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.


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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.


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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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