
      NEVER voted to increase executive powers,
      he voted AGAINST the Iraq war,
      AGAINST the Patriot Act,
      There isn’t ANY other candidate to date who can say all of that, without lying to your face, even Gary Johnson.

      • Mission #1 is defeating the America hating, narcissistic, Socialist, incompetent, intellectually challenged current White House occupant, who owes his college career, post graduate career, academic career, job history and political career to affirmative action and collective American guilt, for which unbelievably good fortune he is not one bit grateful.

        We have a number of excellent candidates some more conservative and desirable than others, but all will do. Meanwhile please remember Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican”.


  2. Dear Senator DeMint,

    Great job on today’s freedom forum. The Freedom Forum is head and shoulders above all other “debates” because you have provided time for substantive answers to meaningful questions. When the field is winnowed down to two candidates it would be another great service to our country if you could host a series of real debates a la the 1860 “Lincoln-Douglas” debates.

    God Bless You,

    A Mark Gambee MD

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