Earlier today, five GOP 2012 candidates attended the Palmetto Freedom Forum sponsored by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint and the American Principles Project. The forum took place in Columbia, South Carolina. Below you can find the entire video in an 8-part playlist.

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

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

Report from WLTX:

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Pledging fidelity to the Constitution and vowing to carry the tea party’s priorities to the White House, the Republicans chasing the GOP’s presidential nomination pitched themselves Monday to their party’s libertarian activists as the strongest candidates to roll back four years of President Barack Obama’s tenure.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said the Obama administration flaunted the constitution to push a political agenda. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota stridently called Obama’s policies “unconstitutional” at the same tea party-backed forum on Labor Day. And Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the third member of his party’s top tier, told a separate town hall-style audience earlier in the day that he has a better record on jobs than the president.

With Labor Day marking the unofficial start to the 2012 campaign, the contenders were painting themselves to the tea party during an afternoon forum with Sen. Jim DeMint in his home state – site of the first nominating contest in the South. The event was designed to probe the candidates on their views of spending, taxes and the Constitution – bedrock principles for the tea party activists whose rising clout is likely to shape the nominating process.

Originally Texas Governor Rick Perry was also slated to attend, however, he was forced to cut his campaigning short and return to his state to manage the worsening wildfire situation.


  1. You failed to mention the names three of the candidates who spoke there, let alone anything about their views.

    From this perspective, it seems you are very lazy or very biased.

  2. Wildfire crisis? Are you serious? Perry had to miss this event and possibly the GOP debate this evening because of a wildfire crisis in his state? Doesn’t he have anyone on the ground that can handle this crisis? Imagine if he had to manage a major crisis? That’s classic!

    • Right on, Joel–I had the same thoughts. Surely, a governor can get a fast plane there and back and never miss a beat!

    • Ron Paul has done so much for this country and his fellow man. What have you done Alex? Ron Paul has helped people as a doctor for years including delivering over 4000 babies. Ron Paul speaks his mind unlike most politicians. How can you not support a guy that supports our fundamental constitution and is not a typical BS politician? Instead of just flapping your lips..how about trying to think for yourself.

    • you spelled moron wrong. fitting. Ron Paul has the answers that this country needs but lacks the courage to look the problems in the face.

    • Hammer, I agree.
      Those libertarian moreons, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin should’a been kicked from the party and put in grade school too.

  3. I can’t stand Newt but I think he would own any democrat he faced in a debate. I think he’s positioning himself for an advisory job.

  4. This was fairly impressive. I’m a Ron Paul fan, since he’s the only confirmed honest man in Washington. He does far better in a deliberately paced debate like this than in the 90-second buzzerfests they broadcast on national television, and I think the country is slowly coming around to his formerly-extreme fiscal views. Speaking of those debates, Newt has really hit home with his criticisms of the moderators’ “Mickey Mouse games” and I agree with the comment above that he would obliterate Obama in any debate. Romney is a very smart guy who knows his audience, but we knew that already. I’m undecided on the issue of how sincere his convictions are. Herman Cain is Herman Cain: a wonderful man with a good mind and an uncommon resume for a politician. At first I thought he’d be out of his depth as president; now I’m not so sure. He used to do ballistics work for the navy, so foreign policy wouldn’t be *completely* foreign, and has managed big organizations before. He’s qualified, but not by the usual public-sector route. Curious candidate. Bachmann knows her boilerplate but is not so nimble. She’s the only one of these candidates that I think would lose a debate to Obama.

    Quite frankly, I wonder about the reason for Gov. Perry’s absence. I don’t think he would shine in a debate where he has to speak for three minutes in a row on the same subject. He gets tongue-tied even in 30-seconds, and his lack of in-depth knowledge on the issues would be exposed by this (superior) format.

  5. Best debate forum I’ve seen; Instead of sound bites we get substance from the candidates. We definitely need more of these so the people truly come to know those they are voting for. I’m not looking for a King to rule over me I’m looking for someone who truly believes in following those boundaries set in the constitution. We need to get back to the basics not only in politics but in education.

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