DeMint presidential forum planned
July 11th, 2011
10:09 AM ET
3 years ago

DeMint presidential forum planned

Washington (CNN) – South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, embracing his role as kingmaker in the Republican race for the White House, has organized a presidential forum scheduled to take place in Columbia on September 5.

The Labor Day event, called The Palmetto Freedom Forum, will be more of a question-and-answer session rather than a debate, event organizers said. The GOP candidates will be asked to offer concrete plans for fixing the debt and growing the economy.

Not every Republican hopeful will be invited, though. Candidates must meet a threshold of 5 percent in an average of national polls conducted by the website RealClearPolitics.

Questions will come from three panelists: DeMint, Iowa Rep. Steve King and Robert P. George, founder of the American Principles Project, which is sponsoring the event.

"It is an effort to band together and put people through a real interview-type process," one DeMint supporter involved in the event planning told CNN. "I can't take another candidate who says he or she is for limited government and then doesn't do anything about it. We want to know your plan. This is about getting real, and not throwing out a bunch of 30-second sound bites."

DeMint has ruled out a presidential bid of his own, disappointing several of his top South Carolina backers who say the 2012 presidential field lacks a credible voice on the topics of spending and the debt.

"I am pleased to be part of this exciting event that will help Republican primary voters make their choice for president," DeMint said in a statement Monday. "America faces enormous challenges in the years ahead, and primary voters must thoughtfully select a candidate with the courage and conviction to fight to save it."

About a half dozen DeMint supporters have taken to calling themselves the "Keep Your Powder Dry Caucus" in recent weeks, with the goal of remaining neutral through the early part of the primary process before putting their collective muscle behind one candidate at some point after the forum.

"In my mind, if DeMint is not going to run, he has got to have a part in the process of determining who we are going to pick," one DeMint backer told CNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Jim DeMint • South Carolina
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Let's get rational now

    You would think with 13 percent unemployment in South Carolina DeMint would have more important things on his mind than this nonsense. Then again, why isn't his constituents screaming at the top of their lungs why he isn't getting things done for them? Why he isn't delivering jobs for them?

    July 11, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Peter s

    Whats the name of the forum? Waterloo or the Southern Tea Packs.

    July 11, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. Bill NY

    I don't see how those largely responsible for the mess we have in this country can suddenly come up with any solutions. Tax breaks for the rich and big corporations have not and will never, ever work. it seems like big business are running things through republican proxys. I would like to see these Republican conservative/Tea party people share the pain and take big pay cuts and contribute a lot more to the cost of their healthcare.

    July 11, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  4. mgc florida

    Loser, I watched him on meet the press and he did not offer any solutions at all. Spent the whole time bashing Obama but offered nothing. Spineless!

    July 11, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. Eye of Newt

    DeMint is actually more of cheap, pompous hypocrite than Newt! What a fool. I'm embarrassed for South Carolinians.

    July 11, 2011 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  6. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    just shows how PATHETIC the GOP is right now. They can't even come up with anybody to run against Obama and are trying to even draft people. And you notice they are trying to go as far right as possible. Forget about the middle..just a far right wing agenda to take us right off a cliff..UNLESS you're wealthy that is.

    July 11, 2011 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. trestleroad

    Living in SC it appears the he has done nothing but push his own political beliefs which is more to his own benefit than that of the majority of the citizens in SC.

    July 11, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. diane

    South Carolina is one of the most "Oppressed and poorest states in the country????? Think Americans,think?????

    July 11, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. Sniffit

    "You would think with 13 percent unemployment in South Carolina DeMint would have more important things on his mind than this nonsense."

    Are you kidding? The GOP's "jobs plan" for Nov 2012 is working precisely as intended: doing nothing, creating massive economic uncertainty and enjoying blaming Obama for everyone's continued suffering while the rich and corporations continue to siphon off all the wealth and income of the country. Mission accomplished.

    July 11, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. Sniffit

    Does he have a tattoo of John Birch on his left buttcheek. I'm wiling to bet DeMented believes John Galt's epic mindless rant is "the Lord's prayer."

    July 11, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Bob in Pa.

    Been around too long to effectively institute change.

    July 11, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Cardog

    Here's a game show type question: There are three doors and behind each door you have Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, and Jim DeMint. To be a winner, pick the door you think is best for your interest? Oh, heck, it does not matter. Any door you pick, you lose.

    July 11, 2011 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  13. GI Joe

    Again I will say .......

    Fascism will come in the front door wearing a flag and carrying a cross ............................

    July 11, 2011 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. Bruce

    Sounds like more pledges...only this time he's getting them on the media record. Clever move to keep the likes of Bachman from moving too far to the center. It's looks like in some instances the Repub the candidates (depending on who their audience is at the moment) are taking a 90 degree turn to the center.

    July 11, 2011 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Cardog

    Here's a game show type question: There are three doors and behind each door you have Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann, and Jim DeMint. To be a winner, pick the door you think is best for your interest? Oh, heck, it does not matter. Any door you pick, you lose.
    ____________________________

    Very profound. Problem is, with Obama, there's only one door.

    July 11, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |