Six GOP candidates will be participating in a forum focused on social issues hosted by The Family Leader this afternoon at 5pm ET. The event takes place at the First Federated Church in Des Moines, Iowa. There will be no television broadcast since C-SPAN reversed its decision to broadcast the event citing budgetry reasons. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman were also invited, however, both declined the invitation.

Video: Watch Replay

Participants: Bachmann, Cain, Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Santorum

Details from The Family Leader:

Pleasant Hill, IOWA. – The FAMiLY LEADER, in conjunction with CitizenLink (the family advocacy arm of Focus on the Family) and the National Organization for Marriage, is pleased to announce that political pollster, Dr. Frank Luntz, will moderate the “Thanksgiving Family Forum – A Family Discussion with the Republican Candidates” on Saturday, Nov. 19. The forum will take place in Des Moines, Iowa at First Federated Church from 5:00-7:00 p.m ET.

The FAMiLY LEADER has received event confirmations from Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum. Invitations were sent to those candidates who finished in the top 5 of The Iowa Straw Poll or who polled 5 percent or above in the RealClearPolitics Poll as of Aug. 28.

The forum’s goal is to allow Iowans an opportunity to further vet the candidates on matters related to the family. “This is not a debate,” said Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our purpose is simply to learn about their worldviews and to listen to their hearts on key family issues. The discussion will allow us to see a more personal side of the candidates.”

“We are thrilled that Frank Luntz has agreed to team up with us for the forum,” said Vander Plaats. “We believe his unique style, audience participation, and expertise in communication will drive the discussion in a direction unlike any other forum or debate.”

More details on the event are available from the Des Moines Register.


Video: Watch Replay


  1. I wouldn’t blame Gov. Perry if he had a brain freeze if he were asked to comment on Speaker Gingrich’s 1.6 million consultant fees from Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac. It is mind boggling. Wasn’t this paid lobbying by public silience?

  2. This is not giving me the information I need. What station on the radio will it be on we want to listen. Clearly the Democrats don’t want anyone to listen.

  3. Ron Paul deserves to have the same amount of questions as everyone else, especially because he is the only coherant candidate other than Huntsman, who also deserves more coverage due to the lack of coverage in the past debates. I hope that you will take our comments into consideration before the debate, I trust that this debate will not be disgraceful as CBS’ was and that the polls will not be pulled just because Ron Paul is winning. It is reality, I hope everyone can educate themselves and refuse to listen to the Main Stream Media blackout purported by Fox and Friends. Thanks for listening to our concerns.

    • This whole media thing is really frustrating me how they treat Ron Paul. They black him out they remove polls that he is winning These guys are darn right evil. I dont listen to main stream media and never will! I really dont have much to say about the other candidates i think they speak just fine for themselves…LOL

      • Carol you are new to to his aren’t you. The establishment republicans have there picked candidates and they don’t want there power taken away.

        • Herman
          Neo-conservatives are the establishment status quo. Obama is following the neo-conservative agenda with the exception of being more socially liberal. Both parties serve globalism interests above our national sovereignty.

          Ron Paul is a threat to the status quo because he upholds our national sovereignty above international, globalist groups,such as NATO, NAFTA,CAFTA, WTO, elite global corporations and because he demands adherence to our Constitution, our only protection for individual rights and national sovereignty.

          Mainstream media sponsored and therefore managed by global mega corporations stand to lose all the special interest funding when Ron Paul is President.

          Pray for Ron Paul

  4. How the heck do you watch it? I have been searching the site for a half hour and see nothing that says where the video is or what you have to do to get the video. Do I need to subscribe? Donate? This is really annoying!

    • As the post states above:

      Live Video Stream: (Around 5pm ET)

      The live stream starts today at 5pm ET at There will be a thing on their main page to watch it live. No registration, no fees, etc… but not gonna be there

      • Thanks, Nate. I have been to citizenlink (that is what I meant by ‘site’) several times. Do you mean that they eventually WILL put up the streaming? Because I don’t see anything yet. There is still more than an hour to go, but I just like to be sure so I don’t miss out.


    • Substance? When challenged by Maria Bartiromo about which mainstream media distortions, he responded with “Huh?”
      Newt is just trying to sell books. It’s all about him and improving his financial position. Wake up.

      • Jimmy grow up Newt is the most quified wether you like it or not. And by the way whats wrong with someone making a buck!

  5. Not sure why Romney ignores these debates. I feel like the smaller ones have the most “meat” to them. Can’t wait!

    • Pete
      In my opinion a good salesman distracts and effectively disengages logical thinking. Please look deeper and do research before you commit to Newt Gingrich.

  6. Right on, Adam. I like all of these candidates a lot. I wish Mitt and John could have made it. Newt should be pretty tame based on the format and moderators. Its going to be a good one. Like you say, the small ones are the meaty ones…like the recent C-span debate with Newt and Herman. That was excellent I thought. Enjoy !!


  7. So, if you dont’ live in those states and don’t have a computer (my parents do not) you can’t hear the debate. That’s poor. Very poor.

  8. If the media really was liberal, why aren’t they showing this? I can’t think of a better forum for showing what a bunch of pandering out of touch religious extremists these candidates are.

  9. I wish they had invited Buddy Roemer to this debate. He’s being shut out by both the mainstream media and the mainstream GOP. He’s the most qualified candidate – 4 term congressman, Governor of Louisiana, and experience in business having founded his own bank.

    • Dude, I think it was 89 seconds at the last ‘debate’. Either way he always gets the short end of the stick. The Truth will set you free. But first it will make you miserable. They don’t want the painful truth that Paul utters to be known to widely. They would have a revolt on their hands. Not a fan of Luntz, but he made a point of giving Paul some time. Hannity put a bug in his ear.

  10. I was also turned off by the religious stuff. Its a good debate now though. Very happy I have the ability to watch this. Not one of these folks on the stage would bother me to lead up our nation. We need these folks.. Any one of these folks would be an upgrade. Hey Thank you very much.


  11. Why aren’t they giving Ron Paul a chance to speak? The camera man isn’t even filming him unless if somebody next to him is speaking. What kind of debate is this?

    • This is the weakest field I’ve seen in my 50 years I think newt debates well but has to much baggage, it will be Romney set with the task of debating Obama.

  12. Thank you Iowa! A refreshing discussion on issues that influence culture and family. Ron Paul is being given a chance to teach folks why his views of liberty directly relate to issues of faith, family, and life itself.

    • I wish they had been there. Not because I like either of them (though they are better than Globalist Newt Gingrich and never-heard-of-the-tenth-amendmnet Santorum), but because it would have been interesting to see if they fit in. If Doctor Paul was a Mormon, I would still vote for him.

  13. Dems do like watching GOP debates because it’s been the best comedy on TV, radio, and the web since they started doing them. Muhahahaha

    • I wish they had stuck to theology and left out the personal baggage. Notice how they never asked Gingrich about his past perversions? if you are going to get intimate with the candidates in an almost disgusting way, you might as well air all the dirty laundry.

  14. “This is not a debate,” said Bob Vander Plaats, President and CEO of The FAMiLY LEADER. “Our purpose is simply to learn about their worldviews and to listen to their hearts on key family issues. The discussion will allow us to see a more personal side of the candidates.”

  15. Who could possibly say this is a “strong field?” With the exception of RP, I have never seen a group of more ignorant, ill prepared, and unqualified individuals. If these are the best 8 people America can find then we are in SERIOUS trouble!

    • wow another obama fan say good bye because he is toast and you will have to go get a job and pay your own way through life

  16. This debate highlights why I will not vote for anyone but Dr Paul. You could almost feel the religious zeal pouring out of the audience for war with Iran as soon as Santorum and Grinch started revving up. For a group of people supposedly worried about life,and morals, they sure don’t live by them. Same with the Constitution where they praise it and defer to it, but only when it is convenient for them. If it comes to killing someone then all bets are off…unless the person is a fetus.

    • Gingrich kept saying that ‘the pursuit of happiness’ meant a duty to obtain moral wisdom, and not the ability to make choices and accept their consequences, for good or bad, and certainly not fulfilling one’s needs. The logical conclusion to what Gingrich said would be a belief that the right to live in peace, own property, etc. come from GOVERNMENT, and not either God (for Theists), our Personhood (for Deists) or necessity to survive (for atheists). Jefferson (author of Declaration in question) never would have meant that there was a positive ‘right’ to pursue knowledge in a way comporting only with conventional morality, his being okay with the fact that some people could care less about morality, but were still capable of not violating the rights of others. Cain thought that the right to defend ones person and ones property was not implicit in ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness’. Santorum said that the Federal Government could restrict the States from doing those things not prohibited to them, despite the fact that the Tenth Amendment makes it explicit that this is not the case. Doctor Paul is the only one who understands the Declaration and the Constitution. The Right to life is universal to all, whether they happen to be born or not, whether they happen to live in Iran or not, etc., implicit in this right is the right to ‘live’ your life, i.e., exercise your faculties and abilities, including the ability to do those things that can not justifiably be prohibited to you, including work and the acquisition of property at no one else’s expense. This is more or less the same as the right to liberty. The right to liberty is the right to live your life in a way that has no purposeful, direct, and/or physical negative impact on others or society. the pursuit of happiness was meant especially to exercise the liberties associated with furthering ones well being, i.e., the right to acquire, sell, defend property, whether land or possessions, including the right to commerce and trade, for or to goods and services. And we all know what Paul thinks about the Tenth Amendment. As a Christian and a Pro-Lifer, I could not be more ashamed of my fellow ‘believers’ that seem to hate their neighbors and their enemies, in a hypocritical fashion that makes me look past their ramblings on about the right to life and see that they don’t really mean it. By no means am I a pacifist. Self-defense, an invasion, an insurrection, and a declaration of war must all be present to justify any conflict. None are present in our relations to Iran.

      • Hank,
        You are so right! Give me the freedom of self-determination. My ancestors fought for it and I reclaim it! Give me Ron Paul!

    • His personal baggage is what makes him human. But his political baggage would make Romney and Obama blush. Couldn’t pay me enough to vote for him.

      • why because your being paid by Obama now get a grip as well as job oh thats right we have Obama for our president and he sent your job overseas

    • B Anderson

      Newt has very serious political baggage and Newt can’t be believed or trusted. You can thank the countless individuals like myself who have done the research and will never vote for him.

  17. I just want to point out to y’all, in case it escaped your notice, that Newt Gingrich just blamed Iran for 9/11. Vote for Ron Paul.

    • Newt does not just go by current events. If we would have been stronger in the mid 70’s against the overthrow of Iran, 9-11 would have not happened. Newt’s history is correct.

      • yes and the middle east wouldn’t be in such a mess if they get the bomb we are all in trouble. They will control all of the oil coming out of the middle east and that would be very bad

  18. I like Ron Paul, but I have decided I dislike about 3/4 of his supporters. Most of the comments sound like they were written by a college sophomore parroting something they heard.

    The comments remind me of the nonsense all over YouTube.

  19. Ron Paul has some good points, but he is an isolationist. Isolation worked at the time the constitution was written, as the oceans protected us from other nations. No longer. The terriorist HAVE declared war on us. We can’t just sit back and let them overtake us. In the 70’s there was a saying about what if someone gave a war and no one came? The answer is; genocide. Ron Paul would let us be attacked and overtaken by a nucular bomb owning nation. I think we should prevent this from happening.

    • B Anderson

      Please define the label, isolationist and kindly support why isolationism is undesirable.
      If you don’t care to take the time and thought to do so please don’t use labels. One would think you are as troll or worse!

    • B Anderson

      You are misinformed or worse, you have never heard Ron Paul say or have ever read a quote from Ron Paul stating he would permit America to be attacked without immediate retaliation. What Ron Paul does not support are; preemptive missions, military coups, invasion, coercion and force for corporate profiteers in our name and out of our pocket.

      Ron Paul is nobody’s fool. I have confidence in his competent leadership and resolve to deploy our missiles if necessary and to protect and defend America from attack.

      Ron Paul 2012 America’s Defender of our National Sovereignty

  20. Well, no one has more baggage than Obama. What the liberal media continues to cover up for him will be uncover years from now when the historian start studying “Obama’s policies.” Today, God is giving us a second chance, let’s fix this, whether you are democrat, republican or independent, I recommend we should pray for God to help us think with our heads and not let this country continue going the path of destruction. The reason why this country was so successful years back is because; God was part of daily lives, and now, we have removed God from places where he was making a difference, for example, from our homes. Are we teaching our kids the faith the way our grandparents taught our parents, or are we too busy doing what? God was also removed from the schools, and we did nothing to stop it. Now the “corrupted government” is racing our kids. God has also been removed from the colleges and Universities, and our kids are being taught that Socialism, Communism and to have revolutions against our own country is ok. Why is it that Muslims have a place to pray everywhere they want, but not us? Look how successful they are being, they are recruiting our own people, who are now turning against us. I love this country with all my heart; every time I hear “God bless America,” I tear up. I am a naturalized citizen of this beautiful country and proud of it. Please do not waste your vote, try not to make history again, it did not work, the most important, we are all God’s children and he loves us all.

  21. I want to change this sentence: Look how successful they are being, to: look how successful the Radical Muslims are being, they are recuiting our own people,…..

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